A merguez appetizer, Paris and David Lebovitz. This is my special recipe to celebrate Fiesta Friday’s First Anniversary, or FF #52. I was rather busy until mid-week co-hosting Fiesta Friday #51 along with Jhuls so I was a little limited on time coming up with a new appetizer or beverage recipe to share. I have quite a few beverages and a bunch of appetizers already posted so I needed to find a new one or a different version of a favorite one.
A recent feature on Fiesta Friday was one of David Lebovitz’ recipes which gave me the idea to look through his new book, “My Paris Kitchen” for a possible recipe. I was hoping to make one of his fantastic desserts first. However, I needed to bring an appetizer to the party and this meatball recipe stood out, Boulettes De Merguez A La Sauce Sriracha and I looked no further.
Another book of David’s, besides his dessert cookbooks, is “The Sweet Life In Paris”, a New York Times bestseller which is the first book I bought by this popular chef who was a pastry chef for a long time. A great little book which includes his experiences living in Paris and of course some of his great recipes. I highly recommend it as it is a “deliciously funny, offbeat, and irreverent look at the City of Light, cheese, chocolate, and other divine confections”.
I just love meatballs and feel it is one of the best finger foods for entertaining. In addition meatballs in a sauce make a great dinner served over some rice or egg noodles or even in a sandwich. I already have 7 meatball recipes posted ranging from Lasagna, WW meatballs in the slow cooker to Win Schuler’s two recipes. Search meatballs for other recipes.
Meatballs have been around a long time dating back to Roman times and have varied through the years to accommodate different tastes, available ingredients and even religious traditions. There are a zillion ways to fix them using all kinds of ingredients and they are easy to make ahead and freeze until your party whether it is a small or large crowd.
I am not alone as there are lots of other people who like meatballs; Food and Wine just posted 19 favorite restaurants who serve their own version of meatballs. I know there are a number of bloggers, who like me, have a file just on meatballs! There is one special blogger who I hope reads this post 🙂
This recipe originated out of David’s love for merguez sausages and he came up with a meatball or boulette form that he could make at home. So what is a merguez sausage? It is a fresh sausage of North African cuisine made with lamb, beef, or a mixture. It is popular in the Middle East and Europe, becoming increasingly popular in France. It is heavily spiced with cumin and chili pepper or Harissa, which gives it its piquancy and red color letting you know that this sausage is hot. Other spices include sumac, fennel and garlic.
Then there is Sriracha Sauce – David said Parisians squirt it on everything and it is almost de rigueur, or trend, on American tables. It is a type of hot chili sauce made from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. Yes, there is a bottle on my table frequently!
These meatballs are so flavorful and full of great seasonings and ingredients and I hope everyone tries them. I even made these meatballs twice as we liked them so much; I froze the second batch for future use. Two sauces, Sriracha Mayonnaise and a Yogurt-Tahini Sauce are served alongside the meatballs.
I am bringing these mouth watering appetizers to Fiesta Friday #52 where Angie @The Novice Gardener is celebrating her first anniversary. Thanks to the co-hosts Hilda @Along the Grapevine and Julianna @ Foodie On Board. A little bit of Paris (I have been there and it is a city full of life), a recipe from David and me and a popular trend in France, merguez sausages but in meatball form!
Spiced Meatballs with Sriracha Sauce
- 1-1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1-1/2 coriander seeds
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. sweet paprika (Hungarian paprika)
- 2 tsp. Sriracha, harissa or Asian chile paste (I use Sriracha)
- 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 1/2 tsp. sumac (optional but I added it as it adds a fruity tang and an exotic lift to the meatballs)
- you can use either 1 pound of lamb, or beef or combine the two which is what I did – do not buy meat that is too lean or the merguez can be dry
In a small hot skillet, toast the fennel, coriander and cumin seeds for a minute or so, until you can smell their fragrance. Remove and let cool, then grind them up with a mortar and pestle or a spice mill if you have it. I toasted the coriander seeds separately as they do take a little longer to cook.
Add the spices to a large bowl and add the fresh cilantro, garlic, paprika, Sriracha, salt, cinnamon, allspice and sumac. Add the ground meat and mix well. The mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before using.
Form your meatballs – I like to use a 1-1/2-inch stainless steel scoop and make them into the size of an unshelled walnut. Then I roll each one between my hands to get them smooth. You can heat them in a little oil on the stove, on the grill or bake in a 350°F for about 15 minutes. I always prefer to bake them; I spray a wire rack inside a sheet pan with non-stick cooking oil and place each meatball on the rack. They cook better and are not cooking in their grease as you are not using lean meat.
Makes about 28 1-inch meatballs
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise (I chose not to make David’s homemade version)
- 1 tbsp. Sriracha, or to taste
Combine the two ingredients and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 2 tsp. garlic, minced (or to taste)
- 2 tsp. fresh parsley, minced
- 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1-1/2 tsp. water
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Combine all of the ingredients and blend well. Adjust seasonings if desired. Serve with the meatballs.
Recipe by cooking with aunt juju https://cookingwithauntjuju.com/2015/01/23/spiced-meatballs-with/