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Monday, May 29, 2017

Greek Meatballs with Lemon Dip

These little meatballs, made from a mixture of ground lamb and rice, and flavoured with thyme, lemon and nutmeg, are grilled on wooden skewers for easy eating. The classic Greek egg and lemon dipping sauce served alongside has a tangy flavour, which is a perfect complement for the meatballs. 

2 small red onions
1 lb (500 g) ground lean lamb
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) cooked white rice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme
1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) freshly grated nutmeg
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 24 small squares
Olive oil for brushing
Salt and pepper

1 1⁄2 tsp (7 mL) arrowroot
Juice of 2 small lemons
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 small egg
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme

Salt and pepper
Brushing the kebabs lightly with olive oil before grilling ensures that the meat stays moist and eliminates the need for adding oil to the pan to prevent sticking.

• Arrowroot is made from a tropical tuber. Unlike cornstarch, it does not impart a starchy taste in a sauce if undercooked. It also becomes completely clear when cooked and has twice as much thickening power as flour.

Soak 24 long wooden skewers in warm water for about 10 minutes, then drain. Preheat the grill or oven broiler to medium.
Cut each red onion into 12 thin wedges, keeping them still attached at the root end.
Combine the lamb, finely chopped onion, cooked rice, garlic, thyme, nutmeg and lemon zest in a bowl, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Mix well using your hands. Shape the meat mixture into 24 small balls.
Thread 1 meatball, 1 piece of pepper and 1 onion wedge onto each skewer. Arrange in one layer on grill rack or broiler pan. (The kebabs can be prepared 3 to 4 hours ahead and then kept in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap.) Brush lightly with oil and grill for 15 to 18 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and thoroughly cooked.
Meanwhile, make the dip. Mix the arrowroot with about half of the lemon juice, then stir in the rest of the juice. Heat the broth in a small saucepan until boiling, then stir in the arrowroot and lemon juice mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat.
In a bowl, beat the egg lightly. Slowly pour in the hot broth mixture in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly. Return to the pan and whisk over a low heat for about 4 minutes or until the sauce is smooth and thick. Do not boil or the egg may curdle. Stir in the chopped thyme, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Serve the meatball skewers with the hot lemon sauce
Preparation time 25 minutes 
Cooking time 20–25 minutes 
Makes 24 kebabs 

Nutritional information 
Each serving (two kebabs) provides: calories 88, calories from fat 27, fat 3 g, saturated fat 1 g, cholesterol 43 mg, 
carbohydrate 6 g, fibre 1 g, sugars 2 g, protein 9 g.

Choices per serving: Meat and Alternatives 1, Extra 1
Eat to Beat Diabetes, Reader's Digest

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