Monday, December 7, 2015

Kofta with Tzatziki

     Not the greatest photo but hopefully you get the idea.  My normal photographer was at school so I was on my own!  I think meatballs are one of the best comfort foods.  They are also some of the best make-ahead foods.  With loads of ground lamb, ground pork and ground beef in our freezer, we make a lot of different types of meatballs.  In downtown Pittsburgh  is the fabulous meatball joint, Sienna Mercato and it is crazy popular.  We love to stop in for a quick snack, each one of us choosing one or two meatballs to try and share.  When Dear Daughter's best friend came from Italy, we took her there and she fell in love with the meatball sub.  Who knew?
     It is strange but Dear Daughter refuses to eat meatloaf but loves most of the meatballs that we make.  If the meatball is accompanied with a sauce, all the better for her.  Swedish meatballs are one of her favorites followed by a really tasty lamb meatball with a tomato and feta sauce.
     This meatball is a little different but it has a very nice variety of spices.  Since it hails from the Middle East, I thought a quick Tzatziki sauce would be a great addition.  Serving it alongside pita bread or some sort of flat bread would complete the meal.  Typically, these morsels would be molded around a skewer like a long cigar and then grilled over an open fire.  I opted to make them slightly elongated and cooked them on a grill pan (it was a bit too cold to stand by the grill).  While historically lamb or beef are the primary ingredients, I used a combination of pork and beef as that is what I had on hand. Tasty and easy!

Kofta with Tzatziki

Kofta with Tzatziki

1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
4 stems parsley
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t white pepper
1 t ground cumin
Pinch of ground cloves
5 mint leaves, very finely chopped
Salt to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes

In a bowl, combine the meets and the remaining ingredients.  Mix well and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes to marinate.

When ready to cook, take the kofta and make a big cigar.  Put on a long skewer and keep making skewers until finished.  Cook over a charcoal grill.  Serve hot.


1 cup plain Greek yogurt, strained for 30 minutes
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
1 t lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Add a bit of salt to the cucumber and let sit in a bowl for 20 minutes.  Strain and squeeze out as much water as possible.  Add cucumber and remaining ingredients to the yogurt.  Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for an hour or more to develop the flavors.

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