Red Zone

Tailgate with these tasty and spicy meatballs with a Mexican twist

This Spicy Mexican Meatballs dish gets its heat from jalapeños and chili poweder.
This Spicy Mexican Meatballs dish gets its heat from jalapeños and chili poweder. The Kansas City Star

You’ve heard the saying, “Mama mia! That’s a spicy meatball!” right? (If not, give it a Google.)

But do you know where it originated?

It’s the catchphrase from a 1969 commercial for Alka Seltzer.

There’s a tie-in here with this week’s tailgating recipe, and it’s not that the 0-10 Raiders give their fans heartburn, as true as that might be. No, the connection is that our dish of the week is — you guessed it — spicy meatballs.

And not just any meatballs, mind you, but spicy Mexican ones that get their moderate fire from chili powder and canned jalapeños.

Give them a try tonight for the Chiefs-Raiders game: They’re quick and easy to make and they’ll be gone just as fast.

Beer Pairing

Keeping with our M.O. of providing beer pairings aligned with the region of the team that the Chiefs are playing, we’re looking to Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale — a tried and true brew that’s been around a while and remains a fine go-to, whether you’re watching a Thursday Nighter from Oakland or taking in a Royals game at The K (it’s even available there). Sierra Nevada is headquartered in Chico, Calif., about three hours north of the Bay Area.

Craving More?

Digging this week’s recipe selection? You’ll love The Star’s Food section. Fill up on the latest edible inspirations at Kansas City’s No. 1 recipe source:

Spicy Mexican Meatballs

Makes 30 meatballs (about 15 appetizer servings)

1/2 pound 93 percent lean ground beef

1/2 pound ground turkey breast

2 egg whites

3/4 cup finely crushed baked tortilla chips

1/2 cup finely minced yellow onion

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

3 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeños, drained

1 cup canned red enchilada sauce, divided

Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray an 18- by-13-inch jelly roll pan with nonstick spray coating.

Mix together beef, turkey, egg whites, crushed chips, onion, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, jalapenos and 1/3 cup enchilada sauce in a large mixing bowl. Blend well and then shape into 1 1/2 -inch meatballs. Placemeatballs on prepared jelly roll pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

Carefully remove meatballs and place in a decorative heat-proof serving dish (about 11-by-8-inches). Drizzle with remaining enchilada sauce and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until meatballs are done and cooked to 165 degrees. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro before serving.

Per (two-meatball) serving: 72 calories (44 percent from fat), 3 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), 19 milligrams cholesterol, 5 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein, 123 milligrams sodium, less than 1 gram dietary fiber.

Note: Recipe developed for The Star by professional home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss.