Lamb Meatballs with Spinach Salad

Recipe from Apollonia Poilâne, Poilâne Bakery, Paris: Although she's known for making some of the world's best bread, Apollonia chose to demonstrate a savory use for this blend. After all, cocoa powder is a key ingredient in many Mexican dishes and French game dishes. The richness of the cocoa in my Apollonia N.29 spice blend is nicely balanced by the acidity of the orange blossom; it's a combination that also works surprisingly well with seafood. 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 2 medium white onions, finely chopped (2 cups) 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb 
  • 2 large eggs, beaten 
  • 1 1/2 cups diced crustless sourdough bread 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped candied orange peel 
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped blanched almonds 
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Apollonia N.29 spice blend, divided 
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil 
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar 
  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves 

Procedure

1. In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium-low heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

2. In a large bowl, combine the lamb with the eggs, bread, orange peel, almonds and 1 tablespoon of Apollonia spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Add the onions and mix well.

3. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (about 30 meatballs). Place the flour in a bowl. Roll each meatball in flour and pat off the excess flour.

4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook until browned all over and cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes.

5. While the meatballs cook, whisk together the grapeseed oil, vinegar and remaining teaspoon of Apollonia in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the baby spinach and toss to coat. Serve the meatballs with the spinach salad. 

Categories: 
Main Dishesmeat
Yield: 
Makes 6 to 8 appetizer servings
  • When it comes to cooking sausage, it's all about heat management

    "If you're going to grill, you can mark it first on a hotter part of the grill," says Chris Ying, editor in chief of Lucky Peach and co-author of The Wurst of Lucky Peach. "Then move it to the cooler, indirect heat to finish cooking gently and slowly, and let all of those fats and everything break down inside of the sausage."

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Host Francis Lam wins multiple 2017 James Beard Media Awards

Host Francis Lam won several awards at the 2017 James Beard Foundation Media Awards for his work as food writer and cookbook editor.