Chorizo-Style Meatballs with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa by Marcus Samuelsson

Chorizo-Style Meatballs with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa by Marcus Samuelsson


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“These make a fun contrast in flavor and color to the Swedish meatballs. They taste a lot like fresh Mexican chorizo, especially when you serve them with my chunky guacamole-style salsa.”

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Serving Size / Yield

24 servings


  • Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa:
  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded, if desired, and finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatillos, papery husks removed and finely chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cubed
  • 1 sm. red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded, if desired, and finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 fresh cilantro sprigs, chopped
  • 4 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Meatballs:
  • 12 oz. ground lamb
  • 12 oz. ground pork
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 11⁄2 tsp. mild chili powder
  • 11⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 3⁄4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 11⁄2 tsp. dried oregano, rubbed between fingertips
  • 11⁄2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil

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For the salsa: In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the garlic, serrano chile, and shallot and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatillos and saute until softened, another 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool completely.

With a rubber spatula, fold the avocado, onion, jalapeno chile, lime juice, cilantro, and Tabasco into the cooled tomatillo mixture. Season with the salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the salsa (this will keep the avocado from browning), and refrigerate until serving.

For the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the lamb, pork, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, paprika, and a few grinds of pepper and mix well with your hands. Lightly moisten a large plate with water. With wet hands (to keep the mixture from sticking), shape the mixture into balls the size of a golf ball and place them on the moistened plate. You should have about 24 meatballs.

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook, turning frequently, until nicely browned on all sides and cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain briefly.

Arrange the meatballs on a platter and serve right away, with the salsa on the side.

Recipe courtesy of The Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving & Holiday Cookbook

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