If you know me, you know I’m someone who likes things to be done easy and quickly. I don’t know if it’s my terrible laziness or the fact that I constantly feel run off my feet, but if I can get in and out of the kitchen in 30 minutes or less, I’m happy. Because I’m a stay-at-home-mom, I have the luxury of starting dinner (or it’s components at least) during the day as I have time. I understand that most of you don’t have that luxury so I still try to keep my recipes easy and the time it takes to do them to a minimum. I always think how I would do things if I only got home at 18h00 but wanted to eat at 18h30. I think, if I did work outside the home, I would be doing a lot of the prep work the night before so that I have less to do when dinner time comes and the kids need to be bathed and the husband wants to moan about his boss, you know?
With this recipe, my suggestion is that you make the mince mixture the night before or the morning before you go to work (not that you have time, I’m sure), it really does not matter if you make it right before cooking it but this way, it’s one less thing to do and the flavours get to mingle a bit and the end result will just be that much more delicious. Just cover the bowl with plastic wrap so the mixture doesn’t dry out and pop it into the fridge. The rest can be done while the Koftas cook in the oven. And if the Koftas sit around for a bit while you make the Tzatziki and toast the pita breads, all the better. They’re better eaten at room temperature anyway.This meal is perfect as a snack with drinks or as a lunchbox filler as well. I often make more of the Koftas and just eat them for lunch the next day.
At the moment, I’m working on a series of “Working mom” dinners so please let me know what you want/need from a recipe/meal and how much time you have to do it in. I know that I am one of the lucky few that get to cook throughout the day and have beautiful dinners ready by the time my family needs to eat but that is why I’d like to help you make your life a bit easier but still keep your family happy around dinner time (although honestly, with the terrible two’s around, I wish I had a full-day job sometimes) .
The Tzatziki I made was just a variation on THIS RECIPE. I used a nice, thick Greek Yoghurt and added chopped mint, oregano and parsley. But feel free to use the recipe as it is.
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1kg lamb mince (you can find lamb mince at any Woolworths or ask your butcher very nicely to mince a leg of lamb for you)
2tbsn each freshly chopped mint and parsley
1tsbn freshly chopped oregano (you can also use 2tsp dried)
2tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp each nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves
salt & pepper to taste
Pita breads, toasted, to serve
Chunky Tzatziki to serve
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
- Fry the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil until soft and translucent (about 5-7 minutes).
- Combine the lamb mince with all the herbs and spices in a large bowl and add the cooked onion and garlic. Add the egg and mix well. At this point you can cover the bowl and refrigerate or form the Koftas immediately.
- Form the lamb mixture into koftas (oval shaped meatballs) and place on a sheet of wax paper.
- Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan and brown the koftas for 2 minutes per side. I like to serve my Koftas on kebab sticks so at this point I skewer them onto bamboo skewers and then place them on the baking tray. Place on a baking tray and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they are cooked.
- Serve the koftas with toasted pita breads and the chunky tzatziki.