Day 2 – Lamb Koftas with Tzatziki
In the middle of a heatwave that bore down on the country and threatened to press us all down with suffocating radiant pressure, when firies were on high alert and Tasmania burned and when the heat crept up through the floorboards and into the wall cavities of the house, I called for a Family Meal.
It was forty three degrees outside but I was desperate. In truth, none of us, mother or child, could remember the last time the three of us had sat down at the same time to Eat Mum’s Food.
Aiming for unashamed sentimentality and going for the populist vote, I decided on lamb for mains and mango for dessert. Then I went shopping for something that could both fit into a tight budget and not add to the heat of the day.
Lamb rarely makes it onto this website mainly because of price, but I found 500g of lamb mince for $5.00 that then made 12 koftas, enough for 4 people. A double amount of koftas will easily feed six greedy people or a few hungry teenagers.
You can make everything, including the meatballs and a cool tzatziki, earlier in the cool of the day ready to cook in under ten minutes. The koftas cook so quickly that the kitchen won’t really heat up at all. With a tomato and onion salad, some salad greens and flatbread, this is perfect hot weather family food.
Makes 12 koftas, enough for 4 people
12 bamboo skewers
500g lamb mince; ½ bunch parsley, finely chopped; 3 cloves garlic, crushed; 2 brown onions; 1 tsp cumin OR moroccan spice mix OR baharat spice mix; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper; 1 tbsp olive oil.
Tzatziki: 1 lebanese cucumber; 1 tsp table (pouring) salt; 1 x 200g tub plain or greek yoghurt; ½ bunch mint, finely chopped
Green salad to serve; tomato salad to serve (throw the remaining parsley and mint from the bunches into this salad if you like); pita or lebanese bread to serve.
Soak the bamboo skewers in cold water for at least an hour or all day if you can.
Place mince, chopped parsley and crushed garlic in a ceramic or glass bowl. Grate the onions into the meat and add spice, salt and pepper. Use your clean hands to mix it all together until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
Roll the mixture into 24 evenly sized balls about 3cm in diameter and set aside on a tray. Cover and chill at least an hour. While the meatballs are chilling, make your tzatziki.
Tzatziki: Slice the cucumber in half lengthways and use a teaspoon to scrape the seeds out of each half. Slice the halves thinly and place in a small bowl. Sprinkle with pouring salt and toss well to combine. Chill for at least one hour.
Rinse the cucumber well under cold running water, then gently squeeze the slices to release all the juice and water. Pat dry on paper towel and place in a small bowl with remaining ingredients. Mix well to combine and chill until you are ready to serve.
Preheat grill or griddle pan with high heat.
Gently squash each meatball into an elongated oval shape in the palm of your hand and thread two onto each skewer. Brush with a little olive oil. Grill or pan-fry or barbecue for four minutes on each side until they are browned and still a little tender. Brush each side with a little olive oil so they don’t stick to the pan.
Serve immediately with tzatziki on the side, some salads and flatbread and let everyone help themselves.
$12.80 for koftas and tzatziki