The Ball-Off was a great success! I know you've been waiting on pins and needles for the winning recipes to be posted. Well, you're in luck and will find them below (paired with my less than appetizing food photography). Everything seriously tasted better than it looked, I swear. Even though I didn't win any prizes, I've also included my recipe for Bacon Kale Feta Balls. I like to think I earned an honorable mention :)
Best Savory - Arancini al pesto - Kurt
(Maybe one day Kurt will give us an English translation...Until then, running the recipe through Google Translate is pretty entertaining.)
Best Overall - Buffalo Chicken Balls - Liz and John
Best Sweet - Oreo Truffles - Liz and John (total power couple!)
Bacon Kale Feta Balls (gluten free!)
1 lb thick cut bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 big bunch of fresh kale, maybe 4-6 cups, torn/chopped into small pieces
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium red onion, diced
3 cups Rice (or Corn) Chex cereal, crushed (use breadcrumbs if you and gluten get along)
Gluten free flour (or regular, all-purpose)
4-6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 400° F. Sauté the bacon pieces in a large pan until nice and crispy. Transfer the bacon bits to a paper towel on a plate to soak off some grease. Once the bacon cools, dice into small little pieces. Drain all but a couple tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan and sauté the onion. After a few minutes add the garlic. Cook for another minute then add your kale and mix it all together. The kale will overwhelm the pan at first but it wilts fairly quickly. Use a cover if your pan has it and the kale will steam and cook down even faster. Once wilted, remove from heat. In a large bowl, mix together your kale mixture, bacon, cereal, and eggs. Sprinkle in some flour, salt, pepper. Once combined, start shaping the mixture into 1" balls* adding a little feta cheese** to each one. Line the balls up on a cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm!
*When I started shaping the balls, I thought adding some flour to my hands would make them not sticky (like with baking). Wrong! Clean hands are the way to go! I would even suggest rinsing every 2-3 balls.
**Of course I forgot to add the feta until I had shaped all 437 balls (slight exaggeration) and neatly lined them up on the pan, so I had to go back and add it one by one. You could probably add the cheese to the mixture in the bowl and just make sure it gets evenly distributed.
Happy cooking! Or, rather, balling!