Nothing is more disappointing than a soggy french fry. There are lots of things I don’t just like crispy but extra crispy. Toast, onion rings, pizza crust, potato chips, breaded cutlets, pie crust, streusel. I could go on and on. And is there anything better than the crispy edges of a roast? I’m the one who wants a rare slice from the middle and a crusty slice from the end of the roast—beef, pork or lamb.
There are lots of ingredients for making food crispy and many of them contain gluten, and one of them is naturally gluten free, cream of rice. Cream of rice is finely ground rice that cooks very quickly. It can be used as a hot cereal but also in recipes like this one for baked rice custard that I plan on experimenting with shortly. When used in meatballs it absorbs moisture but also helps to create a lovely crisp texture to the surface of the meatballs. I like beef meatballs to be delicate and tender made light with ricotta or moist bread crumbs, but lamb meatballs are really good with a bit of a crust.
I have used black pepper, cumin, paprika and cinnamon to season these meatballs, but you could change up the spices if you prefer using fresh mint or garlic, or swapping chili powder in place of paprika. You could leave out the cumin and cinammon, I added them because lamb is strong flavored and pairs well with hot, sweet and smoky spices. The meatballs are great as an appetizer, served with toothpicks but also with rice, orzo or pilaf. You can also make them bigger if you like, you’ll just need to broil them a bit longer.
1 pound ground lamb, 80% lean
1/4 cup finely chopped white or yellow onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
1/4 cup cream of rice
Mix all the ingredients gently with your hands. The meatball mixture will be wet but will firm up. Refrigerate the mxiure for at least 30 minutes. Using a teaspoon scoop the mixture and roll into meatballs and place on a foil lined broiling pan. Broil meatballs for 6 minutes. Serve with tahini sauce, garlic yogurt sauce or tomato sauce.