Lamb Meatballs with Feta, Lemon and Mint

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From SmittenKitchen

Meatballs
3 to 8 tablespoons water
2 pounds ground lamb
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup (about 70 grams) breadcrumbs, fresh or plain, such as Panko
1/2 cup (55 grams) crumbled feta cheese
3/4 teaspoon table salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 small garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons (35 grams) tomato paste
Zest of half a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil

Sauce
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
A couple glugs of red wine or white/dry vermouth (optional)
1 28-ounce (795 grams) can of crushed or pureed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Zest of half a lemon
3/4 to 1 teaspoon table salt
Pinches of red pepper flakes (to taste)
1/3 cup (about 45 grams) pitted, chopped kalamata olives
1 tablespoon thinly sliced mint leaves, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup (30 grams) crumbled feta, for garnish

Make meatballs: If you plan don’t plan to brown the meatballs, use only 3 tablespoons water. If you do, use all 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup). In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients except oil; I like to do this with a fork. Using wet hands, form mixture into small (1 1/2 to 2-inch diameter) meatballs; I have taken to using a large (just shy of 3 tablespoon) cookie scoop for easy sizing.

Brown meatballs: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat it through. Evenly space meatballs in pan and very carefully turn and roll them so that all sides become brown. Don’t worry if they don’t remain perfectly round; mine never do. Don’t worry if some pieces become stuck to the pan; they will deliciously infuse the sauce in a minute. Drain meatballs on a paper towel-lined plate.

[If you prefer not to fry your meatballs before cooking them in the sauce, you can cook them right in the sauce — it will take about 10 minutes longer.]

Make sauce and finish cooking meatballs: Pour out all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add wine or vermouth and scrape up any bits stuck to the pan. Cook until the liquid almost disappears. Add tomatoes, oregano, lemon zest, salt, pepper flakes, olives (if you’re using them now), mint and parsley. Bring mixture to a simmer and return meatballs to the pan. Cover with a lid and cook at the lowest simmer for 20 to 24 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through. Squeeze lemon juice over meatballs and sauce.

Serve: Sprinkled with additional olives, feta and herbs. We had this with orzo and aGreek salad.

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh
Serves 6-8

from David Lebovitz

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Anissa’s recipe uses plenty of flat-leaved parsley. When shopping, if weighing them, each bunch I bought weighed between 3 to 4 ounces, or 85 to 115 grams, but if you want to be certain, simply weigh them at the market so you know you have the amount called for in the recipe. Once home, pick the parsley and mint leaves from the stems and wash them in a salad spinner. -dl

  • 3 tablespoons (30g) fine bulgur
  • 3 medium (600g) firm ripe tomatoes, diced into small cubes
  • 2 (50g) spring onions or scallions, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 14 ounces (400g) flat-leaf parsley, most of the stalks discarded, leaves washed and dried
  • 2 cups (20g) mint leaves (no stems), washed and dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (or Lebanese seven-spice mixture)
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
  • 2/3 cup (150ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 gem lettuce heads, washed and quartered

 

1. Rinse the bulgur in several changes of cold water. Drain well and put in a bowl. Stir it with a fork every now and then to help it fluff up.

2. Put the diced tomatoes in a bowl and set aside while you prepare the herbs. A word of warning: do not chop the herbs with a mezzaluna. This will only bruise them.

Using a razor-sharp knife, grab as much of the parsley and mint as you can handle in a bunch, and slice them very thin, to end up with nice, crisp slender strips.

3. Drain the tomatoes of their juice and put in a large bowl. Add the spring onion and herbs. Sprinkle the bulgur all over. Season with the cinnamon, allspice and pepper. Add salt to taste. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately with the quartered gem lettuce.

Easy Everyday Lentil Curry

Easy Everyday Lentil Curry

from Indian Vegetarian Feast by Anjum Anand 

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Serves 4

Ingredients

  • scant 2/3 cup yellow lentils (mung dal), washed well
  • generous 1/3 cup red lentils (mansoor dal), washed well
  • 1/2 onion minced
  • 1/3 oz. gingerroot, peeled weight, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2-4 green chilies, whole but pierced with the tip of a knife
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2- 2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter
  • 2 rounded teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • handful chopped cilantro leaves 

Directions

  • Place both types of lentils in a bowl and wash in several changes of water, until the water runs clear. Now place them in a large pan with water to cover by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Skim the surface of any scum. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, chiles, tomatoes, turmeric, and seasoning. Return to a boil, reduce the heat, then simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are cooked and the curry starts to look homogeneous, around 40 minutes.
  • Heat the ghee or butter in a very small pan and let it pool on one side. Add the cumin seeds and asafetida. Once the seeds darken, add the garam masala and ground coriander and take off the heat. Pour into the lentils, add the chopped cilantro, and serve.