This Saturday we had some magical weather in the midst of winter. It was gorgeous outside…January it is, but it was unbelievably warm. The sun was shining bright, birds cooing & chirping everywhere, the sky spotless & azure, and the temperature was 72 degrees F! It was almost as if Spring has arrived. I saw some buds on the pear tree outside which just shed its leaves. On these days, we try to soak in as much fun as we can. The kids were let loose to play in the backyard.. we could hear voices from all over the neighborhood. Everyone was trying to absorb as much of the day as they could. Knowing how it is here, it could be 40 degrees tomorrow again.
Be it be spring time weather outside now, it is still officially winter & the grocery stores are full of winter goodies, I found some whole hazelnuts the other day, & bought a bag full, & all of us have been cracking & snacking .. They are just delicious! Look how gorgeous these are!
With some hazelnuts leftover, I decided on some hazelnut & raisin stuffed grilled chicken meatballs with some refreshing summer like orange mint yogurt sauce for lunch. It was just right. Felt just like the easy, breezy, delicious spring….
- 1lb Minced/Ground Chicken
- 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro/Coriander
- 4 Tablespoons Ginger Juice (Grate the ginger & squeeze out the juice)
- 2 teaspoon Garlic paste
- 1 Tablespoon Sour Cream
- 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoon Powdered Corn Starch
- A pinch of Turmeric
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped Onions
- Hazelnuts (May be substituted with almonds)
- 3 Tablespoons of Raisins
- 1 Bunch of Green Spring Onions/Scallions preferably with Thick bulbs
- Olive Oil
1 Cup Thick Yogurt (or Greek Yogurt)
1 Cup Canned or Fresh oranges – chopped into small pieces
1/2″ Ginger peeled & very thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or crushed black pepper
A pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
Lightly roast/toast the hazelnuts if they are not already done. Set aside.
Mix the garlic paste, ginger juice, corn starch, coriander/cilantro, sour cream, Pepper, tumeric & salt with the minced chicken and set aside in the refrigerator for about an hour or more.
When ready to use, add the chopped the onions to the above mix.
Take a scoop of the mix, flatte it in the palm of your hand. Place a hazelnut & about 2 raisins in the meat and firmly seal in the shape of a ball so that the filling is all encased with the meat.
Grease a Skillet with Olive Oil & when hot, add the balls and cover & cook at low – medium heat, while ocassionally turning the balls around, so all the sides are equally cooked. Chicken cooks really fast, & you really do not need to boil them before grilling/pan grilling…
When no juice runs, increase the heat and cook till all the meatballs start to brown on all sides. Set aside.
For the Scallions:
Drizzle Olive oil on the scallions, Sprinkle some salt & grill them till they are slightly charred.
If you want to cook it indoors, broil it, or it can be done on a skillet over high heat.
Do not overcook. This will be ready in a few minutes.
If you are using regular yogurt, strain it in a cheese cloth so all of the excess water drains off. Whisk the yogurt till smooth. Add the oranges, ginger, salt, sugar, pepper & chopped mint & mix gently till well blended.
Serve the Meatballs over the grilled scallions … either topped with the sauce or with sauce on the side.
Squeeze some fresh lime over the grilled meat. Serve with fresh salad, rice or flatbreads.
Needless to say, everything came together really well. The Nut Stuffed meatballs were a new creation but tasted awesome, with the toasted nut & the sweet of the raisin at every bite. The Scallion were spilling sweet with beautiful flavor. The sauce was just right for the grilled meat, cool & refreshing!
Sending this to Culinarty’s Original Recipes.