Ingredients

Half-ounce Cooked Perfect Turkey meatballs - 18
Good quality mayonnaise - 1/3 cup
Whole berry cranberry sauce - 2/3 cup
Apple cider vinegar - 1 tablespoon
Tart apple such as Honey Crisp, thinly sliced - 1 or 2
Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, thinly sliced
Fresh baby arugula
Potato rolls or small soft buns - 12
Softened butter

Directions

1. Place meatballs in a microwave safe dish. Heat on full power for 4-5 minutes, stir and heat again for one minute.
2. Allow to rest until cool enough to touch. Cut in half.
3. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, cranberry sauce and vinegar. Set aside.
4. To prepare sandwiches, spread cranberry mayonnaise on the insides of both sides of the rolls.
5. Layer on halved Cooked Perfect Turkey Meatballs, flat side down.
6. Top meatballs with sliced apples, followed by the cheese and baby arugula.
7. Top with the other half of the roll.
8. Preheat electric panini press or cast iron pan.
9. Lightly butter one side of the slider and place on the pan or press, butter side down.
10. Lightly butter remaining side of the roll and press.
11. Cook until roll is lightly browned, cheese is melted and sandwich is heated thoroughly.
12. Makes 12 sliders, enjoy!

*Recipe can be made with any style of Cooked Perfect meatballs.

Recipe courtesy of Laurie Lufkin, Host of Inspired Cooking, 2010.

Where do contest winning recipe ideas come from? Laurie Lufkin successfully answered this question again and won $1,000 in a recipe contest by Cooked Perfect Meatballs with this super snack. The core of her inspiration was to make a cranberry mayo to go with what else, turkey. The New England influence did not stop there, since she also added slices of cheddar cheese and a Cortland apple.

The official name for these prize-winners is Cooked Perfect New England Turkey Meatball Mini Slider Paninis. Using meatballs already made make these real easy but the combination of cranberry sauce, apple slices, extra sharp cheddar cheese and homemade cranberry mayonnaise sauce will make sure you score a lot of points at your super bowl party.

Slice and brown meatballs on a grill. While they brown, prepare the mayonnaise and slice the apples and cheese. Layer ingredients on the roll and grill the whole sandwich panini style until warm and the ingredients have all melted together.

Today, I'm going to make for you something a little bit different. I came up with this recipe, because I saw a contest from Cooked Perfect meatballs. They are a local company, and they produce a whole line of precooked, frozen meatballs.

Sure, you can have spaghetti and meatballs. You can put them on a pizza. You could probably make, like, a meatball sub. But I put my thinking cap on, went and bought some products, tried them, and came up with this great recipe called, Cooked Perfect NewEngland Meatball Panini Sliders. They are so delicious. And they encapsulate all of the flavors of New England.

I have Vermont cheddar, nice and sharp. I have crisp apples. I have cranberry sauce. And I have turkey meatballs. So I'm going to put together this great sandwich for you. This is an easy recipe that you can do very quickly. And your guests will absolutely love it.

So here we go. Very simple. We start out with the Cooked Perfect meatballs. I cut them in half. And these are the turkey meatballs. They come in a bunch of other flavors, but I prefer the turkey. So I have my grill here. And if you don't have one of these things, that's fine, too, because you can do this on the stove-- not a problem-- just in a skillet.

What I'm going to do is brown up my meatballs. Like I said, they're already cooked. So I'm just going to put them on here. And we're going to get some little grill marks on here from our little portable grill. What we're going to be doing is we're going to be putting them on these tiny little potato rolls.

And the potato rolls are little. And you can fit about two, 2 and 1/2, of the half meatballs on here. It makes a lot. It's a great thing to serve to a crowd. And because this grill heats from top and bottom, it's a time-saver, as well.

So I am going to put down the top on that and just let them do their thing-- one minute, two minutes-- I just want them heated through with a little bit of a crisp on them.

So we're going to set that aside, and we're going to make a sauce. I was thinking, hmm, what goes well with turkey? Cranberry. So I'm making a cranberry mayo. This particular cranberry mayo is so simple to make, and it's really good with chicken, pork, really anything. And it's good on your post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich, as well.

So I have a cup of whole berry cranberry sauce. If you don't like the whole berry, use the jelly. I have 1/2 cup of mayonnaise. And this is going to make way more than I need for the sandwiches, but it keeps forever and a day in the refrigerator.

And I have a tablespoon of cider vinegar. I like to add the cider vinegar, because it adds an additional bit of acidity. We'll probably switch to the whisk here, just to get it nicely incorporated. And it's a pretty color.

You can try it, and say, does it need salt and pepper? Yep. I'm going to put a little pepper in-- nice and tangy between that cranberry and the vinegar-- a little bit of pepper, just a hint of salt. But remember, mayonnaise has salt in it, so you want to go easy on the salt.

So I can smell the turkey meatballs cooking. It smells like Thanksgiving in here. It smells fantastic. And you can see, they got a little bit of brownness on the top and a little bit a grill marks on the bottom. Pretty clever, huh?

So I'm just going to take them all off. And this is going to make a lot of sandwiches, because you only need two per sandwich, maybe 2 and 1/2. You can cut them in half if you want to. Close this back down, so it stays warm.

And I need some nice apple. When I was creating this recipe, I was thinking, it needs a little crunch. It needs a little something, a little sweetness. So what else would I choose but a nice Cortland apple. Just peel this. I'm going to cut it into thin slices. OK.

We have all the components together, and we're ready to assemble the sandwiches. I have these nice, soft potato rolls. You can use any other rolls. You could little ciabatta rolls. You could use whatever bread that you like, but I like these. They're so yummy.

I'm going to put a little bit of our cranberry mayo on. You can see those whole cranberries. Then I'm going to put on two pieces of the meatballs. If you want, and you're feeling clever, you put three. Put three if you want. Go right ahead.

Then I'm going to put on two slices of Vermont sharp cheddar. And for a little texture and crunch, some fresh spinach and a slice of apple, the nice crispy apples. I'll put those right on top of the cheese. And then I put the spinach leaves on top of the apple.

You can use arugula. You could use any type of a little bit bitter green you wanted to. I think the spinach is terrific, and it adds a nice color, as well. Put the cover back on. Put the cover on the sandwich. Well, I think I have it upside down, but that's OK.

Then I want to get my knife and just put the tiniest bit of butter on. It's a little tricky, but it's OK. Put it back on my grill like this. Put a tiny bit of butter right here on the top, and repeat four more times. Because four sandwiches will fit on this grill.

And here we go. They're going to have a nice nap in here. And the cheese is going to get all melted. And everything's going to heat all through. And it's going to be the most delicious simple sandwich you have ever had.

The timer just went off. It was five minutes at 300 degrees. But if you're doing it on the stove, you just sort of use your judgment. When you see the cheese start to melt, you're in good shape. Look at those. Delicious. Take them off very carefully, because there are hot.

Push them back together a tiny bit sometimes. And I have these fancy toothpicks with a fresh cranberry on them, just for a little visual interest and to hold them together til they cool a little bit. There we go. Well, that one wanted to come apart a little bit, but it's an easy fix. There.

And there you have it, Cooked Perfect New England Turkey Slider Meatball Paninis. So I poured myself a glass of sparkling cider, and I'm going to try my $1,000 sandwich. I like it already. So let's see how this one came out. Mmmm, very, very delicious. You can taste the turkey meatball and the cranberry, sharp cheddar cheese. Just perfect.

What a delicious sandwich, and it's so easy to make. Cooked Perfect New England Turkey Slider Meatball Paninis. Let me know what you think, if you make it.

Meatball Slider Paninis
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