Lamb Kofta with Sweet Tahini Sauce

Lamb Kofta

And just like that, the legislative session is over!

As I mentioned in the last few posts, I have been working down in the state capitol since the beginning of the year. But on Thursday the legislature adjourned Sine Die (Latin for “without day”) and finished its work for the year. That means I’m back in Seattle – and catching up on blogging all the iron-chef style dinners that my coworkers and I did over the past few weeks!

I posted the first challenge of the year a few weeks back: a Moroccan eggplant wrap with chorizo and pickled mangoes. This time around the three ingredients were ground lamb, eggs, and sweet condensed milk – which resulted in this delicious fusion dish that incorporates a cuisines from across the Mediterranean.

The kofta is really the star of this recipe. These middle eastern-style meatballs are crispy on the outside but tender on the inside, and packed full of flavor throughout. The slightly gamey lamb is balanced with a rich gravy reduction and accented with Moroccan spices and pine nuts. Meanwhile the rest of the pita is full of earthy garbanzo beans, robust cherry tomatoes and a silky, slightly sweet tahini sauce.

These pitas are wonderfully bite sized, so you can serve them as heavy appetizers or in groups of two or three as an entree. Either way, they’ll impress friends, family, or simply your own stomach.

Look for more culinary challenges from the past few weeks coming soon!

Lamb Kofta with Sweet Tahini Sauce (serves 10)

Lamb Kofta 2

Kofta Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 3 tablespoons coriander
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of flour

Tahini Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup sweet condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese

Remaining Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and patted dry
  • 8 large pitas, cut into quarters
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cherry tomato halves and garbanzo beans with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and lay out on a baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the oven and cook the tomatoes for 20-30 minutes, until the tomatoes are reduced slightly in size and beginning to get crispy on the outside.
  2. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat and add olive oil until it there is a 1/4 inch layer. Combine all the kofta ingredients except the flour and stock into a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Working in batches, form the lamb mixture into 1 inch balls and cook in the skillet until all sides are browned.
  3. Once all the kofta has been browned, add them all back into the skillet and add enough stock to reach the top of meatballs. Bring to stock to a boil, cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. IMG_3100Remove the kofta to a separate plate. Add the flour to stock mixture and whisk vigorously to incorporate. Continue to simmer, whisking occasionally, until it is reduced by half and thickened to the consistency of gravy. Pour the mixture over the kofta.
  5. Combine all the sweet tahini sauce ingredients together in a bowl and mix thoroughly. To serve, stuff each pita quarter with tahini sauce, garbanzo beans, tomatoes and one to two koftas.
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