Contributing Chef- Abby Reibman-Author of The Desk and The Stove
This oldie but goodie is a great canape for the holidays. Something substantial is always good when guests are drinking and having fun!
Despite my boyfriend Rob’s shortcomings in the kitchen – his idea of a gourmet meal is chicken nachos or the British version of grilled cheese (aptly titled cheese on toast. duh), even he managed to master this recipe. The ground pistachios and mint elevate the flavors of the ground lamb and the red pepper flakes pack a bit of a punch. The creamy tzatziki should be a striking contrast with the rich, bold flavors in the meatballs – the combination is toga -ood to be true (eyeroll for Rob’s terrible joke). Pair it with many glasses of ouzo – you’ll need it if your man puns as badly as mine! This is one finger-lickin’ good party food in the perfect bite-sized portion. A few plates might even be thrown in appreciation.
1 ¼ pounds of ground lamb ⅔ cup Greek yogurt
1 sprig of mint, finely chopped ⅓ English cucumber
15 pistachios, ground in a food processor ½ clove of garlic, made into a paste with salt
½ clove of garlic, finely chopped 3 sprigs of mint, finely chopped
A pinch of red pepper flakes A bunch of dill, finely chopped
Olive oil A squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and pepper Olive oil
For the Meatballs…
1 – Put the ground meat in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, add in the chopped garlic, ground pistachios, pinch of red pepper flakes and the chopped mint and mix together.
2 – Form small meatballs and place on a large plate ready to cook.
3 – Heat a large frying pan with olive oil on high heat and sear the meatballs until they are golden brown. (approx. 2-3 minutes). Lower the heat and continue cooking for a further 4-5 minutes on each side.
3 – Remove them from the heat, place on a paper towel on a different plate to rest for 2 minutes.
For the Tzatziki….
1 – Peel the cucumber, slice it in half and scrape out the seeds using a teaspoon.
2 – Grate the cucumber into a bowl – it will be very wet so give it a good squeeze to release some of the water. Next, transfer the grated cucumber onto a paper towel, put another piece of paper towel on top of it and put it in a sieve or colander to continue releasing the moisture. This is important to do, otherwise your tzatziki will be too loose!! Let stand for 20 minutes.
3 – Pour the Greek yogurt into a bowl and mix in the garlic paste. Remove the grated cucumber from the two pieces of paper towel and mix into the yogurt.
4 – Add the finely chopped mint and dill to the yogurt, squeeze in a bit of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil to loosen it up. Mix all together and adjust seasonings.
5 – To serve: arrange the meatballs on a plate and the tzatziki in a bowl – perfect for dipping! Or, place a dollop of the tzatziki directly on the meatballs for a perfect bite-sized canape!
Stay Tuned For Abby Reibman’s Very Own Blog This Fall!!!!!!!!!!
So happy to have you be a part of The Hostess Handbook. Sorority sisters gotta stay together!