Monday, January 21, 2013

Spinach Parmesan Balls

Spinach balls go well with hot sauce
My friend, Sallie, made these for a gathering she had recently. I found them to be good party snacking food because of their size and texture. They are tasty and they don't crumble all over the place when you bite into them. You can also get creative with dipping sauces. I was eager to try them out, so I brought them to a football watching gathering last night. We poked around in the fridge for something good to accompany them and ended up just mixing up a couple of different hot sauces and Voila! it was perfect. We also experimented with dunking them in the Cashew Lemon Dip I brought (see earlier post). I didn't think that combo was a match made in heaven, but it was clear that something lemony would go really well with these also. A lemon tahini dip would be quite nice I think.
One word of caution: don't be fooled by the fact that they have spinach in them. Spinach doesn't necessarily equate to healthy when the spinach is rolled up in cheese, butter, eggs and bread crumbs! I was taken aback a little when I noticed how much butter was in the mix. At first I thought it said 1/4 of a cup, but then realized when I went to go make them that it was 3/4 of a cup! I ended up using Earth Balance vegan "butter".  It worked fine and made me feel slightly better about eating them.
Sallie made some variations on the original recipe she found on and then I made a tiny bit of a variation from hers, so here is the final outcome.

Spinach Parmesan Balls
2 10 oz boxes frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
3/4 cup earth balance (or unsalted butter)
1 small red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
4 eggs
1/2 tspn paprika
1/2 tspn of ground chipolte pepper (alternatively use 1 tspn of smoked paprika in place of the paprika and chipolte)
1/2 tspn salt
1/4 tspn pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Sautee the onion and garlic in a little of the butter on medium low heat for about five minutes. Add the paprika and chipolte. Cook for another minute or so, then add the rest of the butter until it is melted.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix all the other ingredients. Then add onion butter mixture.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the mixture into balls the size of a walnut. I ended up getting about 35 of them.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, then take them out, flip each of them over and bake another 15 minutes. The original recipe called for 20 minutes in the oven without turning them, and that might be enough for you, but I wanted them browned on both sides.

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