Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Lemon Mint Yogurt Sauce

Sad, but true. Over the weekend I ran over my laptop's power cord with the vacuum. Darn dog sheds too much! Oh, and I don't pay enough attention. Alas, I am computer-less. Hubby stays mentally fit with a Mac yet while I consider myself tech savvy, I just can't jump on board.

So, my internet time has been drastically cut short. Perhaps that will be a good thing so I can spend more time cooking?

We loved these Moroccan spiced lamb meatballs but missed out on the one key Moroccan ingredient: ras el hanout, a mix of about 12 spices like cardamom, clove, cinnamon, paprika, coriander, cumin, mace, nutmeg, peppercorn, and turmeric! I figured that in a pinch a blend of garam maslala and curry powder would suffice. Don't ask how I came to that conclusion but it worked :) Hopefully you'll find it easier to locate in your town; I went so far as to email a local Moroccan restaurant for a recommendation but she didnt know of any markets in the area that sell it. Next time, I'll plan ahead and order on the internet.

To top off the meatballs, we made a lemon mint yogurt sauce that nicely complimented the meat. I really never had any idea I would love the mint / lamb combo so much but it just works. And I can't really explain why, so just try it. Find some top quality pita bread and you have yourself a very tasty and exotic meal! I found this recipe in the same Sunset magazine I keep oohing and ahhing over {that I swiped from the gym.oops.}

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Lemon Mint Yogurt Sauce
Adapted from Sunset Magazine

1 1/2 cups (14 oz.) low fat Greek yogurt
finely shredded zest of 1 lemon (use a Microplane zester)
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp minced garlic

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and set aside until ready to serve meatballs. Chill, if desired.

2 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp ras el hanout (or 2 tsp curry powder and 2 tsp garam masala)
1 tsp salt & 1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 lb ground lamb
1/2 lb ground turkey
1 tbsp olive oil

1. In a large bowl, combine ginger, garlic, ras el hanout, salt and pepper. Add meats and gently combine with hands until spices are just evenly distributed. Do not overmix.

2. Gently roll meat into 1 1/2 inch balls and set on a rimmed baking pan or jelly roll pan. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line another baking pan with paper towels.

3. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Brown meatballs in batches on all sides, turning as needed for about 10-12 minutes (medium rare). Transfer meatballs to towel lined pan.

4. Transfer meatballs to serving dish and serve with yogurt sauce & pitas.


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Hang in there with being computer-less!!!

vanillasugarblog said...

I am so getting a Mac soon. I hear ya. Love these and that sauce, can I get a second helping of the sauce please? Since I am a sauce-junkie. No haters please! lol

Justin said...

these look great. and i love the excuse to cook more, even if it's sad about the power cord!

grace said...

no doubt about it—that blend of spices would be an essential ingredient! my favorite thing about your dish here is that sauce—what a refreshing touch!

Snooky doodle said...

Hope you ll fic your laptop soon. These meatballs look delicious. Lamnb and me=int yogurt are great together, Fantastic!

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Bunny said...

My dog chewed the cord to my laptop, luckily hubby could get another one! Your meatballs look fantastic Sharon, I have no doubt they tasted the same way!

Melissa said...

I love my MAC. And I love that recipe, especially the yogurt mint sauce.

Karine said...

I love mint and lamb together and this dish sounds delicious!

I am ssssoo sorry for your laptop!

Unknown said...

gosh...sorry about the laptop...

i always love meat balls....havent made lamb ones before as they are not as easily found as beef/chicken/pork here...will keep an eye next time...but i'll skip the yoghurt hehehe (change it to mayo perhaps?)

Cookie said...

My fiance loves his mac too but I've grown up as a PC girl! I never liked lamb either until just about a year ago and now I can't get enough of it! I still haven't tried making lamb meatballs yet but your recipe sounds simple and totally yummy! I've gotta give it a try!

Leslie said...

I am a PC girl..I just cant do the whole MAC thing. and they are sooo damn expensive!
Love the meatballs

The Blonde Duck said...

I hated Macs before I got mine now (Ben's old one), and I really like them now. Don't be scared!

Chef Fresco said...

Sorry about the cord - sounds like something i'd do :) These meatballs look delicious! I love the sauce you made!

diva said...

i'm likin the spices. yum yum sharon! :) and sorry to hear bout the computer. sucks to be without one. i always feel a little lost.

dude, totally jump on the Mac bandwagon. did 3 years ago and it's the best thing tt ever happened to me. the system is just genius.

Emily said...

Mmm lamb and turkey meatballs. They look delicious. I like your substitution of curry powder. I would have done the same thing.

Ana Powell said...

Hope you get your computer soon.
Beautiful and delicious recipe x

Christina Kim said...

I LOVE MEATBALLS!! sounds yummy :)

Sophie said...

Meatballs are definitely underrated. This recipe really puts them in the spotlight nicely, especially with the fresh ingredients and yogurt. YUM! I have never heard of that spice, I'm gonna see if I can get some. So many of my favorite flavors in one pinch!

kat said...

These sound great & I think we actually do have some of that spice to try them

tru spork said...

lamb and mint are a marriage!! In Australia, we eat roast lamb with mint sauce.. yummy!!

Zanne said...

In the recipe you saute'd the meatballs, but ask for the oven to be preheated and then never mention the oven again. ?????