Meatballs 2 in 1

This week was a challenge to decide what is the next fun meal to make that would engage the kids and the rest of the family, and still be delicious for everyone (including me!).

There was a great demand for fun Mexican flavors since it was Taco Tuesday, but naturally I was out of taco shells, and to add insult to injury discovered that I had just a cup of shredded cheese which would not cut it to feed my very hungry boys!

Continuing my search through available ingredients, I pulled out the ground chicken from my fridge and quickly whipped up some cheesy Mexican flavored meatballs. To accompany this, I served it up with rice, spicy home made pico de gallo and some fresh guacamole.

In all the excitement I made a double batch of the meatballs to keep in the freezer for some quick snacks next time. First, here is the meatball recipe. Keep reading to the end to see what I did with the frozen ones.

Ingredients

Ground chicken 2 pounds (thigh meat )

1 cup shredded cheese ( mild cheddar)

1 table spoon of cumin powder

3 cloves of garlic grated

1 table spoon of chilli powder

1 jalapeno finnely chopped (optional )

3 table spoons of cilantro chopped

1/2 cup of finely chopped scallions

2 tablespoons of fresh bread crumbs

salt to taste

3 table spoons of any neutral tasting oil to pan fry them

In a mixing bowl add the ground chicken and all the spices, along with the chopped cilantro, scallions, jalapeno, cheese, breadcrumbs and salt to taste. Mix well to incorporate all the ingredients — just but be careful to not over mix or the meatballs will be tough in texture.

Let this mixture rest for 30 minutes. Now form small meat balls. I used a small ice cream scoop and got about 40 small meatballs. Heat a pan on medium flame and add the oil. Once the oil is a bit heated gently add the meat balls, pan frying them on medium flame until done and nicely browned. Serve hot with salsa and guacamole just as appetizer or over rice.

Wouldn’t it be nice to turn the other batch of meatballs into something completely different and surprise not only the family but yourself too? If you are anything like me the answer is an immediate “Heck yeah!”

Yesterday I was in a busy mode to get some of the other things done around the house and lost time on planning for dinner. Luckily I remembered the meatballs in the freezer and started to think about what I could do with them. How could I camouflage these into something that tastes different and tasty? Then it hit me: chicken kofta curry. Yes, I decided to see if I could transform the Mexican flavors into this classic Indian dish.

As many of you know a lot of Mexican spices like cumin, cilantro, chili powder are used in Indian cuisine as well, so it would not be that hard to convert these and the cheese in the meat balls make this dish extra special So without further ado, I present to you transformed chicken kofta curry!

Ingredients

1 batch of of the frozen meat balls

for the curry gravy

1 large onion finely grated

1 can of tomato puree

1 inch og grated ginger

3 cloves of grated garlic

1 inch cinnamon stick

1 bay leave

2 green cardamoms

2 cloves

1 tsp of cilli powder

1 tablespoon of corriander powder

1 tsp of cumin powder

1/2 tsp of turmeric powder .

4 to 5 cashews and make a paste of it

1/2 tsp sugar

3 tables spoons of whipping cream .

3 tablespoons any neutral tasting oil

1 cup of warm water

salt to taste

In a dutch oven (or any heavy bottom pot) heat oil on a medium flame. Once a little hot add the whole spices: bay leaf, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick. Let this toast for a couple seconds, then add the grated onion and cook to brown (or caramelize the onions separately to speed up the process).

Add 1/2 tsp sugar, and once onion paste is golden brown add the ginger and garlic, saute for 30 seconds. Once that is done add all the powder spices: cumin, coriander, chili powder, turmeric and salt to taste. Cook for 15 seconds, then stir in the tomato puree and cashew paste, continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Stir again, adding in one cup of water. Bring the gravy to a simmer, add the meat balls and 2 table spoons of fresh cream. Cook until the meat balls are cooked through, which should take about 7 minutes. Drizzle with more fresh cream, serve hot with any flat bread or rice. Enjoy!

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