One of my favorite things about blogging is sharing new food finds …and I LOVE it when I get to feature Texas-based companies! Today, I’d like to tell you about a product that’s based right here in San Antonio: Texas Brew Salsa. Owner Brenda Craig produces a wide variety of fire-roasted salsas in varying degrees of heat…including a line of delicious fruit-infused salsas that combine heat and sweet! Her all-natural salsas contain ingredients like fire-roasted tomatoes, roasted chipotle peppers, roasted poblano peppers, roasted onions, cooked black beans, sweet corn, real peaches, real roasted pineapple, real mangos, and real apples. Brenda recently sent me a few jars of salsa to sample and share my thoughts with you.
First up was what I like to call The Chip Test. We opened a big bag of tortilla chips and cracked open six jars of salsa in the following flavors: Fire-Roasted Poblano, Medium Honey-Roasted Chipotle, Hot-Iron Habanero, Honey-Roasted Mango, Honey-Roasted Pineapple, and Honey-Roasted Apple Cinnamon. We enjoyed all of the flavors – you can definitely tell this salsa is made from fresh, quality ingredients. I have to confess that I am a bit of a wuss! The hot habanero was almost too spicy for me. That said, Michael actually proclaimed the habanero his favorite…so it's perfect if you like your salsa muy caliente! My personal favorite was the unique Honey-Roasted Chipotle. The smoky flavor of the chipotle was met with just a touch of sweetness in the background. Add in a salty chip, and you’ve got a winning flavor combination. The fruit salsas had a nice balance of sweet and heat, and I’d love to play around with those in a dessert recipe sometime!
I decided to create an original recipe using two flavors of Texas Brew salsa, so I went to my kitchen and got to work. I came up with Sweet Heat ‘Buried Treasure’ Meatballs. These juicy meatballs are seasoned with all sorts of goodies, including a healthy dose of Texas Brew’s Medium Fire-Roasted Poblano salsa. After baking in the oven, the meatballs are glazed in a flavorful sauce containing BBQ sauce and a jar of Texas Brew’s Honey-Roasted Pineapple salsa. These meatballs are seriously good…and really easy to make!
Sweet Heat ‘Buried Treasure’ Meatballs
a Weekend Gourmet Original
Step 1: Add the following ingredients to a large mixing bowl: ½ lb. 93% lean ground beef, ½ lb. ground pork, ½ cup Texas Brew Fire-Roasted Poblano Salsa, 2 sliced green onions, 2 grated garlic cloves, 1 tbs. cilantro paste (or chopped fresh cilantro), 1 cup crushed tortilla chips, 1 egg, 1 tsp. cumin, a few grinds of black pepper, and 1 tsp. garlic salt. Using pristinely clean hands, combine ingredients just until combined – be gentle.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 375. Divide the mixture into 12 portions – approximately 2 tbs. Insert one cube of co-jack cheese in the middle, then roll the meatball around the cheese cube. Place the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet that’s been lined with parchment. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked. Don’t panic if a few of the meatballs start to ooze melted cheese…those are good for taste testing!
Step 3: While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce. Add 2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce and 1 jar of Texas Brew Honey-Roasted Pineapple salsa to a high-rimmed non-stick pan. Combine with a whisk and cook over medium heat. When the meatballs are cooked, add to the sauce and use tongs to coat them in the glaze. Let them simmer in the sauce for a few minutes while you pour drinks and get the plates ready. I served three meatballs and a spoonful of the sauce over Mexican rice. It’s fun to cut into the meatballs and see the cheese inside…like buried treasure!
These meatballs were really good…so good that Michael cleaned his plate and asked for seconds. Husband-approved is one of the best recipe endorsements I can give! The meatballs are moist, with just enough spice…and the cheesy middles are yummy and fun! The sauce is a little spicy, a little sweet, and a little smoky….an addictive combo that pairs really nicely with the meatballs. This meat mixture is versatile too! Michael thought it would make great meatloaf. For appetizers, simply make the meatballs slightly smaller and add a sturdy toothpick. Heck, I’m thinking that they’d make a great crockpot-friendly Super Bowl food!
Now for the best part: Texas Brew Salsa is going to give one of you a 3-pack of their salsa! Two of the jars will be the ones featured in these meatballs so you can recreate this recipe in your kitchen, and the third jar is Medium Honey-Roasted Chipotle. You can enter up to three times to win. For the first entry, visit the Texas Brew Salsa website, then come back and leave a comment letting me know which flavor caught your eye.. For a second entry, Like Texas Brew Salsa on Facebook and come back and leave a second comment. For a third entry, follow Texas Brew Salsa on Twitter and come back to leave me a third comment. Entries will be accepted through this Sunday 1/27 at 1159 p.m. The winner will be selected at random and notified on Monday 4/28. Good luck!!