I've been having a lot of cravings for Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food lately after having to visit Sultan Grill and Socrates Secret.
I did give a personal commendation to the chef of Socrates Secret whom we found outside their kitchen taking a break after having to end our wonderful dinner at Paseo Santa Rosa.
So I searched my recipe books for something that I could whip up for lunch the following day, one that would satiate my cravings for Kofta. And I didn't find anything!
I found a load of recipes for Kofta but initially looked for the white sauce that would add flavor to the meatball. I found one, at gimmedelicious.com and landing at the same page gave me a whole lot of possibilities for enjoying more Greek meals at home.
I have to say that website is a treasure trove of recipes and i would love to try them all. The page's tagline and mine too - EASY...
I'm so glad to have tried these recipes as this didn't fail in comparison to some Mediterranean restos we've tried. I had to say the meat was perfectly accompanied with the subtle garlicky flavor of mixed Greek yogurt and tahini. The family was also happy to have eaten these...at home and I'm proud of myself to have cooked this cuisine, it's so easy and quick to do, you may fry it if you don't have an oven as well.
So sharing two of their recipes to you.
1 lb ground lamb or beef (turkey can also be used, I used lamb)
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup grated onion, or finely minced
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Tahini sauce for topping (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients (except the tahini sauce) with your hands or a wooden spoon, until well blended. Form the mixture into 24 small bowls; I like to use an ice-cream scoop to get the exact sizes. Place kofta balls 1 inch apart on an un-greased sheet pan or in my case I used a mini-muffin pan. You can press to flatten; squeeze as many as you can on the pan because they will shrink as they bake or you can just leave it in a ball form.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the center is done. Place under the broiler for 2 minutes or until lightly charred. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and white tahini shawarma sauce, in pitas or as a salad. Enjoy!
½ cup Greek Yogurt (sour-cream can also be used)
Juice of half a lime
1 tablespoon Tahini (optional)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh dill,chopped (1 teaspoon dry can also be used)
5 mint leaves (optional, dry can also be used)
½ teaspoon salt
Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process for 1 minute or until light and fluffy.
Store in the fridge, in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.