Once in a while I get intense cravings for a certain kind of food (Asian, BBQ, soups and stews, to name a few examples) – when those cravings hit, I pretty much eat nothing else but that type of food for a week or two at a time. During a recent craving for Middle Eastern food, I came upon this recipe from the Curry and Comfort blog – we decided to try it out, and it was so delicious that we’ve made it a couple of times since then. This one is truly a show stopper. The meatballs are where it’s at, with hummus being a greater addition than I would have even imagined. For the record, we used Sabra Red Pepper hummus the first time, and Sabra Garlic hummus the second time, and both were great. Their blog also has a ton of other ethnic meatballs ideas that I’m dying to try. We, too, served it with Israeli couscous, which was a perfect suggestion.
Mediterranean Chicken and Hummus Meatballs in Apricot Glaze
recipe from Curry and Comfort
Ingredients for Meatballs:
1 lb of ground chicken
15-20 mint leaves
small handful of parsley
1/2 Tbs of ground cumin
1/4 white onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of lemon juice
Seasoning Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 container (about 5oz) of your favorite hummus and the center flavorings.
Directions for Meatballs:
In a food processor (or you can do this by hand) grind up or finely mince your parsley, mint, garlic, onion and lemon juice. Then mix with all the ingredients listed above. Form into your desired size of ball. Do not over work the meatballs mixture. The meatballs will be a little soft, but they form well.
Heat a large skillet with 2Tbs of canola oil. Once heated add your meatballs and brown on all sides. Once they are browned, set aside on a plate to finish cooking in the sauce.
Ingredients for the Apricot Glaze/Sauce:
1-2 cups of chicken broth or water/bullion equivalent
juice if one lemon
1 tsp of ground cumin
1/4 tsp of ground all spice
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 jar of Apricot Jam (12oz). ** See note
1/2 cup of green olives
1 bell pepper cut into strips or sweet chili peppers cut into strips
Notes: I ended up using all the jam because I used the two full cups of chicken stock and made more of a sauce than a glaze. If you want a thicker glaze you can use 1 cup of stock and half the jam.
Directions for the Sauce/Glaze:
In the same skillet you cooked the meatballs, saute the garlic. I also bloomed my cumin in the oil for a few seconds.
Now add your chicken broth, juice of your lemon, your spices, cinnamon stick and the apricot jam. Stir well until the jam melts into the liquid. Season with salt (or soy sauce). I do love the flavors of apricot jam and soy sauce. Since I was making a Mediterranean theme dish, I opted for seasoning salt. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Then add your peppers and olives and finally the meatballs to finish cooking. Simmer on the stove for 15 minutes. If you decide to use less chicken stock, you may need to keep an eye on your glaze. I added more stock so I just let it simmer. Taste for seasoning and turn off the stove.
Serve with savory cous-cous or as an appetizer. Enjoy.