Jalapeno Chicken Meatball Subs with Roasted Tomato Sauce

How good is footy season, and how good is footy food! State of Origin is one of my favourite times of year (Go the Blues!!!), I love the cold, and I love a good excuse to pig out on food and drink in the middle of the week.

Now while the eating and drinking and of course watching the game, even when NSW lose, is what it’s all about, my guilty pleasure is actually to walk around the supermarket and the bottlo, on game day, in my Blues jersey. It will always get a look or two, a few ‘8 in a row’ related comments and most definitely causes people to loudly and aggressively yell my most hated word, “Queenslander!”. Ah, I live for the banter. And the more abuse I cop, well, the better really.

So these little meatball sandwiches are perfect with a cold beer for Origin, or any footy night. Why not give them a ‘try’ (heeeey, see what I did there;) ) for Game 3.

Serves 4

4 long white rolls
500g chicken mince
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
2 slices of white bread
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 clove garlic, minced
1 fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
12 sliced of pickled jalapeno for serving

Roasted Tomato Sauce
2 tomatoes, halved
1/2 white onion, halved
1/2 green chilli
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup American yellow cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp cornflour
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 white onion, finely diced
1/2 green onion, finely diced
1 tbs pickled jalapeno, finely diced

First, get your sauce done. Place the tomatoes, onion, and chilli on a baking tray and grill on a medium heat until slightly blackened. Remove, allow to cool slightly and then process in a food processor. Season to taste and set aside.

For your meatballs, turn the oven from grill to bake and preheat to 180°C. In a small bowl tear up the white bread and pour over the milk. Let sit for a couple of minutes and then mash it altogether to a smooth paste. In another larger bowl combine chicken mince, garlic, jalapeno, egg, bread and milk mix and salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix well. Roll out the mix into golf ball sized meatballs, place on baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

While your balls are baking, make your queso. Place grated cheeses in a saucepan. Add cornflour and toss to coat. Then place over a low heat. Add about half the milk. Heat slowly, stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth and melted. You may need to add some or all of the remaining milk depending on how thick/thin you want it. Stir in the onion and chilli until well combined. Keep warm until required.

Once the meatballs have come out of the oven you can assemble. I like to slice the buns lengthwise and pull some of the bread out of the middle so they aren’t too heavy and the meatballs fit better inside. (I of course eat that bread while they are toasting so it kind of defeats the purpose but still) Place 2 or 3 meatballs inside (depending on how long your buns are) top with a couple of tablespoons of the tomato sauce. Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes just to crispy the bun and warm the sauce.

Serve with a generous spoon of queso and top with pickled jalapeno slices. And definitely have this with a beer. I highly recommend this with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Go the BLUES!

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