I make my own chorizo fairly regularly and it is fantastic in so many things. One of my favorite ways to use it is as a filling for stuffed peppers. I don’t recall exactly how I came up with the idea of adding chopped, dried dates to the chorizo, but it was a brilliant one, if I do say so myself! The heat of the chorizo with the sweetness of the dates is fantastic. However, my chorizo has one downside: it doesn’t hold together at all. Which is fine if you’re using it in traditional chorizo-y recipes. Yes, that’s a word. But if what you really want is a chorizo patty or meatball, that’s not going to jive. I think it has something to do with the apple cider vinegar in the original chorizo recipe – if anyone has any explanations, let me know!
So in order to get that chorizo zing to these meatballs, I took my chorizo seasoning, omitting the vinegar, and added it to a batch of ground lamb. Lamb and dates are a match made in heaven if you ask me, but beef would work here, too. I scooped my mini meatballs with a one tablespoon cookie scoop because I personally find the bite size version of meatballs to be the most versatile. They make great lunchbox additions this way or can be used to top a salad, or even a morning egg dish. The other great thing is that they cook so quickly!
As I was going to serve these as an appetizer / canapé, I whipped up a quick dipping sauce in my mini food processor. I was thinking of how cooling Raita is when I came up with this, using coconut milk in place of yogurt. Those Primal people among you could use any type of yogurt you find acceptable instead of the coconut milk. The dipping sauce is what really makes this whole dish shine: the sweetness of the dates meets the spiced meatball which is then finished off with the refreshing cilantro-laced sauce. Delicious!
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