Party Meatball Appetizer

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march madness is here and all of those basketball parties need a new appetizer.  i found one at the Taste of Home.  this is a website where home-grown cooks share their special recipes.  i must admit, some of the recipes are a bit “out there”, but others actually have great presentations.

i decided to try this one, which uses refrigerated crescent rolls.  i opted for the reduced fat crescent rolls, which may save a few calories for the average person.  this recipe is actually a combination of a taco recipe and a meatball recipe.  the meatballs would be very tasty without the crescent roll presentation.   yet, the presentation is what makes this a nice party appetizer.  it is served in wedges, like a pie, so would be sixteen servings.

to make the appetizer:  prepare the meatballs.  i used about 3/4 pound of ground beef.  place the ground beef in a bowl and mix with one cup of shredded cheddar cheese and a couple of tablespoons of water (if needed) to prepare 16 equal sized meatballs.  place the meatballs on a rack over a sheet pan to bake and allow the juices to drain, cooking and browning the meatballs.  i used a preheated 400 degree oven for 12-14 minutes.

the meatballs are cooked first, and then added to the dough.  the toppings are simply placed in the center for presentation and serving ease.

i would recommend trying this recipe.  it is tasty and for those march madness boys crowding around the television, it will be a hit.

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as the meatballs are browning, open the two cans of dough, and place the thin narrow edges towards the outside of the round baking dish.  i used a 12-inch glass baking dish and it was perfect. form a ring around the plate, with the pointed ends of the dough facing the outer edge and hanging over just slightly. connect the wider ends of the dough in the center to make a nice flat base.

when the meatballs are done, add a meatball to each piece of dough, tucking in the tips under the meatball. the meatball will not be covered completely with dough.  reduce the heat in the oven to 375 degrees and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the dough is browned and cooked.

when done, remove from the oven and add the toppings in a presentation manner.  i used chopped romaine lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped tomato, sliced black olives, and sour cream in the center.  other toppings could be used, such as salsa, jalapeno, green olives, chopped green onions or white onions.  the recipe also suggested flavoring the meat with taco seasoning if desired.

fun, easy, and very good for march madness.

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