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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Greek-Spiced Lamb Meatballs

I personally love lamb. Growing up my mom never liked lamb so we never ate it but as an adult I've added it to our repertoire. I could pretty much eat chicken and never get sick of it, it is the animal world's equivalent of tofu; a blanket canvas of protein. The Husband however, gets tired of chicken fast so I make efforts to add more non-chicken meals to the rotation.

The latest issue of Fine Cooking had a recipe for Greek spiced lamb meatballs (you can fine it here) which looked like something The Husband would like. My husband has a ton of food allergies and the taste buds of a five year old so cooking for him is always a challenge.

As always, I have attempted to sprinkle my spices in a decorative pattern so it will look nice an pretty on my blog. In the bowl you can see

-ground lamb
-half an onion
-chopped parsley
-dried mint (I didn't have any fresh)
-dried oregano (I don't even think they sell this fresh at my supermarket)
-sea salt

The recipe calls for soaking fresh bread crumbs in milk and then adding them to the lamb mixture but I just couldn't be bothered with this step. I usually cut down the steps in a recipe because I already spend enough time in the kitchen as it is and I need to save time whenever I can. Oh yes, I also added an egg and some dried breadcrumbs afterward and mixed it all together.

I made little meatballs with small ice cream scoop (utterly indispensable for this and for making cookies) and put them to cook in the oven. The recipe calls for baking them in the oven and in general I find that this works much better than browning them on the stove. Often on the stove it is hard to get them to brown evenly, you have to cook multiple batches, you risk having them break apart when you're moving them etc... much easier just to bake them.

Meanwhile, as my meatballs were browning I made the sauce with:

-Pureed tomatoes
-The other half of the onion, browned
-A bay leaf
-Sea salt

and let the whole thing reduce for 20 minutes.

I didn't add any wine because The Husband can't have any. He had tongue cancer earlier this year (don't worry, he got it taken care off and he's ok and no, he has never smoked so him getting it was just very bad luck), so his doctor told him no more wine. I know there are non-alcoholic wines out there, but I forgot to buy some. They only have them in white though, so if I ever make beef bourguignon for him again it might taste a wee bit different from what we're used to. I did add some feta directly to the sauce to add some more flavour.

After 25 minutes my tasty little meatballs were ready to come out and go for a swim in the sauce. Alas, I forgot to take a picture of my swimming meatballs.

My suggestion to make Greek Potatoes was vetoed by the husband as we had eaten potatoes earlier in the day so I just decided to boil some pasta. Not very Greek but at least it is in the spirit of a Mediterranean theme. Above is my finished plate with some more parsley and a chunk of feta. I actually bought some from the store even though I have a pot in the backyard as the spiders think it made a good spot to set up shop and since I am dreafully afraid of spiders I just don't feel like fighting with them over it.

This was a pretty tasty, pretty quick meal. It made a nice change from chicken and has left quite a few leftovers for the week. It was quite good with the spaghetti but next time I think I will try to go for a slightly more authentic side dish.
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