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Monday, March 7, 2011

Spinach-Cheese Balls w/ Pasta Sauce

Hello Everyone!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  As promised, I am going to give the recipe and some "in process" pictures for the appetizer I made last week at my Italian Dinner for 11.
This is a pic of the mixture.  It takes a little bit to get all the ingredients incorporated.
Made into balls after they've been rolled in the crumb mixture.
Finished product.
Now here is the recipe:

1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 cups all-purpose flour
Oil for deep frying
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 jar your choice pasta sauce, warmed

In a large bowl, combine egg, Parmesan, mozzarella, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, sour cream, olive oil and ricotta; blend well.  Add spinach; mix well.  Stir in flour, 1 cup at a time, until well blended.

In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 350 degree.  Place bread crumbs in a small bowl.  Shape spinach mixture into 1 1/2 in. balls; roll in bread crumbs and place on a baking sheet.

Fry balls about 4-6 minutes or until golden brown on all sides.  With a slotted spoon, remove balls from skillet; drain on paper towels.  Cool 2 minutes before serving.  Serve with pasta sauce for dipping.

*Note:  I found the spinach a little stringy even though it was supposedly chopped.  I think next time I will pulse it in the food processor just a bit to get smaller pieces.  I also made these a few hours ahead of time and put them in the fridge until time to fry.  They do have a pretty strong spinach flavor.  If you aren't super fond of spinach, you might be able to cut it down a bit to lesson the flavor.  Otherwise, these are a fun and different appetizer.  Good too!  

Try them out and let me know what you think. So until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

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