Monday, October 26, 2015

lamb, feta and yogurt meatballs

I've been doing a lot of experimenting with Mediterranean flavors and spices lately; blame my new obsession with greek yogurt (seriously-what can you not do with it?!?) and this dish is the latest installment.

This meal is courtesy of a stroll through the supermarket with leftover eggplant in the fridge at home on my mind and a faraway memory of these turkey and feta burgers one of my college roommates used to make.

lamb, feta and yogurt meatballs
1/2 lb ground lamb
3/4 cup 0% greek yogurt
1 egg
half of spice blend (mixture below)
4 oz feta, cubed
2 cups breadcrumbs
olive oil

  • preheat oven to 375
  • combine all ingredients (except half of the breadcrumbs) in a bowl-if they feel a bit too wet to form into a ball, add a bit more breadcrumbs, a tablespoon at a time
  • form meatballs-I made about 6 with these, which were really big. you can make them smaller and adjust cooking time
  • roll meatballs in remaining breadcrumbs for a crispy exterior
  • preheat an oven safe pan on the stovetop with olive oil on medium heat
  • place meatballs in hot pan and let cook about 3 mins on each side, until browned
  • brown on 4 sides then transfer to the oven for 15-20 minutes (10 minutes for smaller meatballs), turning once halfway through
  • let cool and place a fork into one to check doneness-it should be only slightly pink but mostly cooked through (oven temps could vary-return to oven for a few more minutes if not cooked through)

pearl couscous with eggplant and peppers
pearl couscous package (also known as israeli couscous)
1 pepper, diced
1 small eggplant, diced
half of spice blend, below

  • sauté eggplant and peppers with spice blend, set aside
  • follow directions on pearl couscous package
  • once couscous is done, add veggies and cover

sweet and sour fig sauce
1/2 cup dried figs, sliced
2 tbsp fig jam
1/4 cup of chicken or vegetable stock; if you don't have it use water
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste

  • combine all ingredients except lemon juice on medium heat on stovetop and come to a low boil to thicken
  • once all have combined and the sauce has a syrupy texture, stir in lemon juice and spoon over meatballs

spice blend
(use on both meatballs and couscous)
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp basil

Once ready to serve, spoon pearl couscous at the bottom of the bowl, top with meatballs and fig sauce, slice pita bread for the side

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