Last week, the boys were on spring break (does anyone remember when spring break was actually in Spring?) and we decided as a family to staycation the week instead of braving the crowds at Disney or spending money on traveling. With 5 acres, 2 dogs, 10 chickens, 150 koi fish, it costs us more than just the flight + hotel to travel somewhere. We gotta pay someone responsible to watch over the compound when we’re gone. Plus, this year, we’re toying with the idea of taking the boys to Hong Kong/Laos/Cambodia and a summer trip to see Redwood National Park in California.
Plus, Scott and I are headed to Pebble Beach Wine Festival, IACP in San Francisco in a few weeks. Oh and BlogHer Food in Austin, BlogHer in Chicago, Food Blogger Connect in London. This, all before August.
So, home we were last week….and it was a week of indulging in the kitchen. We had guests over for grilled lobsters, steamed mussels, skirt steak and meatballs. All different meals, of course! Scott’s birthday party potluck was thrown in there somewhere too. All I know is that last Friday, on recycle pick-up day, our bin overfloweth and I was quite embarrassed to put out SO MANY empties – so I divided the bottles into two piles, one for last week and one for this week’s pick-up.
One of the recipes we tried for the party was an Arabian dish – Kofta, or Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Cherry Sauce. It’s from a cookbook called “Modern Flavors of Arabia” by Suzanne Husseini, one of most popular cooking show personalities in the Middle East. The sweet and sour cherry sauce complemented the rich lamb meatballs (though of course you could use ground pork/beef/chicken/turkey instead).
I rehydrated dried cherries in honey and lemon (also – ahem, I may or may not have added a little splash of Brandy). The sauce simmers quietly while the meatballs cook in the oven or on the stove.
It’s a fabulous party food – skewer each meatball with a cute pick.
Kofta Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Cherry Sauce Recipe Video
Kofta Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Cherry Sauce
Feel free to sub the lamb with ground meat of your choice.
FOR THE CHERRY SAUCE
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, chopped (or 2 tablespoons diced red onion)
1 cup dried cherries
3 teaspoons honey
splash of Brandy (optional)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Meatballs
1 pound ground lamb
1/4 cup sparkling water
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon allspice
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
To make the Cherry Sauce
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and shallot and saute until tender. Add the cherries, honey, lemon juice, water and cinnamon and bring mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the mint.
To make the Meatballs
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a large mixing bowl, add the ground lamb, sparkling water, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, salt and pepper. Mix lightly to incorporate all ingredients. Form mixture into small meatballs.
In a large frying pan over medium high, add olive oil. Add meatballs and fry, turning often to brown all over, about 5-7 minutes. You might have to cook meatballs in batches if your pan is too small. After browning all the meatballs, place meatballs on a baking sheet and bake in oven for 10 minutes to cook through. Drizzle with the cherry sauce just before serving.
My new cookbook is available for purchase now wherever books are sold!
You can also pick up a copy on Amazon for $13.98!