Allspice, Cumin, Coriander, Paprika, Turmeric,Ginger.
In the Middle East and parts of Africa, they form ground meat mixed with herbs and a wonderful mixture of spices around a metal stick ( or” kabob ” ). While you can use any meat in this recipe such as the traditional lamb or a mixture of lamb, beef or pork, I use ground Turkey or Chicken (depending on what’s on sale) and instead of grilling on a stick, I make meatballs and bake them on top of either wax paper or a “Silpat” (a silicone mat that you put onto a baking sheet to keep the food from sticking). You could also fry in oil if you like. These make great appetizers for parties. Just roll them smaller and serve with toothpicks. And you can put any combination of spices inside (jerk seasoning, Chinese 5-Spice etc…) to change them up!
When I used to consult a while back and was working at Legoland, California, I shared with a chef there that the night before, I had made the worst Turkey Burgers – ever. They were dry and tasteless. She shared with me that the simple secret to moist Turkey Burgers or Meatballs was to add ground or chopped vegetables into the mix because they added both flavor and moisture to the ground poultry which otherwise, cooks up dry. Yet, you don’t have to follow this recipe precisely. You can adjust some of the spices, herbs and vegetables as you like. That’s what makes it easy.
Chopped vegetables add moisture to Turkey Meatballs or Burgers.
- 1 to 1 1/2 lb. Ground Lamb or other (I use Turkey).
- 1/2 Yellow Onion
- 1 Carrot (if you’re using ground poultry, otherwise optional)
- 1 Celery Stalk (if you’re using ground poultry, otherwise optional)
- 1/2 Bell Pepper (if you’re using ground poultry, otherwise optional)
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1/2 Inch Fresh Ginger (skin peeled or cut off. We prepeel and freeze and grate to make it easy. Can be omitted since also using ground ginger as a spice. But I love the flavor).
- Handful of Fresh Cilantro Leaves
- Handful of Fresh Mint Leaves
- 1 teaspoon each (Ground Allspice (or Cinnamon), Coriander, Cumin, Paprika, Turmeric, Ginger).
- Squeeze of 1/2 a Lemon (optional).
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup Bread Crumbs or if eating gluten free, substitute gf oats or gf bread crumbs).
Blend all vegetables in a blender or food processor.
Lemon Juice is optional but adds a nice flavor.
Place meat in a bowl and add the spices, egg and bread crumbs. Mix with your hands lightly. Do not overmix or it will make the meatballs tough.
Mix & Bake. Done.
Roll into balls and place on a baking sheet covered with wax paper or a silicone “silpat” sheet (prevents the meatballs from sticking). Or, you can fry in a pan if you like as well. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes.
My little rescue Maltese / ShihTzu hyrid puppy, Bella photobombing again.
Usually I drizzle Tamari and Sesame Oil on top but this night, I served with an Indian Raita sauce and a simple salad. Delish!