Friday, October 11, 2013

Curried Meatballs

Meatballs are fun and easy to make and are usually a big hit with kids. But often they can be boring, especially when they're always made the same way: with the typical tomato sauce and served over pasta. I mean, that can be good, but it can get old if that's the only way you ever serve them.

Making really good meatballs isn't rocket science. It's really as easy as just spicing them up the way you like them. That's what makes them so great - their versatility. You can take them into any sort of direction. I also prefer making my own because I know exactly what's in them. Most store-bought meatballs contain breadcrumbs and yeast extracts, which I'd like to avoid. We're also on a low-carb eating plan, so these are perfect.

I've been experimenting with curried meatballs and find them really good. We had them for dinner again last night. You can make a curry sauce to go over them, but I served them with curried ketchup on the side. I found a bottle of it at Fresh & Easy (see photo at right), but you can certainly make your own by taking regular ketchup and adding a bit of curry powder to it. Adds a little zing!

Last night I wanted some caramelized onions with my meatballs, so I started making those first because they take about 45 minutes. Simply cook a sliced onion in a little oil and butter, on low, until the onion is reduced down considerably and is a lovely shade of golden brown. Do NOT burn them!

While your onions are cooking, make your meatballs. Some meatball recipes add an egg to bind everything together. I don't find I need that. Maybe it's if you add the breadcrumbs that you need to add the egg, I'm not sure, but if you want to add it, by all means, do.

Curried Meatballs

1-1/2 lbs. ground beef or turkey (include the dark meat so they stay moist and flavorful)
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. chili powder*
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or more)
salt and pepper (I used white pepper for a little more kick)

Mix all the ingredients together with your hands, really working the spices into the meat. Form into balls (the bigger they are, the longer they take to cook).

Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a wide sauté pan and add your meatballs when the oil is hot. Brown them on all sides, then cover and cook another 5 minutes. Cut one in half to check if it's cooked all the way through. If not, continue cooking a few more minutes over low heat.

Serve with your caramelized onions and curry ketchup.

* If you have a curry powder blend on hand, then substitute that for the coriander through chili powder.

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