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Monday, June 8, 2015

Chile Cumin Meatballs

So in case you were wondering, here is how I function:
While writing about one recipe, I may need to link back to a different one, which is a good way for me to reread or to just not forget some of my concoctions of the past.  This leads me into rediscovery mode and urges start sprouting up here and there.  I become fixated on making that fixation become reality and my mind races through all the delicious things I'll be preparing.
Then, at the last minute, while still fixating on the initial idea, I completely change directions and do a whole different thing and it ends up bringing out of me things I had forgotten.
This recipe is the different thing.
The other day, while I was going on and on about black cardamom and how it's crazy different from green cardamom, I searched for that one other time I had used it.  Chole Masala became my fixation and I prepared some chickpeas that I would let soak overnight.  Since that moment I've been hallucinating the taste of chickpeas cooked in a tea and spice broth with an almost smokey flavor all Indian style.  As I changed the chickpea soaking water, I imagined crushing one with my tongue and the roof of my mouth and letting its creamy goodness explode.
Up until the moment I placed them in my crockpot, I thought I was making Chole... and then I decided I wanted to make Lebanese style meatballs and have hummus on my plate.
I didn't actually search for this recipe.  I must have seen it peripherally while scrolling through my blog feed which had mostly Chinese recipes on it and my brain must have captured that one non-Asian recipe of the list and tricked me into soaking those chickpeas for this exact purpose.
Thank you brain, but I'm not completely forgetting about Chole, ok?
Adapted from Seamus Mullen via Lottie+Doof
Yields 27-30 meatballs
1 1/4 lb ground lamb (I used a mixture of veal and beef)
1/4 onion, minced
8 cloves garlic, grated
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sage
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp rice flour
2-3 Tbsp olive oil to cook
1.  Mix together with your hands or a food processor.  I always use my hands..
 2.  Shape meatballs into 1 1/2 inch balls, then cook in olive oil until brown.  You may want to do this in batches.

Chile Sauce
3 dried pasilla chiles
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1/4 cup mix of red and white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp paprika
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
1.  Dry roast the pasillas, cumin seeds, and crushed red pepper until fragrant, then grind.
2.  Blend everything together while streaming in the olive oil a little at a time.  You may not use all the oil.  Bring it to desired thickness.

Plate Assembly
Sexy Salad:
1 sliced cucumber
chopped mint and parsley
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 chopped tomato
1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
juice from 1 lime
drizzle olive oil
few cracks black pepper
feta (Gazi)
Additional Ingredients:
beaten yogurt stirred with 1 clove grated garlic to sit under the meatballs
red pepper flakes
hummus with extra virgin olive oil
That one on the far right is Falafel.. you mix your Mezze however you want, right?
Things I didn't do but would work well:
romaine lettuce and/or man'ouche for wrapping

These were as much a pleasure to eat as they were to conceive..

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