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chorizo meatballs

Portuguese chorizo is flavored pork that’s been slowly dried over smoke which gives the meat a really unique flavor. Here it’s served as bite-sized appetizers with goat cheese stuffed inside for an unexpected surprise.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/8 yellow onion, finely diced
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound ground chorizo
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon plain breadcrumbs, divided
1-2 ounces goat cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium oven-proof sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine chorizo, thyme, about 1/2 egg (discard extra egg or save for later use) and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon breadcrumbs. Gently mix to combine. When onions are cool, add to chorizo mixture and combine. Add more egg or breadcrumbs if necessary.
3. Form chorizo mixture into six round meatballs. With your thumb, gently make an indent into center of each meatball and insert of piece of goat cheese. Enclose cheese, reshaping as necessary to fully enclose all of cheese.
4. Clean out sauté pan and heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.
5. In a shallow dish, add remaining 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Roll each meatball in breadcrumbs, shaking off excess. Coat well and continue until all meatballs are finished. Add to pan and cook (in batches if necessary) until lightly browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Place pan in oven and finish cooking meatballs until cooked through, turning halfway, about 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 meatballs.

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