Tag Archives: meatballs

Lamb Meatballs with Herbvocado Sauce

2 Aug

I LOVE lamb and am lucky enough to have a pretty good supply of it in my freezer.  Right now, I have quite a few packages of ground lamb and they are practically burning a hole in my apron pocket.  Last week, I gave lamb burgers a try.  While I found the flavor delicious, they did not hold a nice flat patty shape, and instead puffed up like giant meatballs.  They were tasty, but a little hard to eat.  So this week when I decided to give it another go, I thought dude, why fight it.

Let them be meatballs.

This recipe is super easy, takes just a few minutes of prep, and only a few more to cook.  I served the meatballs with a some sides – pita bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, and kalamata olives – and a healthy serving of Herbvocado Sauce.  The meatballs make a tasty dinner but would also be great to serve as appetizers.  Everybody loves meatballs!  Well, not my kids, but that might have more to do with the MEATBALL OVERDOSE OF 2007 more than anything else.

Lamb Meatballs with Herbvocado Sauce
Serving size: 5 or 6 meatballs + 1/4 c. sauce
Serves: 6

MEATBALLS
1 lb. ground lamb
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 T. fresh herbs, finely chopped (mixture of mint, oregano, parsley)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

SAUCE
6 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 T. light mayo
1 T. lemon juice
2 T. fresh herbs, finely chopped (mixture of mint, oregano, parsley)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl combine together ground lamb, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, until the herbs and garlic are evenly distributed.  Form meatballs about the size of a small superball (little bigger than a quarter in diameter).  This should make about 30-32 meatballs at this size.

Over medium heat, place meatballs in a large skillet and partially cover.  Cook for about 5 minutes and turn.  Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for an additional 5 minutes, then turn.  Cook for another 1-3 minutes until the meatballs are cooked all the way through.  Take care not to overcook or they will get a bit dry.

Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set on a paper towel covered plate to soak up some of the grease.

While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce.  In a food processor add avocado, garlic, mayo, and lemon juice.  Pulse until starting to blend together.  Add Greek yogurt and pulse until smooth.  Remove from food processor and add herbs, stirring until well mixed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve meatballs with a side of sauce.

Estimated calories:  204 cal/serving

Print it: Lamb Meatballs with Herbvocado Sauce

Advertisements

Flashback Meatballs

1 Jun

There are a few party recipes that were very popular when I was a kid, and every once in a while I really crave them.  Sometimes nothing can compare to a big bowl of Chex Mix (the original recipe, not any of the variations), ripple potato chips with french onion dip, cream cheese topped with chili sauce and crab from a can, or meatballs cooked in a sauce made with grape jelly.  It’s this last recipe that I’ve searched for the longest.  When I’ve asked people how to make it, it’s always the same answer – one bottle of chili sauce and some grape jelly (amount varies).  It’s never quite as good as I remember it as a kid, but maybe it’s because now I’m the one making it.  Food always seems to taste better when someone else makes it for you.

I make a lot of meatballs, but the one thing I don’t like about making them is that they can be kind of tedious.  So when I found a recipe last year for meatballs that can be cooked in a crock pot and don’t require any pre-cooking, I was thrilled.  They were pretty good, but the flavor wasn’t quite what I had in mind.  And, the recipe called for 1.5 lbs of ground beef and since the beef in my freezer is in 1 lb. packages, that strikes me as completely inconvenient.  To fit the size of the beef packages in my freezer and to bring back that old grape jelly-laden memory, I made a few changes.

These meatballs are darn easy to make and very tasty.  Throw some on a plate, grab a pile of toothpicks, close your eyes and you’ll feel like you’re back in 1982.

Flashback Meatballs
Serving size: 3 balls
Serves: 10

1 c. grape jelly
1 bottle chili sauce
1 slice white bread
1 lb ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper

In a crock pot, mix together jelly and chili sauce.  Fill the chili sauce bottle about 1/3 full with water and add to the sauce.  Stir until well combined.  Set crock pot to low.

In the white bread to a food processor and pulse into crumbs.

In a large bowl, combine beef, breadcrumbs, egg, salt and pepper.  Form into small-sized (about 30) meatballs.

There are two methods for cooking the meatballs:

Slow method: Add the raw meatballs to the crock pot and gently stir to coat with sauce.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, stirring occasionally.

Speed method: Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and cook meatballs for 30 minutes at 350° F, turning halfway through cooking.  Transfer the meatballs to the crock pot and stir to cover with sauce.  Heat on low for at least an hour to allow the meatballs to sauce up.

Estimated calories:  240 cal/serving

Print it: Flashback Meatballs