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Coconut Meatballs!

March 11, 2011

This recipe is based on one in Pacific Palate by Alaina De Havilland, which I picked up on a wonderful trip to Powell’s over Christmas break. It’s one of those cookbooks that sneaks up on you, no photos, questionable graphic design, but really good food.

These are very rich and wonderful. We had them as a main course, but you could make little ones for an appetizer. Either way, the pineapple is a nice balance for the meatballs. The next time I make these, I think I’ll add some fresh ginger.

1 lb. ground meat (I used bison; lean beef might be better)
3.5 cups grated fresh coconut
1 large egg
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh hot chile, minced (seeded, if you like less heat)
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
black pepper to taste
fresh pineapple, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425º.
2. Mix all of the ingredients except the pineapple in a large bowl, using your hands. Form the mixture into consistently-sized balls, approximately one ounce each.
3. Arrange the meatballs in an oiled baking dish or sheet pan and roast in the oven until just cooked through.
4. Serve immediately with pineapple.

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