My Visit to the Julia Child Exhibit and a Recipe for Sweet & Sour Lamb Meatballs

Our blog readers know that I have a special affinity for Julia Child (see our 100th birthday tribute post and podcast), so when I traveled to DC last month to shoot cooking videos for the Tri-Lamb Group, I decided to arrive a bit early and visit the new Julia Child exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American History. I spent over two hours in the exhibit, and loved every minute. I think the fact that it took Julia Child over ten years to complete her first cookbook and that she started her TV show when she was in her 50s, serves as an inspiration to me (IE there is still plenty of time to accomplish big things)!

 Everything appears exactly as it did in Julia’s kitchen when she moved, and it’s essentially how I remember it when I visited back in 1994. (Notice the silver skillet behind my head!)

I was in Julia’s kitchen during a luncheon served by Chef Daniel Bruce from the Boston Harbor Hotel, and she was gracious enough to have her picture taken with me. I mailed her an 8 x 10 enlargement of the photo and she signed it, “Bon Apetit! Julia Child.” The signature got smudged in the envelope, but I love it just the same.

Clearly I am not the only one obsessed with Julia Child since my new friend Sarah also sat for over an hour watching old Julia Child videos. Check out our Meal Makeover Mom Flickr page for lots more photos of the exhibit and my time in DC.

Now back to the reason I was in DC in the first place. I’m doing some work for the Tri-Lamb Group helping to educate consumers about the versatility and health attributes of lamb. For example, did you know that on average, a 3-ounce serving of lamb is lean, nutrient rich, contains 23 grams of protein, and only has 175 calories? I developed two family-friendly recipes, and while I was in DC, I joined fellow dietitian Rebecca Scritchfield to shoot cooking videos of the recipes … including this one for lamb meatballs.

Cook up these Sweet & Sour Lamb Meatballs for your next gathering and I guarantee they will be devoured in minutes :)

Sweet & Sour Lamb Meatballs

Makes 8 Appetizer Servings (about 32 meatballs)

  • 1 pound lean ground lamb
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely diced (about ½ cup)
  • 3 scallions, white part only, finely chopped (reserve the green tops for later)
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

1.  Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, lightly oil or coat with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.

2. Combine the lamb, egg, bread crumbs, bell pepper, scallion, soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, and pepper in a large bowl and mix until just combined. Shape the meat mixture into thirty two 3/4-inch balls.  Place on the prepared baking sheet and cook until lightly browned, about 12 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, place the hoisin sauce, honey, vinegar, and the remaining ginger in a large bowl and whisk until well combined.

4. When the meatballs come out of the oven, add them to the bowl and toss gently until well coated with the sauce. Slice the remaining green scallion tops into thin rings. Place the meatballs on a serving platter, insert toothpicks if you have them, and sprinkle with the scallions and sesame seeds.

Note: Serve meatball appetizers with small cubes of fresh pineapple. Meatballs can also be served over whole wheat egg noodles with a side of sautéed vegetables such as red bell peppers, snow peas, and cauliflower.

Nutrition Information per Serving (4 meatballs):  180 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated), 270mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 16g protein, 20% vitamin C

Print Recipe

Shooting cooking videos is an all-day affair; it requires many support people and lots of equipment.

My make-up artist was wonderful (and so appreciated). Did I mention that she’s also done hair and makeup for President Obama?! I bet my hair took longer to style than his did!

Disclosure: Janice was compensated for her trip to DC and recipe development by the Tri-Lamb Group.

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