Food hack (n): a simple, quick recipe with a small number of ingredients, where the end result is greater than the sum of its parts.
Here Edwina McNulty shows you how to make delicious Greek Lamb Meatballs with Mint Tzatziki and Jeweled Cous Cous…
I’m not sure you’d find this recipe gracing the pages of any traditional Greek cookbook. But sometimes you get the most surprising results through fusion foods – it’s the best of both worlds. Nigel Slater encourages us to try spiced Chinese pork in a floury Scottish bap, Jamie Oliver put jarred roasted peppers into a Thai prawn curry. I’ve tried both and they were a revelation.
This is a great recipe for experimenting with diferent spices, herbs and textures. The Greek-inspired meatballs are fairly simple, with the mint tzatziki both complementing and cutting through the rich lamb. The cous cous combines contrasting textures and flavours, try substituting the sultanas for chopped dried apricots or dried cherries, the toasted almonds for walnuts or pine nuts, the parsley for coriander.
Make this dish your own, and reap the rewards of wholesome, nutritious cooking. As always on food hacks, I’ve included some short cuts, you can of course make your own cous cous and tzatziki from scratch, they’re simple to make but this method will cut down on time, and still count as home-made!.
250g lamb mince
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
Zest of two lemons
2 tbsp breadcrumbs (I use ruskoline crumb dressing, a store cupboard essential)
1 x tub tzatziki
1 x tbsp. dried mint
2 x packets Moroccan Cous Cous (we used Ainsley Harriot)
2 x tbsp. chopped parsley
2 x tbsp. toasted flaked almonds (you can buy these ready toasted, they have so much more flavour)
2 x tbsp dried sultanas sultanas
1 x tin chickpeas
1. Heat the oven to 180.
2. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs, roll into balls about 1.5” diameter. This is one time you’d use meat directly from the fridge, as the chill helps retain the shape of the meatballs.
3. Fry the meatballs on a medium heat in two batches, until they turn brown on the outside, then place in the oven.
4. Place the chickpeas in a flat dish with the cous cous, cover with boiling water, cover with tin foil and place in the oven for 5 minutes (cut a meatball to check they are cooked through).
5. Mix the mint through the tzatziki.
6. Mix the remaning ingredients through the cous cous, top with the meatballs and tzatziki.
And there you have it, a gloriously fragrant, filling meal with lots of lovely contrasting textures and flavours.
Edwina runs her own designer cake company: www.rosewoodcakes.com