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Sauce & Spice Makes Everything Nice

March 5, 2010


Welcome to the first celebrity blog post for “Food Friday”! As it was her ingenious idea, I felt it only fair that my beloved sister, Caleigh, should have the first guest blog post. Let me start by saying that my sister is an amazing little chef. Fearless in the kitchen, she is not the least bit intimidated by a complex recipe or a foreign ingredient. Caleigh tackles them with amazing skill, determination and is almost always successful (something I applaud and envy). She takes this same approach to life which is something that I truly admire about her. She will be making regular contributions to this mouth-watering category and I myself cannot wait to try the recipe she provided below! Enjoy readers 🙂

Author: Caleigh Jooste

As a grad student at Wake Forest University, I rarely have enough time to get to the grocery store, let alone make a home-cooked meal.  But every once in a while, my friends and I treat ourselves to Top Chef night.  Comparable to Big Girls’ Night, each person makes a dish to contribute to the feast, but Top Chef includes time limits, crammed kitchens, points for presentation, and of course, a winner.

This past Friday, I pulled the best dish of all out of the hat – appetizers. Why are appetizers the best dish?  Well reader of my sister’s blog, let me tell you why.  Appetizers are a way to sample explosions of flavor in bite size pieces.  They are the prelude to a feast or can be a feast in themselves. And more often than not, presentation is everything.  There is an art to appetizers.

The appetizer I’m going to share with you took second place this past Friday (I lost to the guy that brought pheasant… which he shot while hunting and prepared himself.  You gotta hand it to the guy). Due to the dreary weather conditions outside, I went with a warm dish, accented with bright colors. The best thing about this dish, as with any appetizer, is the room for creativity with the recipe and the presentation.

A++ for presentation, color and taste!!

My delicious dish is called “Saucy Apricot ‘n Spice Meatballs”.  These could be served in miniature versions on toothpicks at a holiday cocktail party, made into larger patties and wrapped in a warm pita, or as I prepared them, grouped on skewers with grilled pineapple. It was prepared in 1 hour flat, including shopping time, as required by the Top Chef time limit.

Enjoy getting your hands messy and your tummies full!

“Saucy Apricot ‘n Spice Meatballs”

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 6


½ cup soft bread crumbs

2 Tablespoons fat-free milk

1 egg white

¼ cup finely chopped onion

¼ cup finely chopped dried apricots

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon chili powder

6 ounces lean ground pork

6 ounces ground white turkey meat

Half a pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into rings

Brown sugar

2 T red fresno chili pepper, minced

Spiced Apricot Sauce:

½ cup apricot nectar

½ cup apricot syrup (from canned apricots)

2 teaspoons cornstarch

½ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

A few dashes of hot sauce to taste


Preheat oven to 350º. Line a large baking pan with lightly greased foil.

Heat outdoor grill to light-medium heat.

Combine bread crumbs and milk in a bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in egg white, onion, apricots, salt, garlic and chili powder. Add ground pork and ground turkey.  Mix well with your hands.

Shape meat mixture into about 20 meatballs and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

With about 10 minutes left on the meatballs, combine all sauce ingredients in small saucepan; cook until thickened and bubbly.

Sprinkle pineapple rings with brown sugar and grill until warmed and sugar melts.  Cut into slices.

Arrange skewers with alternating meatballs and pineapple.  Coat meatball skewers in a generous amount of sauce (perhaps with extra on the side!), sprinkle with chopped chili pepper and serve immediately.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Deuscain permalink
    March 7, 2010 10:21 am

    Those sound ama~zing…

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