Thursday, February 24, 2011

Moroccan Meatballs

Yields: 10 large meatballs
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 red onion, very finely chopped
1 lb. ground lamb
3 large garlic cloves, crushed through a press
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves,
  finely chopped, plus sprigs for garnish
2-3 Tbs. fine dried bread crumbs (I used Italian)
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more,
  to taste
Lemon wedges for squeezing and garnish

Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

Add the lamb, garlic, eggs, parsley, chopped mint, bread crumbs, cumin, cinnamon, the 1 tsp. salt and the 1/2 tsp. pepper to the bowl with the onion. Combine the ingredients thoroughly with your hands.
Fry a small pinch of the mixture, taste, and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into balls, rolling them very lightly in the palms of your hands. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook, turning once with tongs, until brown and crispy on both sides, about 20-30 minutes total. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the meatballs to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the fats. Squeeze some lemon juice over the meatballs and arrange the remaining lemon wedges and mint sprigs on a platter. Serve with Mediterranean Couscous.   

*Note: Mine got a little too brown because I got creative (aka didn't follow the recipe exactly) and decided to sear them on both sides in a skillet first to lock in the flavors before putting then in the oven. Also, the original recipe said to place under the broiler, but I decided to bake instead. I have included the link to the original recipe below.

Source: adapted from Williams-Sonoma
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