Harissa Spiced Meatballs with Cilantro Yogurt

I think meatballs might be at the top of my favorite food list. Now that I've got a fridge full of them I'll be one happy lady the rest of the week. This recipe could easily be served as hors d'oeuvres or as a meal if you're feeling carb conscious. 

So this recipe calls for Harissa. Harissa is a paste made of spices traditional in northern Africa, but also really popular throughout Europe. The spices used in Harissa are commonly dried chilies, coriander, caraway, cumin, paprika and salt. The spices are usually blended with oil and garlic to make a paste. I've incorporated all of the ingredients into the meatballs to make a Harissa Spiced Meatball.

I found a Harissa blend at a local spice shop. You could probably do the same or make your own!

Harissa Spiced Meatballs with Cilantro Yogurt
makes 20-25 meatballs

for the meatballs
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 yellow onion (finely diced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp harissa spice blend
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes (minced) or 2 tbsp dried fire roasted tomatoes
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1.5 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper

for the dipping sauce
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (rough chop)
1/4 lemon (juice)
1 tsp harissa spice blend
pinch kosher salt

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients. Get your hands in there and mix until everything is one cohesive mass. If the mixture seems really wet, add some extra bread crumbs. If it seems too dry, drizzle in some extra olive oil.

Form golf ball size meatballs. Roll the meatball around in your hand until it feels like it will hold together. Drop the meatballs onto the foil lined sheet. Continue until all meatballs are formed. Pop into the oven for 15 minutes. 

As the meatballs cook, make the yogurt sauce. Mix together yogurt, chopped cilantro, lemon juice, spices and salt. 

Serve the cooked meatballs with the dipping sauce. 

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