Chili Meatball Bites with Cheesy Dipper

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 8:00 AM, October 9, 2009

Aired October 9, 2009

Serves Serves 4 as a snack
2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and ground black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 cups crushed tortilla chips (just use the bits in the bottom of the bag)
1 14.5-ounce can kidney beans, drained, rinsed and patted dry
1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup beef stock
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400F.

Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic to the pan, and cook until the veggies are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the spices to the pan and cook another minute. Season the veggies with salt and pepper, and transfer to a bowl to cool.

Spread the crushed chips out on a plate or in a pie dish.

When the veggies are cool, add the beans and meat to the bowl, season with salt and pepper and combine. Shape the mixture into two-bite-sized balls and roll each of them in the crushed chips. Arrange the meatball bites on a baking sheet, drizzle lightly with EVOO and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

While the meatballs are baking, place a pot over medium heat with the butter. When the butter has melted, sprinkle the flour over top and cook about 1 minute. Whisk the stock and milk into the butter-flour mixture and bring up to a bubble. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat and whisk in the cheese until melted.

Serve the chili meatball bites with the cheesy dipper alongside.