Around the holidays, saucy cocktail meatballs are always the first appetizer from the buffet to be eaten. In this dish, the sweet flavor of the fig glaze goes perfectly with the pork and tangy goat cheese. —Kim Banick, Turner, Oregon,
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
- 2 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 whole star anise
- 1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- Chopped fresh chives, optional
image/svg+xml Text Ingredients View Recipe,
Preheat air fryer to 350°. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs and egg. Add sausage; mix lightly but thoroughly. Divide into 18 portions. Shape each portion around 1/2 teaspoon cheese to cover completely. In batches, place meatballs on greased tray in air-fryer basket. Cook until cooked through, 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and star anise to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Discard cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Add figs; cook until softened, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Transfer to a blender. Add 1/2 cup water; process until almost smooth. Serve with meatballs. If desired, top meatballs with chopped chives.
Freeze option: Freeze cooled meatballs and sauce in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a covered saucepan, stirring occasionally; add a little water if necessary.
1 meatball: 97 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 26mg cholesterol, 175mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.