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Make this: Cumin and Paprika Turkey Meatballs and Homemade Tzatziki

February 7, 2011

I was supposed to make these for the Super Bowl party we were attending but my poor husband suddenly came down with the flu and instead we spent most of Sunday in urgent care. He woke up with a fever of 103! Poor guy. He was doing a million times better by the time the Super Bowl started so we watched the game from home and I made the meatballs for dinner. I found both of the recipes on The meatball recipe was intended for ground lamb but I used turkey instead and in the tzatziki, I omitted the tomato. I highly recommend both of these recipes, they were both so delicious. Serve with warm pita bread and a cucumber and tomato salad (I didn’t do this but I really wish I had).

Grilled Lamb Meatballs (turkey in my case)

yield: Makes 5 servings

active time: 30 minutes

total time: 1 hour

  • 1 pound ground lamb (I used turkey instead)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons dry bulgur, soaked in 1 cup water until soft (about 30 minutes), then drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, grated and drained
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika (optional) (I recommend)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional) (I recommend)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1. Mix together everything but the oil with your hands. Form the mixture into ovals about the size and thickness of small hamburger patties.

    2. Put the meat on skewers (as shown) and brush it with the oil. Grill or broil the patties for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. (I broiled in the oven on the middle rack, flipping after 4 minutes on each side. Then I browned each side for about 1 minute on the first rack of the oven)

    3. Serve with the dipping sauce (see above), if desired. (Tzatziki in my case, recipe below)

    Cucumber and Tomato Tzatziki (I omitted the tomato)

    • 3 cups plain yogurt (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
    • 1 English hothouse cucumber (about 16 ounces), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded
    • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
    • 1 large garlic clove, minced
    • 1 large tomato, quartered, seeded, thinly sliced

    Place strainer over large bowl. Line strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth. Spoon yogurt into cheesecloth-lined strainer; let stand at room temperature to drain 3 hours (liquid will drain out and yogurt will thicken). Transfer yogurt to medium bowl; discard liquid.

    Meanwhile, coarsely grate cucumber. Place in another strainer; let stand at room temperature until most of liquid drains out, about 3 hours. Discard liquid. Squeeze excess moisture from cucumber.

    Mix cucumber, dill and garlic into yogurt. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

    Mix tomato into yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

    I hope you find the time to make this duo because it was fantastic. Enjoy!

    One Comment leave one →
    1. Mert & Jerry permalink
      February 10, 2011 12:11 am

      These turkey meatballs and Tzatziki look fabulous! I am really going to try them soon! Yum!

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