No-Panic Picnic: Kathryn’s Lamb Meatballs with Cucumber and Feta Yogurt Sauce

I had never made lamb meatballs before. It’s not that I don’t think they’re delicious. It had just never crossed my mind.  But a few weeks ago, my friend Kathryn and I were faced with the challenge of putting together a picnic for six people in less than thirty minutes. It not only needed to be ready in thirty minutes, it needed to be packed up neatly and securely for picnic consumption. We had a very important concert to attend. I am normally in this situation alone in a completely torn apart kitchen, panicked, trying to find container lids and plastic flatware while cursing myself for making an unnecessarily complicated variety of salads and sandwiches.

“Let’s make lamb meatballs.” Kathryn swooped in this time like some sort of picnic angel. And although summer is over and so are most outdoor concert series, the holiday season is almost upon us. Pretty soon we’ll be contemplating what to bring to our friend’s festive potluck. I, for one, recommend these lamb meatballs. They were a huge hit!

Enjoy!

Heather

Lamb Meatballs with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Serves 6

For Meatballs:

  • 1/2 lb ground lamb
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon mint,  finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup split pea powder (or breadcrumbs)
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

For Yogurt Sauce:

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cups crumbed feta cheese
  • 1 large cucumber, cut lengthwise, then sliced diagonally
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a large bowl  mix together all ingredients except oil until thoroughly combined. Using your hands, form the meat mixture into 1 1/2 inch diameter balls.  Heat the oil in a heavy cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. (You may have to work in batches so reserve some olive oil for the second batch if necessary). Place the meatballs in the pan and cook on all sides until dark and crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside, about 10 minutes total. Place on a paper towel-covered plate to cool.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a medium bowl combine the yogurt, feta, and lemon juice. Toss in the sliced cucumbers and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve the meatballs with the sauce.

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4 Comments

Filed under Dinner, Gluten-free, Heather Platt, Lunch, Main Course, Meat

4 responses to “No-Panic Picnic: Kathryn’s Lamb Meatballs with Cucumber and Feta Yogurt Sauce

  1. These look delicious. I love the idea of putting feta in the yogurt dip to spice things up.

  2. These look delicious. I love the idea of putting feta in the yogurt dip to spice things up.

  3. I love the Hollywood Bowl. If in fact that is the Hollywood Bowl. Remember those delicious lamb burgers in NY? I can’t remember the name of the restaurant but it is open all night and in gramercy area?

    • HP

      Yes! That’s the Hollywood Bowl. Ben’s Quartet was playing that night. You’re thinking of L’Express! I made Ben go there with me at midnight for a lamb burger the last time I was in New York. Soooo good!!

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