Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sesame Lamb Meatballs

By Paul Briand

My wife Jane and I went to a Greek festival recently at a nearby Greek Orthodox Church.

My primary motivation was the food, and I got my gyro while Jane got moussaka. What I didn't expect was that the little market of Greek food in the church hall included several recipes and I picked up this one for Sesame Lamb Meatballs.

It's one thing to go out for a taste of Greek food, it was quite another experience to return with a recipe for Greek food that we could prepare and eat at home.

1/3 cup minced onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of cinnamon
1 pound ground lamb
1 cup bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten lightly
2 tablespoons raisins
1/2 cup of sesame seeds, toasted lightly

1. In a small skillet cook onion and garlic in olive oil over moderate heat until softened;
2. Transfer mixture to large mixing bowl and add oregano, salt and cinnamon;
3. Add lamb, bread crumbs, egg and raisins, combined well;
4. Roll mixture into individual 1 1/4 inch meatballs, arranging on a tray;
5. Roll each meatball in a small bowl of the sesame seeds until coated;
6. Transfer meatballs into a baking pan;
7. Cook in 450 degree preheated oven until done, about 10 minutes.

Given the dryness of the mixture, I was worried that the meatballs would come out of my oven and into my mouth and be a little dry, but there were two surprises: the raisins that added a nice level of moisture and sweetness and the sesame seeds that gave the meatballs an initial crunch.
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