Saturday, December 31, 2011

Spicy Sweet Potato Sausage Balls

Cooked Sausage BallsHere's a super-easy recipe for a zesty party appetizer or hors d'oeuvre for ringing in the New Year, game-day tailgating, or watching your favorite team on the TV.  Make these sweet potato sausage balls as mild or spicy as you'd like by using your choice of chili pepper and either mild or hot country sausage.  For an eye-catching and unusual presentation--or if one of your team colors is purple--use purple sweet potatoes instead of regular orange or yellow sweet potatoes.

If you have room in your fridge and want to prepare them ahead of time, simply refrigerate the uncooked balls in a single layer on a large platter, covered with plastic wrap, until you're ready to bake them.  And yes, you can double this recipe if you need to make enough to feed a crowd, and you can hold them in a warm oven (200°F) after baking.  For a real treat, serve with a bowl of warm barbecue sauce for dipping--I recommend Outta the Park BBQ Sauce as the perfect accompaniment.  Another nice sauce to serve on the side is Cackalacky Spice Sauce, which is also made with sweet potatoes.

3 cups biscuit mix
2 cups cooked & mashed sweet potatoes
1 lb country sausage (bulk, or removed from casings)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I like sharp cheddar)
1 or 2 jalapenos or other chili peppers, seeded & minced
Optional seasonings (one or more of the following):  1/4 tsp dried sage, 1/4 tsp dried savory, 1/4 tsp dried rosemary, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a large cookie sheet or baking pan.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Form into balls about 1" in diameter, place on greased sheet and bake at 350°F until browned and well done, about 30 to 45 minutes depending on your oven.  Serve hot.

Zestfully yours,

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