You may have noticed that apart from the occasional lamb shanks or frenched lamb cutlets I don’t cook much lamb… It may be the fact that I grew up in those parts of the world where mutton was much more widely available than lamb, and because of its extra strong flavour it was never a meat of choice at my Mum’s. But, every now and again, I get a little craving for lamb and I have found that using mince, as versatile as it is, is great to make the strong flavours of lamb more palatable. However, if like Mr Chipconnoisseur, you’re even a lesser fan of lamb than me, you can use any other type of mince for the same delicious result.
Secondly, you may have heard / noticed / read, that I’m going through a phase of loving all things tomato at present. I especially like and would recommend truss. They are just so meaty, and juicy and flavoursome! If you can’t get your hands on the colorful heirloom varieties, any ripe fruit will do (yes, tomatoes are botanically classified as fruit). Store them out of the fridge for best flavour.
Now for the slightly unexpected: home made hommus. I needed some “sauce” or creamy mash that would go well with the dish, but potatoes just seemed out of place for this. That’s when I thought of hommus.
Making hommus from scratch is actually easier than I thought! And the result is so much more nutritious too. Simply whiz some canned chickpeas with a pinch of salt, a little sesame and peanut oils and voila! A gourmet dip for just over $1! Now I’m addicted.
Lamb kofta balls, hommus and heirloom tomatoes
I omit tahini (sesame paste) used in the traditional hommus, and use sesame oil instead because it is one of those ingredients that I wouldn’t use for anything else, so I find it a bit of a waste to buy a whole jar just to make the dip. For extra flavour, serve tomatoes on grilled slice of bread spread generously with feta.
Lamb kofta balls
- 500g lamb mince // or any other mince
- 1 slice stale bread
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp each ground cumin, ground coriander seeds, smoky paprika, salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 425g can of chick peas
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- Pinch of salt
- 250g mixed heirloom tomatoes
- 3 medium truss tomatoes
- 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Pepper to taste
For kofta balls, tear bread into small pieces and soak in milk until mushy. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Form 12 meatballs.
Brown meatballs on either side in a pan, then lower heat and cover. Allow them to cook through for about 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and allow to rest until ready to serve.
To make hommus, drain chickpeas and reserve the juice. Place chickpeas plus 1/4 of the juices from the can in a measuring jug. Add oils and salt. Blend together with a stick blender. Of the mixture is too dry add more juices or peanut oil – your choice. It should have a consistency of creamy mash potato.