Your Life A to Z Recipe: Thursday, January 15th, 2015: Sesame-Chicken Ginger Meatballs and Blue Cheese Bacon Dip by Maggie Norris

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Sesame-Chicken Ginger Meatballs
Adapted from Food & Wine
Yields: 4 servings

Canola oil, for brushing
1 pound ground chicken, preferably dark meat
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup minced scallions, plus thinly sliced scallions for garnish
3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 large egg
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce

Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoons honey
1 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
1 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoons sesame oil

Preheat the oven to 450° and brush a rimmed baking sheet with canola oil. In a large bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients except the chile sauce. Form the mixture into 1 1/2 -inch balls and arrange on the baking sheet. Brush the meatballs with canola oil and bake for about 13 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Transfer the meatballs to a platter and serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce
Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, sesame oil in a bowl.

Blue Cheese-Bacon Dip
Adapted from
Yields: 8 servings

6 bacon slices, chopped
2 garlic clove, minced
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons plus two teaspoons half-and-half
4 ounces creamy blue cheese (preferably Cambozola)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
Flatbread or assorted crackers

Cook chopped bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat 10 minutes or until crisp. Drain bacon, and set aside. Add minced garlic to skillet, and sauté 1 minute.

Beat cream cheese  and blue cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add half-and-half, beating until combined. Stir in bacon, garlic and chives. Spoon mixture evenly into baking dish.

Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Sprinkle evenly with chopped walnuts, and serve with grape clusters and flatbread or assorted crackers.