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Sausage Appetizer: Hot Balls Afire!


Make these tiny sausage appetizer balls and add a little heat to your next party

While we accommodate the tastes of our guests in many ways, when it comes to hot stuff, they consider themselves forewarned and on their own. Yes, we always add a nice mix of milder flavors, but our Texas hearts belong to hot and spicy.

These little sausage balls are quick to make and easy to toss in the oven for cooking and reheating. Make them ahead and refrigerate before cooking. When you're done, just toss them on a plate and you have a great finger food. I even like them cold and make them ahead for weekday snacking.

If you want to give them some heat, of course, it will depend on the pepper. We typically use ground up jalapenos, but bear in mind that you should always taste-test a slice first to determine the degree of heat. One pepper in the batch might be a barn-burner while the others will taste more like bells. Even peppers from the same plant may have varying degrees of heat. For the brave, we recommend habanero or bird peppers.

We keep experimenting with ingredients, but our basic sausage ball recipe is listed here:

Hot Balls Afire!
(makes 18 sausage balls)

½ pound breakfast sausage
1 Jalapeno, minced
1/3 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ cup grated Cheddar cheese

-Saute onion and jalapeno (until onion is clear).
-Mix sausage and all other ingredients until thoroughly combined.
-Roll pieces in 1-inch balls.
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-Place on heavily greased cooking rack.
-Cook for about 30 minutes. Turn once halfway through.

This recipe is easily doubled, but I always suggest when trying out a new recipe to make the smallest amount possible to get a "feel" for it.

 

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