I had a few conflicting feelings about mixing meatballs with guacamole. First of all – I’m a biiiiiig guacamole fan, so for me, anything with guacamole will be a-ok at worst. But on the other hand, it seemed like meatballs and guacamole was a dish that wasn’t going to be easy to eat – meatballs aren’t really finger-foods and guacamole is a dip that requires some digital dexterity. In addition, while I am in full favor of spicing up traditional ground meat products, I feel pretty standard about meatballs – they go with tomato sauce, they go either in the midst of long slender noodles or between two pieces of submarine sandwich bread, and that’s how it’s done. Granted, they are made of the same base product as a burger patty, which can be done in so many varieties of meat with so many flavors, there’s something different about a circular roll of ground beef and a round, flat patty between two pieces of bread. Maybe it’s the bread, maybe it’s the shape. In any case, meatballs, in my mind, just don’t lend themselves the same manipulation that other ground meat products do.
In the end, though, I wanted guacamole and he wanted meatballs and so it had to be. I tried my own adaptation for “Spiced Meatballs with Guacamole” from Tamasin Day Lewis’s “Good Tempered Food: Food to Love, Leave and Linger Over”.
My initial concerns ended up both justified and denied: It’s true that meatballs are a little awkward to eat with guacamole. The roundness is not adequate for a finger food, and cutting and dipping a meatball is just wierd. A meatball, however, does not deserve to be repressed to living in a sandwich or marinara sauce, or with some bare-bones oregano and parsely and some bread crumbs. The meatball loves some new flavor!
Try this recipe these ways. too:
· Sausages: roll the meat into sausage-link shapes and dip them like French fries into the guacamole. a great casual appetizer
· Mexican Meatball Sanwiches: like a regular meatball sandwich, but use guacamole instead of marinara, and melt some mozzarella cheese!
· Tacos: Use as ground meat for tacos, plop on the guacamole and add some extra onions and cotija cheese.
· Nachos: Cook ground meat, pile on chips, melt mozzarella cheese, add guacamole, and cotija cheese.
Guacamole for Meatballs
· 3 Haas Avocados
· Juice of 2 Limes
· Juice of one lemon wedge
· 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced with only a few seeds
· ½ white onion, finely diced
· Handful of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
· 2t cumin
· ½ tSea salt
· Pinch of ground black pepper
· Pinch of red chili flakes
1. Cut avocados in half, pit and scoop out into a bowl
2. Add limes, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, cumin, salt, pepper and chili flakes
3. Mix with a fork until desired consistency – whether you prefer chunky or smooth guacamole.
4. Squeeze lemon wedge over the top to keep from browning (the lime in it will help, but lemon works the best)
5. Refrigerate and let sit for an hour.
*The jalapenos and cilantro/parsley combination in this recipe are the star flavors. Really make sure to coarsely chop the herbs, so that they are more than just an accent when biting in. Their freshness will also complement and counter the spice of the jalapenos.
· 1 ½ lbs lean beef
· ¾ lb ground turkey breast
· 1 egg
· ¼ C parsley and cilantro combined, both coarsely chopped
· ½ jalapeno, with seeds, finely diced
· 1t cumin
· 1t cayenne
· 1/8 c bread crumbs
· Pinch red chili flakes
· 2t salt
· 1t ground black pepper
· 1t celery salt
· 1t chili powder
1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except egg and use your hands to mix it up.
2. When well combined, add egg and re-mix
3. Make a very mini-patty to prepare and taste-test.
4. If to your liking, wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap to prevent oxidation and refridgerate until ready to use.
5. When ready to cook:
For meatballs: roll in balls, and sauté in warmed butter, turning when browned on one side until well browned on the outside and just very barely browned (still a tiny bit pink) inside pink. Serve hot with room temperature guacamole on the size.
For sausage-link-like meatballs: roll into finger-length links, cook the same as meatballs and serve with a dipping bowl of cool guacamole.
For tacos and nachos: it’s okay that it has the egg in it. Just sauté it up in a shallow, non-stick pan coated with butter and use a spatula to continue breaking it up until browned. For tacos, toss a tortilla in the same pan til warm and crispy, pile on the meat, a spoonful of guacamole, a pinch of minced white onion, bit of cotija cheese and some coarsely chopped cilantro. For nachos, warm chips, onions and cheese in the oven in the oven, and cover with cooked meat, guacamole and jalapenos.
Double and triple mmmmmm……