I found this recipe in the weekend edition of the Wall St. Journal as good “noshing” food for New Year’s and had to give it a try, with a few minor changes. It comes from chef Michael Symon of the Parea Greek restaurant in New York and Lola & Lolita Bistro in Cleveland. The meatballs are quite tasty and work well dipped in a little yogurt.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 4 ounces salt pork, ground or finely minced
- Zest of 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Greek yogurt for dipping
1 Heat a small pan over medium heat and add oil, garlic, jalapeño and shallot, and cook for 1 minute, then let cool.
2 Meanwhile, crumble lamb into a large bowl. Evenly scatter salt pork, orange zest and mint over lamb, and season with pepper. Sprinkle the cooled garlic mixture over lamb. Gently mix until just combined, then form into 1¼-inch balls and transfer to a plate or sheet pan.
3 Heat a large cast iron pan over medium to medium high heat. Working in batches if necessary to prevent crowding, brown meatballs on all sides until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm with toothpicks or skewers with plain yogurt.
Note: Meatballs can also be cooked ahead, refrigerated and reheated in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.
Makes about 20 meatballs.