Monday, November 16, 2015

Thai Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce

This was really good and pretty light tasting despite the coconut milk.  It definitely could have used some more heat to balance the coconut milk and citrus flavors; next time I'll add some red pepper flakes, chili powder, or something when I put the curry paste in with the garlic/ginger.

1 pound ground chicken (used turkey, I think it was a little tastier/more meaty)
4 scallions, sliced thin (both green and white segments)
4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, divided
3 tablespoons red Thai curry paste, divided
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 limes, zested and juiced
1 (15-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
4 cups chopped spinach or baby bok choy
Fresh ground black pepper

In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, white parts of the scallions, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of grated ginger, 1 tablespoon of curry paste, panko, cilantro, basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. I actually just put everything except the chicken into the food processor for a second and then mixed it into the chicken.  Use your hands or a wooden spoon to thoroughly mix all the ingredients together until just combined. Try not to overwork the meat.

Spoon out a piece of the chicken mixture and gently roll between your hands to form 1 1/2-inch meatballs and place on a large plate or baking sheet. Continue shaping until all the meat is formed into meatballs. You will have about 16 meatballs. (I did this while the sauce was cooking and then just put them straight into the pot as I made them)

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic and ginger, stir to combine with the oil, and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the remaining curry paste, and cook for another 30 seconds, then stir in the lime zest, coconut milk, and chicken stock. Bring the sauce to a simmer.

Gently place the meatballs into the sauce. Cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meatballs reads 165°F.

Stir in the spinach or baby bok choy and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until wilted. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the lime juice, and add additional seasoning, as needed.

Served this over brown rice.

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