Hye Thyme Cafe: Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Dipper

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Dipper

Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Dipping Sauce : Hye Thyme Cafe


These meatballs are super tender, and although I could only find Australian ground lamb, the yogurt cut that typical gamey taste. Serve up a few with mini pita rounds or wedges and cucumber slices to get some extra mileage out of your yogurt dipper. Or serve with Pilaf and a salad.  

INGREDIENTS
Plain yogurt (1c +)
2 cloves garlic
1 egg
1/2 small onion
1 handful parsley
1 pkg mint leaves
1/2 t each Salt & Pepper
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 c fresh bread crumbs *
1 lb ground lamb
Olive Oil

* I always throw any odd pieces of bread in a container in the freezer to grind when I accumulate a good amount - doesn't matter if it's end slices, a hamburger roll, etc. Comes in very handy for meatballs, meatloaf, croquettes, toasting for a crispy garnish ...
  1. Start by making your yogurt sauce to give the garlic and mint a chance to impart their flavor. Mix 1c yogurt with 1/2 to 1 clove garlic (minced), depending on your preference, and about half the mint leaves (finely chopped). Cover and store in the fridge until needed.
  2. Let the lamb sit out for a while so it's not extremely cold - you don't want it to toughen up when it hits a hot pan.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. If you do not have an oven-proof skillet, line a baking sheet with foil and place it in the oven while pre-heating so you can transfer your browned meatballs to it without cooling them down.
  4. In a blender or food processor, puree the remaining clove of garlic with the onion, egg, parsley, remaining mint leaves, 3T yogurt, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.
  5. Mix the lamb, bread crumbs, and puree until well combined, then roll into 1" balls. The mixture will be soft and somewhat sticky.
  6. Coat the bottom of an oven-proof skillet with olive oil over moderate heat, then - using a spoon to keep them rolling, brown the meatballs all the way around.
  7. Transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking through. I had mine in for about 20", but I realize people are leaning toward lamb that is more and more rare over time, so that's up to your preference. Just cut one open to check.
Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Dipping Sauce : Hye Thyme Cafe
Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Dipping Sauce : Hye Thyme Cafe


Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Dipping Sauce : Hye Thyme Cafe
You can see how juicy they are.  :)

Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Dipping Sauce : Hye Thyme Cafe
Yum!

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