When I was researching how to start a food blog I learned that recipe titles are extremely important and that using the right recipe title can often mean the difference between someone clicking to read your post or passing it by. It’s tempting to name a recipe something unique or fun, but when you do that you’re not giving the reader a window into what the dish will taste like. Instead you’re forcing them to read through the entire recipe (if they’re even still reading) and decide for themselves what the dish will taste like, what flavors are prominent, etc. It’s far better to sum up the dish with an appropriate title. Even so, my initial inclination was to name this recipe “Not your Average Meatballs” because of its unorthodox ingredients, until it occurred to me that the more descriptive name is far more enticing. Blue cheese and beef is a classic culinary combination and the rosemary adds just a of hint of savoriness that complements the two ingredients perfectly. In this recipe the wild rice takes the place of bread crumbs as a filler and adds an interesting and pleasing texture. It also makes them gluten free. You can serve these meatballs with homemade ketchup or marinara, and while we don’t normally think of meatballs as finger food, my favorite way to eat them is straight out of the refrigerator, cold, with just the tiniest sprinkling of salt – no utensils required. The turkey, goat cheese, and sun-dried tomato variation of this recipe is equally delicious.
The first thing you need to do for this recipe is cook up some wild rice. To yield 1½ cups of cooked wild rice bring ½ cup of uncooked wild rice and 1½ cups of water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
Chopped fresh rosemary gives these meatballs an unbeatable flavor but if you can’t find fresh rosemary simply substitute 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary.
There are no special mixing instructions, just throw all the ingredients into a bowl and mix with your hands. You can use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment as well, just don’t over mix.
A 1½ ounce ice cream scoop works perfectly for portioning the meatballs.
I like to place the meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet for easier clean up but it’s not necessary, and in fact the meatballs brown a little better when you don’t use the parchment. Sixteen meatballs fit perfectly on a standard sized half sheet baking pan.
Garnish the cooked meatballs with fresh rosemary if desired and serve with marinara or Roasted Garlic Ketchup .
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1½ cups cooked wild rice
- ⅔ cup crumbled blue cheese/ 3 ounces/85 g
- 1 small onion (3 ½ to 4 ounces in size), finely chopped
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Combine ingredients and shape into 16 meatballs using a 1½ ounce ice cream scoop.
- Place meatballs on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes on lower rack of oven. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip each meatball over. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes for a total cooking time of 20 minutes, or until brown.
- Serve with your favorite marinara or homemade ketchup.
To yield 1½ cups of cooked wild rice bring ½ cup of uncooked wild rice and 1½ cups of water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
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