I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love being a blogger. When I first started this little blog, it was basically to catalog my recipes. I was floored when I got my first comment (from someone I didn’t even know!) and continue to be amazed at how many people I’ve met through blogging. One of those people is my good friend, Courtney, who blogs at Cook Like a Champion. Courtney is pretty damn awesome. We chat via email on a daily basis and I really, really wanted to surprise her with a visit last weekend when a few other bloggers went, but I just couldn’t swing it because I didn’t have a job (something I have since remedied, phew).
Courtney (as you may have guessed by the title of this post) is pregnant! She is expecting her first baby—a girl—early in March. I couldn’t be more thrilled for her and her husband, Eric. She is going to be an amazing mom.
In food blogger fashion, many of us are getting together to celebrate Courtney virtually. Josie at Pink Parsley is hosting this baby shower, and I’m so happy to be participating!
I saw these chicken meatballs on Tastespotting not long ago, and they looked perfect. They’re healthy, pretty, and full of goat cheese. You can’t really go wrong. Like me, Courtney is a big goat cheese fan, so I knew I had to make these for her shower. I debated on how to present them, and ultimately ended up making them very portable and shower-friendly by placing them on crostini. The bread is lightly toasted in the oven and then rubbed with garlic, topped with a basil leaf, a spoonful of marinara, and then the meatball. I had originally intended on just doing a basil puree, but I liked the pop of red from the marinara, and felt these could use a little sauce, anyway.
Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Meatball Crostini
Meatballs adapted from Inspired Taste
1 lb. ground chicken
1 /2 cup breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers (about half a large pepper)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
freshly ground pepper to taste
3 oz. goat cheese
1 Tbsp. olive oil (optional)
20-25 slices of French bread, cut about 1/3″ wide
olive oil, for drizzling
1 clove garlic, halved
20-25 small leaves of basil
2/3 cup marinara sauce
Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil (spray lightly with oil, if using foil).
To make the meatballs, lightly mix together the first 10 ingredients (through ground pepper). Form into 1-1.5″ meatballs (you’ll get about 25) and place on the baking sheet.
Break the goat cheese into several small pieces and place one piece on the top of each meatball, pressing down lightly. Drizzle with olive oil, if using (it will help with browning) and bake about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Meanwhile, place the bread slices on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes or until crisp (just put them in during the last 5 minutes the meatballs are baking).
After you take the crostini out of the oven, rub it with the cut side of the garlic clove, while the bread is still hot.
To assemble: Place 1 basil leaf on top of each slice of toast. Top with about 2 tsp. of marinara sauce and 1 meatball.