Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mediterranean Chicken and Hummus Meatballs in Apricot Glaze

I was very excited when the Foodbuzz Tastermaker Program sent me a coupon for a free Sabra dip.  Sabra makes a variety of refridgerated dips like Hummus, Salsa, Guacamole, and Veggie dips.  These dips are definitely the healthier alternative to that chip dip served at most parties.  You can also use Sabra's dips to make a number of recipes from sandwich spreads to full  dishes. I decided that Sabra was up for my meatball challenge.  If you've been to my blog before, you know I have a small obsession with meatballs.  I have curried them and even given them several international twists.  This time I wanted to bump up the protein inside my meatballs by adding some hummus.  I had no idea how they would turn out, but I never expected them to have such a tender and velvety texture.  These meatballs almost melt in your mouth.   I cooked my Mediterranean Chicken and Hummus Meatballs in a apricot glaze.  This sauce/glaze was definitely a sweet addition and it gave the meatball a real balance of sweet and savory.  Of course I was not allowed to use all the hummus for my recipe.  My husband loves Sabra hummus and made me promise to leave him at least half of the container so he could eat it with pita chips.  So we ended up having one full meal and several snacks with one container of Sabra.  Thank you Foodbuzz and Sabra for our tasty treat.

 Ingredients for Meatballs:
1lb of ground chicken
15-20 mint leaves
small handful of parsley
1/2 Tbs of ground cumin
 1/4 white onion
 3 cloves of garlic
 1 tsp of lemon juice

 Seasoning Salt and Pepper to taste
 ** 1/2 container (about 5oz) of your favorite hummus and the center flavorings.  I picked the Supremely Spicy Hummus because I'm a spicy girl

Directions for Meatballs:
In a food processor (or you can do this by hand) grind up or finely mince your parsley, mint, garlic, onion and lemon juice.  Then mix with all the ingredients listed above.  Form into your desired size of ball.  Do no over work the meatballs mixture.  The meatballs will be a little soft, but they form well.

Heat a large skillet with 2Tbs of canola oil.  Once heated add your meatballs and brown on all sides. Once they are browned, set aside on a plate to finish cooking  in the sauce.

Ingredients for the Apricot Glaze/Sauce:
1-2 cups of chicken broth or water/bullion equivalent
juice if one lemon
1 tsp of ground cumin
1/4 tsp of ground all spice
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 jar of Apricot Jam (12oz).  **  See not
1/2 cup of green olives
1 bell pepper cut into strips or sweet chili peppers cut into strips
Salt Seasoning

Notes:  I ended up using all the jam because I used the two full cups of chicken stock and made more of a sauce than a glaze. If you want a thicker glaze you can use 1 cup of stock and half the jam.

Directions for the Sauce/Glaze:
In the same skillet you cooked the meatballs, saute the garlic.  I also bloomed my cumin in the oil for a few seconds.

Now add your chicken broth, juice of your lemon,  your spices, cinnamon stick and the apricot jam.  Stir well until the jam melts into the liquid.  Season with salt (or soy sauce).  I do love the flavors of apricot jam and soy sauce.  Since I was making a Mediterranean theme dish, I opted for seasoning salt.    Simmer for 3-4 minutes.

 Then add your peppers and olives and finally the meatballs to finish cooking. Simmer on the stove for 15 minutes.  If you decide to use less chicken stock,  you may need to keep an eye on your glaze.  I added more stock so I just let it simmer.  Taste for seasoning and turn off the stove.

 Serve with savory cous-cous or as an appetizer.  Enjoy.

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