Monday, September 29, 2008

PERFECT LAMB APPETIZER

OK, like most recipes, it takes awhile to perfect. That being the lamb meatball I have been making for almost a year now! But, inspired by Ruth Reichl's recipes and their emphasis on simplicity, I created a lamb dish this weekend as a tapas-style appetizer for some girlfriends and it was perfect! So I had to write down the combination before I forgot it.

This is one of the easiest appetizers to make--it tastes and looks like it took forever, but really just takes a few minutes of prep and a few minutes of cooking, hardly any cutting involved either!

NOTE: This would also be amazing served on a bed of simple cous cous. I did not have any around, but I would like to serve it that way next time.

AROMATIC LAMB MEATBALLS w/ YOGURT & TOASTED PINE NUTS

1/2 lb of Ground Lamb
1 tblsp of Yogurt (good yogurt only, tart, like Erivan)
A few dashes of Worcestire Sauce
Half Palmful of Cumin
Half Palmful of Coriander

Quarter Palmful of Allspice (this is a Spice Blend)
Quarter Palmful of Dried Oregano
Eigth Palmful of Cayenne
Salt
Black Pepper

6 to 8 oz of Tart Plain Yogurt
1 Garlic clove, minced
Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
Salt

Handful of Toasted Pine Nuts

Optional: Cous Cous

  • First do the prep: Mix all dried spices, tablespoon of yogurt and worcestire with ground lamb. Massage thoroughly so that all spices and liquids are absorbed by the meat, warming the meat in the process. Seperate into bite-size meat balls. NOTE: it is a good idea to bring any meat you are cooking, up to room temp from the fridge. Some believe that the shock from the cold fridge directly to a searing pan is too much a temp change for the meat. I tried bringing it up to room temp for this recipe and I swear that it changed the outcome. They were perfect. So leave the meat out up to 1 hour before cooking to allow it to warm slightly. I also did this with the yogurt, so that it was not too cold when I mixed everything together in the end.
  • Make the yogurt: combine yogurt, garlic, lemon juice & salt. Stir. Set aside.
  • Toast pine nuts: introduce nuts to a medium-high heated dry pan. Sautee, moving constantly, be careful not to burn. Once they have darkened slightly and are fragrant, remove from heat and set aside.
  • When ready to serve: heat pan to medium/medium-high heat. Add meatballs, searing them on different sides every 30 seconds for a couple minutes. Then allow to cook for 3 to 5 more minutes, moving them every so often. Taste test to make sure they are done.
  • Serve them in a shallow bowl topped with yogurt and then toasted pine nuts. You can also layer all of this on top of the cous cous--the cous cous will be delicious with the yogurt sauce.

1 comment:

John Van said...

The blue type on the recipe is impossible to read against the dark background