Thai Lamb Meatballs with Coconut Red Curry

Thai Curry Lamb MeatballsWell, we are officially a family of four. Baby Ice made his debut in early January and he really made his presence known, clocking in at a (surprising) 9lbs 8oz. Despite his big and bold arrival, he’s been a real mellow little creature. Calm and curious (as far as newborns go, anyway) and he’s settled in nicely here at home. Thankfully he’s even won big brother’s seal of approval.

Unlike my first rodeo, I’ve felt a lot better a lot faster this time around and I managed to get back into the swing of things workwise within just a few weeks of Ice’s arrival. The kitchen, however, has been somewhat of a wasteland… If I’m not eating takeout or something my mom whipped up, I’m raiding my cache of frozen entrees stashed in our basement freezer. Or cold cuts. I’m also eating cold cuts.

So these here Lamb Meatballs mark my grand re-entrance into the kitchen. I was assigned the PicNic blog for this month’s installment of Secret Recipe Club and found myself spoiled for choices thanks to Nicole’s well-curated collection of international recipes. I was seriously tempted by her Chicken Tortellini Soup, Lamb Kofta and Chicken Coconut Curry. But when she said these Thai-Style Lamb Meatballs were quick and easy, I was totally sold.

Nicole didn’t lie. I was able to assemble the meatballs while Baby Ice sat happily in his Boppy for a brief 10-minute window. The sauce I whipped up while he catnapped in his crib. I ended up prepping the meatballs a day ahead and refrigerating them overnight, which is a godsend when you can only cook in fits and starts.

I highly recommend these for anyone who’s time-strapped, and they work equally well as a main course or skewered with a toothpick and served on a tray. I ate mine garnished with fresh cilantro and slices of mango, but they’d be super dreamy over vermicelli noodles (Nicole’s suggestion), jasmine rice or sandwiched between French bread, Bahn Mi style. I just didn’t have the energy to do anything extra. Especially since Ice is in the throes of a growth spurt.

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Thai Lamb Meatballs with Coconut Red Curry
Makes 16-18 golfball-size meatballs
Serves 4 as an entree
Adapted from PicNic

Ingredients for the Meatballs:
1-1½ lbs ground lamb – $7.99
4 Tablespoons Thai red curry paste – $2.49
2 Tablespoons breadcrumbs – stock
1½ Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped finely + extra for garnish – $.89
1 cup of onion, finely diced – $1.19
1 Tablespoon fish sauce – stock

For the Sauce:
1 Tablespoon sesame oil – stock
3 Tablespoons Thai red curry paste – included above
13.5-oz can of light coconut milk – stock
1 Tablespoon fish sauce – stock
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar, lightly packed – stock
½ Tablespoon lime juice – $0.50
Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen: $13.06
Cost per serving: $3.26

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the meatball ingredients using your hands. Roll into small golfball-sized meatballs and arrange on the parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing evenly. (Note: the meat can be prepped and refrigerated a day ahead of cooking).

3. Bake the meatballs for 10 minutes, flip and continue baking for another 10 minutes. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the red curry paste and saute until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

5. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer through for 10 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the meatballs and serve hot over vermicelli noodles or rice, or sandwiched between baguette-style bread. Garnish with fresh cilantro and julienned mango, if desired.

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