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Holiday Party Food

Ring in 2008 with this flab-fighting snack.

SWEET-AND-SOUR MEATBALLS
1 1/2 lbs ground beef chuck (80%-85% lean)
1 large egg
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 pinch salt
2 pinches black pepper
2 pinches cinnamon
1 large pinch ground cumin
1/3 cup bread crumbs

FOR THE SAUCE
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chopped, canned tomatoes
1/2 cup ketchup
Dash crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper

To make: [1] Preheat oven to 400 Degrees. [2] Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a medium bowl. Work them together with your hands until evenly mixed. [3] Make 1-inch meatballs by rolling 1 tbsp of the mixture between your hands. [4] Put the meatballs on a cookie sheet. Bake until well browned, about 20 minutes. [5] Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until they begin to soften and turn translucent. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. [6] Remove the meatballs from the oven and transfer to the pot of sauce. Stir the meatballs until thoroughly coated with the sauce. [7] To serve, spoon meatballs onto plate and top with grated cheese (Dave recommends a Spanish cheese called Manchego, although Parmesan works fine). Serve with fresh, sliced, crusty bread; fresh vegetables; and a yogurt-herb vegetable dip made with a mixture of 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 cup light sour cream, 1 tsp chopped parsley, 1 tsp chopped cilantro, 1/2 tsp celery salt, and 1 tsp chopped green onion. MAKES 20 MEATBALLS.

Dave's Tip: When you serve meatballs at a party, make sure you use a big spoon so people get plenty of sauce to dip their bread into.

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