A Rose Bowl Party

On January 1st, New Year's Day, Ohio State (my favorite team) played in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. Many years ago when Mike and I lived in southern California, his parents came to visit and his Mom and I went to watch the Rose Bowl Parade. We took a bus up to Pasadena with about 50 other crazy people at 6 in the morning. We had reserved seats on the bleachers and we actually saw the entire parade – all the paper flowers and animation you can imagine.

This year we are nowhere near California, so we invited some friends over for a Rose Bowl party and to watch our Buckeyes win (something they often have trouble doing in bowl games). Well they did win and I wanted to share my menu with you in case you are having a Super Bowl party or you just like to eat.

First of all, tradition says that on New Year’s Day you must have some sauerkraut!! It brings good luck and good fortune and all that karma stuff that you don’t want to mess with. Since I wasn’t serving a formal dinner, I used the sauerkraut in some DELICIOUS Sauerkraut Balls with spicy mustard.

Here is the recipe and a photo I quickly snapped before the guests snapped up the balls.

Sauerkraut Balls

8 oz. sausage (like Bob Evans or Jimmy Dean – regular not the spicy)
1/3 c. onion finely chopped and I do mean minced
16 oz. sauerkraut that is chopped and drained but not rinsed
2 tbs. dry plain bread crumbs
4 oz. softened cream cheese
2 tbs. chopped parsley
1 garlic clove finely minced
1 tsp. yellow mustard
¼ tsp. pepper
½ c. flour
2 eggs, well beaten
¼ c. milk
1 c. or more dry plain bread crumbs
Oil for frying

Sautee sausage and onion until meat is cooked through and crumbled into tiny pieces. This gets annoying, but keep chopping at it with a spoon. Drain fat. Add rest of ingredients EXCEPT the flour, eggs, milk and 1c. crumbs. REFRIGERATE!

When firm (I refrigerate a few hours) shape into small balls (I use my melon baller thing), and coat balls with flour. Dip into milk, then into crumbs. Fry in medium hot oil until crispy, turning to crisp all sides. Just before serving, bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

*Becky Knows Everything: Here are a few tips, because frankly this recipe is great to eat and serve but not so easy to find time to make. These tips come from my good friend Pat Miller who makes the best sauerkraut balls ever. You must refrigerate the mix or you absolutely cannot form it into balls. They just fall apart. Make the balls small since once you coat them with flour and egg and crumbs they get so BIG. Make the day before or early in the day and refrigerate and bake when the guests arrive. They also freeze well. Serve with a spicy brown Dijon style mustard.

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