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vegetarian buffalo “meatballs”

February 18, 2018

1 to 2 garlic cloves
1 (15-ounce) can white beans, rinsed, drained
1 package mushrooms
1 large egg
1 cup breadcrumbs, panko, pretzel crumbs, etc.
1 celery stalk (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, less if using seasoned breadcrumbs (recipe called for 1t but next time i will cut it in half)

sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
a ton of vinegar-based hot pepper sauce, like buffalo sauce, tabasco, or frank’s, to taste
a dash of pure maple syrup (optional)

dip:
1/4 – 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
a splash of kefir or buttermilk, to thin
half a package crumbled blue cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped chives

Preheat to 400°F. Oil a baking sheet or use a silpat.
Pulse garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, or chop by hand. Add celery, beans, and mushrooms and pulse until coarsely chopped, or chop by hand and mash beans coarsely with hands in a bowl. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in egg, panko, and 3/4 tsp. salt. Using your hands, roll tablespoonfuls of bean mixture into balls. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, packing them snugly. Roast veggie balls, turning halfway through, until firm and cooked through, 25–30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook butter, hot sauce, and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Stir until smooth; set aside.
Whisk sour cream, buttermilk, blue cheese, pepper, 1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. chives, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Top with remaining 1 tsp. chives.
Transfer veggie balls to a large bowl. Toss with hot sauce mixture and serve with blue cheese dip alongside.

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adapted from epicurious

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couldn’t shake a craving for buffalo wings, so i went for this. the dip is nothing new, but the veggie meatballs are a new recipe for me. i was surprised how well they stayed together – even though they did stick to the pan when i reheated them, they still stayed partially assembled. the texture is not meaty, and does suffer from a bit of the mush factor, but the mushrooms help to give it a little more bite, so it’s overall less mushy than other veggie burger recipes i have tried. there is something novel and fun about the “meatball” style, but it’s something i might try in lazy “veggie burger” form next time. i’ll make these again when i am craving restaurant-style junk food.

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