Herbed Meatballs in Coconut Milk

This is the first recipe I’ve cooked from my beautiful Aran Goyoaga book, Small Plates & Sweet Treats. It’s technically for lamb, but I don’t really do lamb. So ground turkey it was. When’s the last time you made meatballs?

Myself, I think meatballs can be a little tedious, if you have to pan-fry them. Last time I tried that, they were a little soft, and basically turned into patties. That’s kind of disappointing, if you’ve set your heart on a nice, round ball.

For these, I used my Pampered Chef cookie scoop and plopped them into the coconut milk one by one, and they poached/steamed themselves into perfection. The coconut flavor paired with the herbs makes me think of Vietnamese food, or possibly Thai. I didn’t serve it with anything, because this needed to be a quick meal before heading out for an evening of card-playing, but I’m sure they could stand up to a few sides. I can’t think of any right now – the brain is a little toasted.

The thing I love most about this recipe is how easy it is. Mix everything together, heat up the coconut milk, throw the meatballs in, and walk away for 20 minutes. Hello? Talk about a simple weeknight dinner!

HEBRED LAMB MEATBALLS IN COCONUT MILK

from Aran Goyoaga‘s Small Plates & Sweet Treats

Serves 4 to 6

1 lb. (450 g) ground lamb (or ground turkey)
2 slices (45 g) gluten-free bread, crumbled
1 clove garlic, grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. hot paprika (I also added a 1/4 tsp. cayenne, because my paprika is far from hot)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup (125 ml) whole-milk plain yogurt (I used Greek)
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a medium bowl, combine the lamb, bread, garlic, egg, parsley, mint, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, paprika, and black pepper. Mix with your hands. Do not overwork the meat or it will become tough when cooked. Make 1-inch meatballs and set them on a tray.
In a large shallow pan, bring the coconut milk and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to a low simmer over medium heat. Add the meatballs, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the yogurt and lemon juice and gently stir into the sauce to thicken it. Serve warm.

Joshua says: 10 out of 10, and I wholeheartedly agree. This is not your typical, meatballs-in-red-sauce type of thing. It’s so different, and I love feeling like I’m stretching our horizons. I topped each serving with extra chopped parsley and lemon zest. Yum. Make this.

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