Recipe: Spicy Meatballs

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Three years ago, I received a review copy of One Good Dish by David Tanis, whom I absolutely adore. One of the first things I cooked out of the book was his recipe for Tunisian Meatballs. It was a weeknight, my sister and her husband were coming over, and I thought, "Meatballs, no problem!" However, the recipe as written was an awful lot of work, and we ended up eating very, very late. It was a bad foot to start off with the book, but the flavor of those meatballs was delicious enough to leave an impression.

A couple weeks back, faced with a pound of ground turkey, I once again thought, "Meatballs, no problem!" and this time, it really was. With a faint memory of the Tunisian Meatballs, I grabbed my copy of One Good Dish. I didn't have all of the ingredients, but we were talking about meatballs—not exactly precise science, so I went ahead. They turned out great. Really great.

Then tonight, I went to make the meatballs again, and didn't quite have the right ingredients (again!), but still ended up with a great dinner. I thought to myself, "This is a really forgiving and wonderful recipe—I should blog about it." So, I sat down to write this post. To my amazement, I discovered, there was a second page to Tanis's recipe that I had completely ignored the last two times I made the recipe! Seriously, I'd been merely glancing at the ingredient list, unconcerned with directions. (Again, we're talking about meatballs! I knew I could bake them instead of pan-frying them.) So it turns out, these yummy meatballs that I have cooked twice aren't really what David Tanis had in mind at all, but, gosh, they were delicious. So here is the "recipe," but be loose with it—it is (very) forgiving.

Spicy Meatballs (adapted from David Tanis)

1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
generous splash milk
1 lb. ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
2-4 garlic cloves minced
1 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
2 t. smoked paprika
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground tumeric
1/2 ground cumin
1 c. chopped cilantro (about half a large bunch)

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Combine all the above in a large bowl (I use my hands). Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 15-20 minutes.


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