From Plain Chicken
Here I am, once again providing you with the perfect thematic recipe, in this case Super Bowl food, a solid 3 days too late. Ugh, I suck. The thing is, I didn’t even find this recipe until the morning of the Super Bowl, and at that time I was in no position to make them quickly, taste them, and blog about them all in time for you to make them. You see, I woke up Sunday morning not here in Chicago, but in the magical place that is Bloomington, Indiana, home of the NUMBER 1 Indiana University Hoosiers! In my book, the “big game” of this past weekend was played on a glistening hardwood floor, in the midst of 17,000 crimson clad fans (none of whom were me, sadly, because at $600 a ticket, we opted to watch the game from my favorite campus sports bar) on Saturday night. And in case you missed it, WE WON! IU beat #1 Michigan, allowing us to claim our rightful seat at the top. Needless to say, when I woke up Sunday morning in my hotel room at the Indiana Memorial Union, my contribution to the Super Bowl party we were headed to that night was not top of mind.
Luckily I had the 4 hour drive home to recover from my college-style drinking in a 27 year old body hang over and spend a little time surfing the web for a suitably quick and easy recipe to whip up when we got home. I had seen a version of sausage balls on the Pioneer Woman show recently, and I was shocked to find about a million variations out there. Both totally skeptical and 100% intrigued by the idea, I ended up picking this recipe because the non-traditional addition of cream cheese seemed like a clever way to keep them moist and make them easy (and most importantly in this case, quick) to roll into balls. Geez Louise did we get lucky on this one. They came together lickity split thanks to my stand mixer, and boy oh boy were they a hit. They were still warm when we got to the party, and most of them were gone before they even had a chance to cool down. The last few were claimed throughout the game, and I can assure you they’re tasty at room temp too. Football season may be officially over, but I’m sure I can think of another reason to make them soon!
- 1 lb breakfast sausage (we used Jimmy Dean, and of course, the Hot variety)
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup Bisquick (or other pancake mix)
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- mustard, for serving (we used a creole mustard, but I think any brown, tangy mustard would be great)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place sausage, cream cheese, Bisquick and cheddar in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Turn mixer on and let it run, scraping the bottom and sides as necessary, until ingredients are well combined. Alternatively you can do this by hand, but I imagine that’s a bit more work to get it well combined.
- Roll into 1-inch balls – aim for something that can be eaten in 1 or 2 bites.
- Place balls in a high rimmed dish. We used a couple Pyrex casserole dishes. They give a lot of grease run off, so a baking sheet might get too messy. They can be placed fairly close together, since they don’t spread much.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, until browned on top.
- Serve warm or at room temperature, along with mustard for dipping.
Makes about 35 balls.