Lamb Kefta with Herbed Yogurt

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For the Meatballs

1 pound ground lamb
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup red onion, chopped super fine
½ cup fresh mint, chopped fine
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup Kashi Whole Grain Nuggets or Grape Nuts (substitute with breadcrumbs)
2 eggs, beaten

For the Yogurt Sauce

2 cups plain Greek yogurt
½ cup fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt

PREPARATION

To assemble the meatballs, combine all ingredients except the eggs. Use hands to mix well, making sure all ingredients and spices are all combined. Form into 1-inch balls. Lamb meatballs can be either grilled over medium-high heat (turning until browned on all sides) or baked in a 375°F oven for approximately 30 minutes, rolling a few times to makes sure they are browned on all sides.

To make the yogurt sauce, combine all ingredients in a blender or use a hand held processor, and blend until smooth.

Serve meatballs with yogurt sauce, in pita sandwiches, or over Middle Eastern vegetables and couscous.

Sicilian Style Herbed Meatballs

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

For the Meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, ground
8-9 cloves garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
1-3 teaspoons red chili flakes (for spicier meatballs use 3 teaspoons)
½ cup pine nuts, chopped fine
½ cup currants
½ cup Kashi Whole Grain Nuggets or Grape Nuts (substitute with breadcrumbs)
2 eggs, beaten
Olive oil

For the Sauce

Olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped fine (reserved from above)
2 tablespoons each fresh parsley, basil, marjoram, and oregano, chopped fine (reserved from above)
2 pounds plum tomatoes, diced fine
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper

PREPARATION

To make the meatballs, mix ground beef and ground sausage with garlic, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and chili flakes.
Use hands to mix well and combine ingredients. Make sure the mixture is well blended. Add the chopped pine nuts, Kashi cereal, and the currants. Again, mix very well using hands. Add the beaten eggs, and mix until all ingredients are well combined and moistened by the eggs. The eggs should cause the mixture to bind together.

Form mixture into about 1 to 1¼-inch balls, and set aside.

In a large and deep heavy bottom pan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil on high heat. Sauté meatballs in batches until all are well browned. Then, transfer them to another plate with paper towels to absorb any grease.

After all the meatballs are cooked, lower the temperature of the same pan, and add another tablespoons of olive oil if necessary. Sauté the garlic until translucent, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and tomatoes, stirring well to loosen the meatball scraps from the bottom of the pan. Add the red wine, salt, and pepper, again stirring to deglaze the pan. Bring to a low boil for about 5 minutes. Turn to low heat, and add the meatballs to the sauce, stirring gently until the meatballs are covered by the tomato mixture. Cook on low temperature for approximately 30 minutes, making sure you stir gently every few minutes being careful not to break apart the meatballs.

Serve over polenta or pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese!

The alternative to sautéing meatballs is to bake them in a 375°F oven for approximately 30 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Follow the same directions as above for the sauce.

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