Lamb and Feta Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

Lamb and Feta Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Gorgeous lamb and feta meatballs bursting with Middle-Eastern flavors, perfect for a cheeky weekend lunch.

The meatballs are packed with a huge punch of flavor and their feta heart is a salty delight. Top them with a good dollop of refreshing minty yogurt sauce and pile everything up on the crispiest of vessels, Lebanese flat breads brushed with olive oil & spices, toasted to perfection in the oven. A bit of salad on the side and you are in for a well-deserved treat!

Happy weekend!

Lamb Meatballs

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Lamb and Feta Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Lamb and Feta Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Lamb and Feta Meatballs with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Yield: 4 Servings - 16 meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup yogurt sauce
  • oil spray
  • mesclum salad & cherry tomatoes to serve
  • Lamb Meatballs
  • 500g (1 lb) lamb mince
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 small free range egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • salt & pepper
  • 100g (3 oz) feta, cut in cubes of 1.5cm aprox. (just over 3/4 in)
  • Crispy Lebanese Flat Breads
  • 4 small Lebanese flat breads
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ras El Hanout spice blend (or any Middle Eastern spice mix)
  • Pinch garlic salt
  • Caramelized onion
  • 2 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon raw sugar

Directions

  1. Mix all meatball ingredients, except for the feta, in a big bowl (be rather conservative with the salt, bear in mind the feta heart will add saltiness to the meatball - if not sure, cook a teaspoon of mince mix to check seasoning) Cover & refrigerate
  2. To prepare the caramelized onion, put onion in medium microwave-safe bowl, cover with cling film, poke a couple of holes and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes or until soft. Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat, fry softened onions for about one minute. Add balsamic vinegar and sugar, simmer for 3 extra minutes or until mixture becomes syrupy. Set aside and let cool slightly
  3. Preheat fan forced oven to 220 °C (425 °F) - for conventional ovens increase temperature by 10 - 20 degrees. Add cooled caramelized onion to the mince, stir until combined. Grab little mince portions of about 1 + 1/2 tablespoons (the dough scoop will be perfect for this task) roll mince into balls, nestle each ball on your left and, make a little well and push carefully a cube of feta. Re-roll meatball encasing the feta so it stays in the middle. Repeat until you finish all the mince.
  4. Place meatballs in an oven tray lined with non-stick paper. Spray with a little oil and cook on preheated oven for 10 - 12 minutes, turning meatballs once halfway
  5. For the crispy Lebanese breads lower oven to 180 °C (350 °F) Place oil, spice & garlic salt in a small bowl. Brush flat breads with the mixture on both sides. Cook in the oven for 3 - 4 minutes, turning them carefully once. Let them cool for 1 minute. Break into large chunks
  6. Serve meatballs on top of the crispy flat bread chunks with some salad and a good dollop of yogurt sauce
http://www.danceofsaucepans.com/lamb-feta-meatballs-yogurt-sauce/

Chicken Satay with Cucumber Salad

Chicken Satay with Cucumber Salad

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Chicken Satay is another one of my old classics; it is not by far the authentic Satay, but the recipe is kind of close to my heart as  it was the first non-Mediterranean dish I ever  cooked and it sooo easy to make,  it is almost impossible to mess it up really.

This chicken is perfect to throw in the bbq; marinate the chicken overnight for a super punch of flavor and the juiciest chicken ever! BBQ season is almost upon us here in NZ, finally got myself a new barbecue but is still patiently waiting inside the box… it has been sort of rainy… I have promised myself, this weekend will see the light, and I want to christen it with a bang!… Still not sure what to cook though… decisions, decisions.

Anyway back to the Satay… I really wanted to make sure you understand how important it is you give the cucumber salad a go, it is an absolute must. You can cut cucumber in ribbons or slices if you don’t want to go down the road of the fashionable vegetable “noodles” type of cut; I love them though, anything remotely “new” in the food scene and I dive right in!! The salad has the perfect crunch, it is so tangy and refreshing… it almost competes with the satay sauce in awesomeness. It is sometimes hard to know how to perk up a little the uninspiring old cucumber… well, this recipe definitely brings its “mojo” back!!

Chicken Satay

Cucumber Noodles & Marinated Chicken Tenderloins

Chicken Satay with Cucumber Salad

Photo by Cristina Gonzalez

Chicken Stay with Cucumber Salad

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 800g (1+1/2 lb) chicken tenderloins
  • oil spray
  • steamed Jasmine rice (optional)
  • Chicken Marinade
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • Satay Sauce
  • 1 cup coconut milk (I used Aroy-D)
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Cucumber Salad
  • 400g (13 oz) English cucumber (the one with thin skin & no seeds) washed
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped big mild red chili (adjust quantity to your taste)
  • salt

Directions

  1. Mix chicken & marinade ingredients in a big bowl. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours (ideally overnight)
  2. Cut cucumbers into "noodles", ribbons of thin slices (this can be easily done with the mandoline slicer) Place in a big colander over a big bowl. Sprinkle cucumber with some salt and set aside
  3. To prepare the Satay Sauce, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat stirring occasionally until sauce is thick & smooth. Keep warm
  4. Prepare Cucumber Salad Dressing by mixing vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, chili and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved
  5. Thread marinated chicken tenderloins onto bamboo wooden skewers (if you are going to cook chicken in the bbq, soak skewers in water for 30 minutes before using) Preheat a cast iron grill-pan (or a non stick pan) over medium/high heat. Spray with oil and fry chicken skewers until cooked all the way through
  6. Drain cucumber well (using your hands, carefully squeeze the cucumber to release any excess juice) Transfer to a bowl and mix with the prepared salad dressing
  7. Serve chicken skewers topped with the satay sauce and the cucumbers salad on the side. You can serve with some steamed jasmine rice as well, if you are after a more substantial meal
http://www.danceofsaucepans.com/chicken-stay-cucumber-salad/