I was checking the fridge and freezer and noticed a few ingredients that needed to be turned into ..something, and that something was a dipping sauce. And rather than buy bags of chips, I decided to make some meatballs with chicken breast meat. One sauce is a simple version of muhammara, and the other is an avocado/jalapeño/tomatillo Mexican sauce. The tomatillos and Mexican veggies and cheeses are found in all supermarkets here in Texas, but can be substituted. I would use green tomatoes instead of the tomatillos, for instance. If interested, there is another recipe in this blog for some chicken meatballs using fresh basil and some mozzarella cheese.
Chicken meatballs with dipping saucesJoumana Accad Mediterranean, Middle Eastern September 25, 2021 Main Dish, Condiments, Poultry, lowfat, chicken, meatballs, muhammara,
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
For the meatballs:
1 lb chicken breast meat, ground
1/3 to 1/2 cup grated cheese (can be parmesan or other type of hard cheese)
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
Spices: 1 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, pinch of cumin, pinch of allspice, pinch of black pepper, pinch of cardamom, pinch of mahlab (optional)
Salt, to taste
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil to grease the meatballs
Red pepper sauce aka muhammara
3 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
1 cup walnuts, soaked in water one hour and drained
1 tsp garlic paste (to taste), made of 4 garlic cloves mashed with a teaspoon of salt
2 or 3 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp tahini
salt, pepper, to taste
Avocado chile sauce
1 avocado, peeled and seeded
2 or 3 jalapeño chiles grilled, peeled and seeded
10 sprigs of cilantro (the equivalent of 1 cup of cilantro leaves)
3 or 4 tomatillos, peeled of their husks and grilled or broiled
1 small onion, broiled or grilled
2 or 3 garlic cloves, broiled or grilled
salt, to taste
1 lime, juiced
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a bowl, place the chicken meat and add the rest of the ingredients (except the olive oil). Mix all the ingredients well, shape into small balls and set on a greased cookie sheet or on a greased piece of foil.
- Brush the meatballs with olive oil (or spray them with olive oil). Bake the meatballs for about 10 minutes or until cooked. Serve warm with the dipping sauces.
To prepare the red pepper sauce (muhammara), place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and purée, tasting to adjust the seasoning.
To prepare the avocado jalapeño sauce, start ahead! Grill or broil the jalapenos, tomatillos, onion and garlic; peel them and seed the chiles. Cook the tomatillos, onions and garlic with a cup of water for 15 minutes then cool; transfer the content of the saucepan into the bowl of a food processor and add the cilantro, and purée. Add the avocado and a squeeze of lime and purée. Add some salt and taste to adjust. Keep the sauce in the fridge until needed.
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