January should be said as “Jan-YOU-ary” as its focus seems to be on creating a new you, a better you. Sure many of us have resolutions. Ours involve unplugging more often (get off the iPad and computer!), focusing on community, finally organizing the scary boxes labeled “important files” in our office (they’ve only been piled there for a year), and drinking all the beer and wine that’s left over from our New Year’s Eve party (not by ourselves of course, we’ll invite friends, maybe the whole neighborhood since we’re focusing on community in 2014 afterall).
“Jan-YOU-ary” seems to be all about green smoothies, spinach and kale salads, juice cleanses and breaking away from the indulgences enjoyed over the holidays. This recipe isn’t a green smoothie, but there is green involved and it’s a lot more satisfying.
We served these lamb meatball sliders at our New Year’s Eve party and they were a HIT! We got the idea from the Kitchn’s post on throwing a “Glam Winter Cocktail Party”. Having a glam winter cocktail party sounds really adult. Our party wasn’t like that. But these meatballs were awesome. You could say they glammed up the bash at the Blue Door.
These meaty-balls are made with lamb and beef, woah mama. We added ginger and chili powder for an unexpected and delightful warm zing to the tastebuds. The chimichurri made with cilantro, parsley, shallots, garlic and olive oil cools everything down.
We served the meatballs on ciabatta rolls that we had warmed in the oven. And based on our friends’ raving reviews, the toasty bun is really what put these meatballs over the top and into complete awesomeness.
What’s even more awesome about these meatballs is that they are the ultimate quick freezer meal. They can be frozen uncooked for up to 3 months, or frozen cooked for up to 1 month. Heat ‘em up and you have a great weeknight meal in minutes!
Happy “Jan-U-ary.” Happy Double Dipping!
Lamb Meatball Sliders with Chimichurri – recipe adapted from The Kitchn
Makes 30 sliders
For the meatballs:
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
2 small onions, finely grated
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
5 garlic cloves, crushed
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chile powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons ground almonds
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup flour
For the chimichurri:
1 small jalapeño pepper
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon capers (or 3 anchovies)
1 shallot, sliced
1 cup lightly packed fresh Italian parsley
1 cup lightly packed cilantro
1 cup chopped chives
1 tablespoon oregano
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon water
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the buns:
Store-bought sourdough dinner rolls (we used Trader Joes ciabatta rolls)
Mix together the beef and lamb until they are well combined. Using your hands or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, stir in the onion, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, chile powder, cilantro, almonds, eggs, and flour.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Divide the meat mixture into 1/4-cup portions and roll into evenly-shaped meatballs. Space evenly on a half-sheet pan and roast the meatballs for 20 minutes or until just barely pink in the middle.
For the chimichurri, add jalepeño, garlic, capers, shallots, parsley, cilantro, chives, and oregano to a food processor. Pour in half the olive oil and the sherry vinegar, then pulse 6 to 7 times. Add the rest of the olive oil, and blend for 1 minute. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the sliders, brush buns with olive oil and toast at 450° for 3 to 5 minutes or till golden brown. Spread a spoonful of chimichurri on the bottom part of the bun, then add a meatball. Serve immediately.
On freezing & refrigerating:
• Meatball mixture can be made up to 12 hours in advance and refrigerated.
• Meatball mixture can be frozen, uncooked, for 3 months.
• To freeze the cooked meatballs, place them on a large baking tray and freeze them for 2 hours or until solid. Then remove them and put them in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat on a baking sheet in a 300°F oven until warmed through, turning the oven up to broil at the end for 5 minutes to re-crisp the edges.