My sister and I agreed to host a birthday dinner at my place for Dad this year in lieu of fancy presents (we still got him a robotic walking crab, just in case). Should we grill? Should I make some of Ina’s buttermilk ranch dressing and serve it over big wedges of lettuce? Will I need to scrub my bathroom floor? We settled on lamb meatballs.
I made a version of these for a dinner party a few years ago. Someday I promise I’ll make a real meal for a party, but until then I’m going to keep making picnic foods and calling it dinner. The lamb meatballs are good on their own, but they really cry out for a thick, tangy yogurt sauce on the side. Put the whole thing on a “slider bun” and you’re ready to party.
Don’t go crazy on the cinnamon, it tends to take over and you’ll lose the other flavors. Form the meatballs a bit bigger than the suggested 2 tsp if you want something more substantial, just keep them in the oven for about 17 minutes.
I was able to source almost everything for this dinner from Findlay Market. Once you know where to look, you can find almost anything there. EXCEPT SLIDER BUNS, as a maddening search revealed. Those I got at Kroger, the kind that come in the orange plastic bag.
Deviled eggs were served as an appetizer. Pro Tip: Want to create the smell of a room-clearing fart right inside your refrigerator? Hard boil and peel a dozen eggs, put them all in a glass bowl in the fridge and don’t cover them with any plastic wrap.
The lamb meatball recipe comes from CHOW. I have lovingly copied and pasted the ingredients below.
Combine all of these things in a large bowl, form meatballs and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes:
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper