While competing on Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games, we were asked to prepare a meal that speaks of your family, something they typically like. Since I am from a Mediterranean heritage, (Syrian) lamb is always served when we have a family gathering. But, on GGG we have 30 minutes to shop, cook and plate! So, it was a no brainer, Koftas were going to be on my plate!
The word Kofta, Kafta, or Kefta is really all the same thing, depending on what parts of the Middle East and the Mediterranean they are from. In short, they are mini-meatloaves or meatballs! See!! Everyone has their world-wide take on these two very American comfort dishes.
The trick in getting this ground meat mixture to stay on a stick is to put all the ingredients in a food processor, or knead the mixture really well, as you would bread. I did neither while on camera, thus you will see they fell apart. Never again! How embarrassing on national TV. (wink)
Ingredients – makes 8 – 12 (depending on size)
- Ground lamb (or beef) – 2 pounds
- Onion – 1 medium
- Garlic – 2 cloves
- Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
- Fresh Oregano – 1/4 cup, loosely packed (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- Spices – 1 heaping teaspoon of each: Sumac, Coriander, Black Cumin, (or your favorites)
- Salt – 1 tablespoon
- Cayenne pepper – 1/4 teaspoon
- Panko crumbs – 1/4 cup
Place everything in a food processor or blender and puree. Add meat and pulse until it starts to stick together. Divide and roll into balls the amount you desire to make. Then roll them into long sausage shapes and slide a skewer through the center. (If using wooden skewers be certain to soak them in water for an hour first so they don’t burn).
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, then switch to broil and brown the tops for about 5 minutes.
There are so many ways to serve these, though on pita bread with toppings is the best. Here are just a few topping ideas:
- Tzatziki – A cucumber, mint and yogurt mixture. Adds a refreshing addition to Lamb.
- Tomatoes chopped small with lime, salt and fresh herbs.
- Sweet peppers chopped into long thin strips and marinated in champagne vinegar, olive oil, salt, and some heat (such as ghost chili powder).
- Feta cheese
- Lettuce, shredded into long thin slices.
BE SURE TO WATCH THE SHOW TO SEE HOW THIS ALL CAME ABOUT! (Will add a link here just as soon as it airs tonight!)