Wednesday, July 24, 2013

NYT 20-Minute Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt-Tahini Dipping Sauce


I grew up in a family of lamb eaters...the lone dissenter.  I have no idea why on earth I felt compelled to make this the other day, but I saw the recipe, bought all the fixin's, and did just that.  I have to confess to softening my anti-lambie stance to some small degree as an adult.  Served hyper-spiced, I seem to be better with it's typical gaminess.  These meatballs come together in no time, have no fillers, and are great paired with nothing more than a simple bean salad I'll post next.

NYT's 20 Minute Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Tahini Dipping Sauce
(slightly adapted from NYT recipe)

1 lb natural ground lamb
3/4 tsp smoked salt (original recipe calls for 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt...sounded like too much)
2 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp Aleppo pepper (soooo good!  I subbed this for the 1/2 tsp of chili powder in original recipe)
1/2 tsp hot sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced, divided (use most in the meat mixture, but save a little for the sauce)
1 green onion, minced
black pepper to taste
2 Tbs minced parsley, divided
Olive oil, or a good cooking spray

1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt, and added a little water to the sauce to make up for the thickness)
1/4 cup tahini
touch of reserved minced garlic
lemon juice to taste
salt to taste
I added some more Aleppo pepper so that's an option
use a little water to thin if necessary

Yogurt Tahini Sauce

Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Set broiler to high, with the rack placed about 3 inches from flame.

In a large bowl, mix together lamb through black pepper, then add 1 Tbs parsley.  Combine well, but don't overmix.  Form about 12 meatballs.  They'll be around 1 1/2 inches.  Don't get fussy with this step.

Place meatballs on a lightly oiled sheet pan evenly.  I spritzed the tops of the meatballs with a light spray of oil to help brown them.
Broil meatballs for about 4 minutes, turn them over, then broil another 2-3 minutes more.  Try not to overcook them, since there are none of the usual fillers in there to keep them moist.

Garnish with extra Tbs of parsley and serve with sauce.

Serve this with this easy herbed white bean salad and you're good to go.