Monday, 29 April 2013

A Taste of Things to Come

Polpettini di Agnello alla Menta e Peperone, con la Rucola e un Condimento di Yogurt e Limone
Lamb, Pepper & Mint Meatballs on Arugula with Yogurt/Lime Dressing

Ok- so I obviously tasted these this evening, when I made them... but this is the kind of thing I can't wait to be making more of in the months ahead... as soon as the weather decides to change and the Spring and Summ er finally begin to make themselves noticed! 

So because the sun decided not to come out to play today, I whipped up this little Summetime supper in the evening instead. Full of freshness and good, simple flavors, these little meatballs are comfort food at it's most fun and its finest! Oh- and probably at it's easiest too!

For the meatballs, I started out by finely chopping some onion and the red bell pepper. I popped both into a non-stick frying together and let them warm through and "fry" for 1-2 minutes with no added oil- this "pre-cooking" just takes the edge off of the sharp crispness of pepper and onion and makes them more pleasant to eat later on. Once they had softened up a little from frying, I scooped them into a bowl, and added 2-3 tablespoons of bread crumbs- which helped to cool them down immediately, ready to be integrated with the other ingredients. 

Next came the ground lamb- this was just a good handful here- enough to have made a nice sized hamburger... or these yummy little meat balls that you can see here. What would you chosen? I seasoned the meat with salt and pepper and added a little crushed garlic, along with plenty of finely chopped parsley and more importantly, mint! A little grated parmesan and a teaspoon of Ajvar and a little kneading together and a wonderful mix for my little meatballs was ready in next to no time! 

I rolled the meatballs into shape, moistening my hands just a little with water to help keep the surface nice and smooth- and then into the hot frying pan they went- with just a hint of water rather than oil- trust me now on this! The water soon bubbled and evaporated away, but the result of doing so was that the meatballs were pre-cooked and that they go hot enough for the ground meat to give off a little of its own fat- thus eliminating the need to add any additional fat at all... and just 3-4 minutes later, they were nicely browned-off all around and ready to serve!

Whilst they were sizzling away, I prepared the simple dressing for my salad, using the juice of half of a lime, 5-6 tablespoons of yogurt, a splash of olive oil, a drizzle of honey, salt, pepper and a good shake in a little jam-jar- my favorite way to mix a dressing!

I served the meatballs up on top of a bed of arugula, with a nice drizzle of the fresh and tangy dressing and a sprinkle of chili flakes for a bit of extra "oomph!" - and what a fun and easy treat supper turned out to be! Hope you try these yourselves sometime!

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