Sunday, May 12, 2013

Meatball-Stuffed Mini Pitas with Yogurt Sauce

This is fast, portable dish that's perfect for a picnic on the beach. Everything is made ahead of time and simply assembled on-site.

1 pound ground meat (I used a combination of ground turkey and ground beef)
1 egg
1/4 C ground almonds
1 T crushed garlic
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4 t ground coriander
dash of paprika
2 T dukkah*
freshly ground salt
freshly ground pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together well. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil. Form tablespoon-sized meatballs - or larger if you like - and place them on your baking sheet. They will shrink, so you can place them fairly close together. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Yogurt Sauce
1 C Greek, whole milk yogurt
1/2 t crushed garlic
1 T dukkah*
2 T fresh herbs (use whatever you have on-hand, I used cilantro)
1 T fresh lemon juice

Mix everything together in a bowl. Chill until ready to serve.

*Dukkah is an Egyptian spice that you can whip up easily and it keeps for a long time!

1 C roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
1/2 C sesame seeds (I usually use 1/4 C white sesame seeds and 1/4 C black sesame seeds, but it's simply aesthetics. Use what you have)
2 T coriander seeds
2 T cumin seeds
2 t freshly ground pepper
2 t freshly ground salt

Toast all of the seeds in a dry skillet. Remove from heat once they begin to brown. Grind the toasted seeds with the hazelnuts with a mortar and pestle (I'm low-tech) or with a food processor, if you wish. At the very end, season with salt and pepper. Store in an air-tight container.

Slice your pita breads in half and stuff one half into the other, so you have a double layer. Place meatballs inside. Top with sauce.

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