|Stuffed Lamb Meatballs
Try serving these with orzo pasta tossed with chopped tomatoes and olives.
½ cup finely ground fresh bread crumbs (made from hamburger buns)
1¼ cups whole milk (divided)
1½ pounds ground lamb (80 percent lean)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves thinly sliced
1 small clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread crumbs and 1 cup of the milk in a small bowl. Allow to soak for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the ground lamb, basil, oregano, garlic powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the bread crumb mixture and mix until well incorporated. Slowly mix in about ½ cup water, or enough to make the mixture smooth with a loose consistency. Divide into six equal balls, each weighing about 4 ounces. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the chard and garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until chard is wilted and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the butter and stir until melted. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup milk and cook the mixture until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in the feta cheese.
Using your finger, make a hole the size of a quarter in the middle of each meatball. Fill with one-sixth of the chard filling and then pinch the meat closed to seal tightly. Place meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meatballs registers 165 degrees. - serves 6
Adapted from chef-owner Adam Sappington, The Country Cat Dinnerhouse and Bar