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Florida Strawberry and Sweet Chili Cocktail Meatballs

servings 4

Ingredients

1 cup fresh Florida strawberries, hulled, rinsed and diced

¾ cup Florida strawberry jam

1 pound Florida lean ground beef

1 cup Florida yellow squash, grated fine

1 cup Florida zucchini, grated fine

1 cup Florida mushroom, chopped fine

1 cup Florida carrot, shredded fine

1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1 egg

½ cup milk

1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning (your favorite)

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

2 cups sweet chili sauce

Vegetable oil for cooking

Preparation

In a large mixing bowl, combine egg, milk, cheese, seasoning blend, and panko. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, stir mixture again. Add the ground beef and vegetables to the bread crumb mixture. Continue to stir mixture, until everything is uniformly incorporated.

Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Roll the beef mixture into bite sized balls. Working in batches and making sure not to overcrowd the pan, cook the meatballs in a small amount of vegetable oil. The meatballs need to reach an internal temperature of 165 to be completely done. Continue to cook meatballs in sauté pan until they are browned all over and are completely done. Drain any excess fat from the pan and turn the heat to medium low. Add the strawberry jam and sweet chili sauce to the cooked meatballs. Stir and simmer the meatballs and sauce until combined and heated throughout. Add the fresh strawberries to the meatballs and sauce. Gently stir in fresh strawberries and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh chopped chives if desired.

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