Another Thanksgiving under the belt. Another muffin top above it, I MEAN RIGHT CAN I GET A WHAT  . . . WHAT.

One line in and I’m already screaming at you.

I trust you all had a smashing holiday break! Get this, I closed my laptop on Wednesday afternoon and opened it y-e-s-t-e-r-d-a-y afternoon. Five entire days. 5. FIVE. Okay four if you’re only counting the actual days gone without looking at it and not including Wed morning and Sunday evening. But who cares. I feel refreshed, rejuvied, resmoothied, and I think it even made my hair look better.

In other words, it’s time for meatballs. But hawd awn hawd awn hawd awn, not just any meatballs, y’alls. (am I already wearing you out?) I accidentally stuffed these beefy babes with a back hoe of cilantro, mountains of freshly minced garlic and ginger, piles of panko, and gobs of garam masala.

BUT . . .

. . . that’s just the half of it.

What would happen if I told you the sauce has ground almonds in it? What would happen?

And what would you do if I told you it also has toasted whole cumin seeds in it? What then?

And what if I broke the news that it also has tomato sauce and heavy cream in it. How would you react?

And, and!, what would ensue if you imagined a toasty baguette stuffed with seasoned, seared meatballs and blanketed with a rich almondy tomato sauce, garnished with fresh, bright cilantro? I mean what?

Oh wait, I have a picture of it. You don’t have to imagine. Yay!

Okay now imagine eating it.

Indian-Style Meatball Sub Sandwiches:

What it took for 4 5-inch subs:

for the meatballs:

* 12 oz lean ground beef
* 1 Tbs. garam masala
* 1 Tbs. freshly minced ginger
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/3 cup freshly chopped cilantro
* 1/2 cup panko
* 1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

for the sauce:

* 1/2 cup almonds, lightly toasted
* 1 Tbs. cumin seeds,
* 1 (10-oz) can tomato sauce
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 1 pinch coarse salt

the rest:

* 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 10-inch french baguettes, sliced in half, and again lengthwise; lightly toasted
* extra cilantro for garnish

In a large bowl, combine the beef, garam masala, ginger, garlic, cilantro, panko, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix well. Then form roughly 12 to 15 small meatballs. Place on a plate, cover and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes, or over night, or whatever works for your life.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange the meatballs in the pan and sear until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, place the almonds in a food processor. Blitz until finely ground, 30 seconds.

Oh wait! While the almonds toast, place the cumin seeds in a small dry skillet and toast until fragrant, 2 minutes. Then add the cumin seeds to the food processor and pulse a few more times. Add the tomato sauce and process until smooth. Add the cream and process once again until smooth.

Transfer sauce to a small saucepan and simmer on low while the meatballs cook.

Place three meatballs on the bottom half of each baguette half. Drizzle with creamy tomato sauce, and garnish with more cilantro.

I double sub dare you.

Wait, what?

My suggestion would be yes.

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