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sweet sour holiday meatballs

Jarden Consumer Solutions provided me with a free FoodSaver Food Preservation System from the FM5000 series for my review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.

When the representative for FoodSaver reached out to me about reviewing the latest version of their product, I quickly remembered just how much I used to love my FoodSaver when I was first married, in the 90s. I don’t remember how or why it eventually quit on me or why I didn’t replace it. I guess I got busy and forgot how much food and money it really saved me. Now that I’ve had this fantastic tool back in my life for a little over a month, I am kicking myself for not replacing it sooner.

For my review of the FoodSaver FM5000 Food Preservation System, I decided to freeze some organic ground turkey. I’ve never liked how ground beef or poultry freezes. By the time I go to use it, it just looks so unappetizing sometimes I end up throwing it away. And throwing away food never feels good.

This latest version of the FoodSaver is light years ahead of the version I was familiar with back in the day. One of the biggest improvements is that you can now customize bag sizes, which saves money and time. No more worrying about not having the right sized bags on hand. It also comes with a retractable handheld sealer, which can be used on bags or containers and for marinating meats. I can’t wait to try it.

before-after-cropped

As you can see, the after-freezing meat looks just as fresh as the before-freezing meat. There was zero freezer burn on the meat. I defrosted it overnight in the fridge and it was ready to go. I was asked to develop a recipe using my chosen ingredient, so I decided on something that’s perfect for holiday entertaining. Nothing says “holidays” like rosemary, and meatballs are always a crowd pleaser. The simple sweet-and-sour sauce is a classic and, of course, I tied in cranberries—the ultimate holiday-season ingredient.

Rosemary Turkey Meatballs with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

Ingredients for the meatballs:

Yields about 30 meatballs

1 cup finely diced onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
1 cup Parmesan
2 eggs
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon chili sauce (I used Heinz)
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 pound of ground turkey
3 links of sweet Italian turkey sausage, cases removed

Ingredients for the sauce:
12-ounce bottle of chili sauce, less 1 tablespoon (I used Heinz)
14-ounce can of jellied cranberry sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a skillet, sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and rosemary and sauté for just 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl mix cheese, eggs, ketchup, chili sauce, breadcrumbs, milk and salt and pepper. Mix in onion mixture and meat and combine.
  5. Spray a large cooking sheet with nonstick spray and roll out meatballs. (approximately 2 tablespoons each).
  6. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Roll meatballs to new side about halfway through cooking for more even browning.
  7. While meatballs bake, combine chili sauce and jellied cranberry sauce in a medium sauce pan over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sauce is combined and fragrant. There are many variations of this simple sauce. Just run a Google search for “Heinz chili sauce and cranberry sauce” to find thousands of possibilities. Experiment with your favorite ingredients to come up with your own signature sauce. You will also find instructions for preparing meatballs in the slow cooker, which is another great solution when entertaining.
  8. Once the meatballs have baked, combine with sauce and serve. You can also make them a day ahead, refrigerate and then just reheat in the microwave, slow cooker, oven or stovetop when it’s time to eat. Or, freeze your meatballs and serve at your next party.

I hope you’ll share your favorite ways to use your FoodSaver with us. I have a freezer that is just begging to be filled. I also have a sous vide and can’t wait to start sealing and cooking. Mmmm, I smell another post coming. Happy Holidays!

For great ideas on how to prep ahead meals and best preserve your leftovers with FoodSaver follow this link.

meatballs

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