Smokey Cajun Cheddar and Jalapeno Meatballs
These smoky Cajun cheddar and Jalapeno meatballs are packed with flavor. They are a hit any time you have people gathering. This recipe makes 24 balls, yet they disappear quickly! The secret to these balls is the added sweetness and texture of the pineapple paired with the smokiness from the bacon.
Something is satisfying about making meatballs. Outside of good egg and bread/cracker ratios, you can create adjustments and additions to suit your favorite tastes. The pineapple addition was a fluke and one that I will be using from now on.
Flavor has always been my thing, yet I have grown in understanding textures over the past few years. Meatballs can be… meat-bally. They present a consistent mouth-feel. This can be a good thing. Yet when you’re working with an appetizer, adding new textures can be rewarding. This is one of those times. Toss in some finely chopped pineapple to your Smoky bacon-wrapped Cajun meatball mixture and witness the difference in the outcome. Yum.
Smoky Cajun Cheddar & Jalapeno Meatballs
- 1 lb ground beef 80/20
- ¾ cup cracker crumbs saltines
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- 1 tsp minced garlic dried
- 2 jalapeno peppers finely chopped
- 6 ounces smoked sharp cheddar cubed very small
- ¼ cup pineapple tidbits chopped into small pieces
- 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 12 slices smoked bacon No water added. Cut in 1/2
- 24 toothpicks
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line a large baking pan with foil and coat with high-heat cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix all of the meatball ingredients except the ground beef Then add the ground beef and mix gently until the ingredients are incorporated evenly. Use the pincher method to quickly incorporate without hurting the texture of the meat.1 lb ground beef, ¾ cup cracker crumbs, 2 eggs, 1 tsp minced garlic, 6 ounces smoked sharp cheddar, ¼ cup pineapple, 1 tsp Cajun seasoning, 2 jalapeno peppers
- Using a #40 scoop, form the mixture into even-sized 1½-inch balls and place them on a pan lined with foil.
- Wrap each meatball with 1 piece of the bacon and secure with a toothpick. (see notes)24 toothpicks, 12 slices smoked bacon
- Place in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until bacon begins to crisp and the internal temperature is 155 °F. They will continue to cook when you move on to the basting process.
- Baste with the sauce and bake for another 10 minutes until the sauce begins to bubble. Turn the oven to broil and watch carefully to caramelize the sauce. Serve immediately with additional sauce for dipping.1 cup roasted pineapple habanero sauce
De Froid Tip: Food Scoops
Food scoops have made my kitchen more efficient! No wonder chefs use them. I love the Vollrath food scoops. They have proven to be of high quality. In addition, the colors indicate different sizes, making it easy to grab the proper size for a specific recipe.
Another reason I love them is that they have taken my presentations up a notch. By using the scoop, I can make even-sized balls in no time. Efficient with a beautiful display? I’ll take it!
Because they’re so easy to use and cut down on prep time, make a large batch of balls, and freeze them for days when you don’t have as much time.
Welcome to Foodie de Froid!
If you love real food, take pleasure in eating, and strive for mouth-watering flavor, you have come to the right place. Here the star of the show IS the food, presenting it in a way that makes it shine.
We feature many appetizers and individual-sized recipes as a purposeful way to experience and share food.
Our mouth reacts to flavors in a transitional way. That first taste creates an exciting experience with the food’s intense flavors, textures, and visual appeal. Yet after the first few bites, our mouths and minds adjust, and that experience deadens.
Thus, the tasting experience! We served 14 consecutive courses at my last tasting party. Each was purposely selected to bring new flavors, textures, and presentations, creating surprises and wow moments throughout the night.
The recipes are documented with ingredients we love. Yet my greatest hope is to have you understand why the recipes work and eventually make them into your personal version using your favorite ingredients and presentations.