Monday, December 10, 2012

Mini lamb meatballs with spicy Moroccan inspired dipping sauce

Mini Lamb Meatballs with Moroccan inspired dipping sauce

In a bowl add:
- 1 lb ground lamb
- Splash of worstershire sauce

In a blender pulse/grind the following: 

- 1 slice bread
- 1/4 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 sprigs of mint, remove and wash leaves
- 2 sprigs parsley, remove and wash leaves
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses 
- Salt & black pepper

- 1 large egg

Add the marinade to the lamb and gently blend it, do not over mix.  Let it sit out until it comes to room temp, about 30-40 minutes. 

In a saucepan heat oil (I used grape seed oil for the browning, don't waste olive oil on this task) 
Brown the meatballs on all sides in batches as not to overcrowd, in a large skillet I could finish the pound of meat in 2 batches.

When cooking lamb you do not want to overcook so it just comes down to browning them and then remove them by placing them on a paper towel lined plate, they could still cook at this stage so take them out a little early.  Brown on high heat in hot oil as not to let them get grey and soggy but let them brown instantly on all sides without overcooking the middles too much, use a splatter guard as it will splash because the ground lamb contains a lot of fat inside it. 

Set the meatballs aside. 

Spicey tomato dipping sauce: 

This is an interesting recipe, I actually created it using leftover pizza sauce I made the previous day (which I grated ginger into, I love my ginger pizza sauce!! If you haven't seen my previous post on it then click here )
So I had this amazing sauce on hand and simply added abit of spice into it. 

When I began with the recipe for pizza I did the following: 

- 1 1/2 cups strained tomato sauce from a jar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 large piece of ginger, about twice the size of a thumb, peeled and grated. 

Salt & black pepper

I simmered all of this until the tomato sauce was thick and delicious with an intense ginger flavour. Spread on pizza and you're good to go. 

For the meatball dipping sauce I began with the following: 

Add to a shallow pan: 
- 1 1/2 tsp oil
- 1/4 tsp cumin seed
- 1/2 tsp spanish paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp harissa (I buy a can, divide and freeze in small cubes for future use) 
- 2 tbsp chopped roasted red pepper (I buy them on sale and roast in the oven covered with olive oil on 400 until soft with blistering skins, they go into a jar with olive oil and into the fridge after peeling) 

This recipe is very versatile, just use whatever you got on hand, if you don't have something here then omit it, that's kinda how I cook so I happened to just have these ingredients (harissa/roasted red pepper) in the fridge and so they went in.  If you want a basic sauce recipe just go with the tomato/ginger and spices, and it'll be delicious! 

You can put the meatballs in the sauce or serve separately, if you think your guests would prefer a little variety why not put the red sauce in one bowl and then do a yogurt dipping sauce in the other (1 cup yogurt, chopped mint,1 tsp lemon juice, salt, black pepper) 

Here I have a saffron rice with peas, and a roasted eggplant dish, yogurt, tea and it's quite a party! 

Eggplants are roasted on the fire (on the BBQ) until skins are blistering.  I remove the skins and seedy innards and reserve the flesh.  I chop on a cutting board to the point where it's like a dip and add smashed/grated garlic to this too, season with salt, 2 tbsp lemon juice, drizzle a tbsp of tahini over and blend..  Garnish with pomegranate seeds.   Just have fun with it!

Thank you for stopping by ;)

No comments: