gouda stuffed tortilla chip meatballs with cranberry orange ginger glaze | clash of the cooks challenge

I like trying new things and doing new things. This was definitely a new thing in which I’m battling it out with other bloggers in the Clash of the Cooks Challenge, sponsored by Whole Foods Market. You, too, can also participate at home by creating your own holiday inspired meal with the ingredients listed below! Check out the Facebook link for more information!

Monday evening I trotted over to the Whole Foods Market in La Jolla to pick up my basket of “mystery goods”. I had to use all of the items to create a holiday inspired dish!

My mystery basket included: Whale Tails Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt Tortilla Chips, Chicken Stock, Cranberry Sauce and Smoked Gouda Cheese.

My mind started running immediately. Cranberry sauce? I hardly ever eat that. Paired with smoked cheese? Are you serious? And TORTILLA CHIPS? I started walking out to my car in a daze with a number of ideas running through my head.

And to keep on thinking through those ideas, I stopped for a pumpkin cupcake at Sprinkles. I mean, why not? It was right there!

I made my decision on what I was going to make and I needed a few more things – off I went to prepare for the evening’s feast!

Or in my case, the evening’s appetizer.

I decided to make gouda stuffed meatballs with tortilla chips and a cranberry orange ginger glaze. I know, that’s pretty much a mouthful of words right there… I suppose I could have just said something like “savory and sweet meatballs” but that didn’t seem very fun to me.

First things first… let’s make the glaze/sauce thing!

I say it’s a glaze because it’s really thick, but I didn’t want to coat the meatballs in the stuff… I just wanted a little on top. Because I’m not a sauce person. Glaze. Sauce. You know what I mean.

I started off by putting in some brown sugar and chicken stock in a pan and setting it to simmer. Then I added some of my cranberry sauce along with the zest and juice of one navel orange.

I didn’t get all of the steps here in my photo, but also in the mix was some rice wine vinegar, grated ginger and pinch of black pepper.

Once you’ve got all of the ingredients into the pot, you pretty much just need to let it sit back and simmer away until it thickens up.

After about 30 minutes of simmering, you’ll get a thickened glaze/sauce. The beauty of sauces is that if you forget what you’re doing and don’t watch the pot and it maybe goes a little too far… you can just add in a bit more chicken stock to thin it back out! Yes, this totally happened to me. Honesty is the best policy in all things.

Once you bring the sauce together, you’re good to go to start making the meatballs. First thing to do though is to turn on your oven to 350 degrees!

Then, chop up some onion and garlic and saute it in a pan. I cooked the onions until just slightly brown and threw in the garlic for about a minute. Then I took if off the heat to let it cool slightly while I prepared the rest of my mix-ins for my meatballs.

In a big bowl I added in my ground beef, some freshly chopped oregano from the garden, my onion/garlic mixture, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a good pinch of kosher salt and ground pepper. Time to prep the Whale Tails!

The Whale Tails chips really are whale tail shaped! For some reason this surprised me. Probably because I wasn’t paying attention to the bag. All I thought was, “What am I gonna do with tortilla chips?” instead of really looking at the bag.

The tortilla chips got crushed up under the mighty weight of my rolling pin!

The crushed tortilla chip get dumped right in along with two eggs. Then, it’s time for mixing. I just use my hands – I’m not afraid of a little bit of cold meat. Just squish it all together until it’s well mixed.

Then, cut your gouda cheese into little cubes and start making the meatballs.

The meatballs are about palm sized – just place a chunk of cheese in the middle and wrap the meat around it and form a nice ball.

Continue until all the meatballs are done. Eat any leftover cheese (after you wash your hands, of course).

I put my meatballs on a pizza pan with holes in it, over another baking sheet. This way any fat and grease would drop to the bottom so the meatballs wouldn’t be sitting in its own grease.

Bake meatballs for about 30 minutes until a luscious golden brown.

The gouda cheese got kind of oozy and gooey there – but I think that just adds to the look! Who wouldn’t want to goggle up one of these babies?

These little meatballs are flavorful and delicious – with plenty of cheese to make for the perfect bite of tastiness.

That little square of cheese sure made a difference in flavor!

But pair it up with a good dallop of sauce and you’ve got yourselves a winner! The sweet from the sauce pairs nicely with the savory and cheesy meatball. Perfect thing to appease the relatives and visitors for this upcoming turkey day!

If you enjoyed my recipe and post, please like it on Facebook (using the Facebook like button below), post this on Twitter or share one of the photos on Pinterest. My entry is being judged on the following:

• Originality / Use of Ingredients
• Plating / Photography
• Likes / Tweets / Pins

Every bit helps! If I win the weekly challenge, I will be headed to a live cook-off competition at the Encinitas Whole Foods Market to compete for:

• First place will receive is a Whole Foods Market Pantry Makeover, a Vitamix blender and dinner for 2 at Solace
(prize valued at $700)
• Second place will win dinner for six catered by Whole Foods Market (prize valued at $200)
• Third place will receive a holiday meal for six (valued at $130)

Thanks in advance for your support!

Remember, you can also compete as well – check out the details on how you can join in on the fun!

If you’d like to recreate my recipe at home, then check out the full recipe below!

Cranberry Orange Ginger Glaze

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chicken broth
juice and zest from one large navel orange
1 cup cranberry sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
dash of ground pepper

Mix together brown sugar and chicken broth until the sugar is dissolved. Add the rest of the ingredients into the pot and stir to combine. Set over medium heat until boiling. Once it starts to boil, turn down the heat and set to simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Sauce will gradually thicken. Simmer until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Serve warm with meatballs.

Gouda and Tortilla Stuffed Meatballs

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, crushed & chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
salt and pepper
smoked gouda cheese, cut into cubes

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cook your onions until just browned and add garlic – cook for 1 more minute or until fragrant. Set aside.

In a bowl, add everything to the ground beef and squish.

Form the meatballs and place a cube of cheese in the middle. Wrap the meat around the cheese and set on a pan.

Bake meatballs for 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot.

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