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Recipe: Grilled lamb meatballs in fig leaves

Aleppo (Syria)

Total time: About 1 hour

Servings: 6

Note: Soak the skewers in water while you're assembling the packets. Serve with raita (see recipe).

24 fig leaves

1 pound ground lamb

1/2 pound ground pork

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

Wooden skewers for grilling

1 1/2 cups raita

1. Blanch the leaves, a few at a time, in boiling water until softened slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove to a bowl of ice water, then drain, pat dry and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the lamb, pork, garlic, mint, parsley, salt, cumin, Aleppo and black peppers and onion until well-combined.

3. Place a leaf on the work surface, vein side up and stem facing you. Snip off the stem. Form about 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a meatball and place it on the leaf centered and toward the bottom. Fold the bottom of the leaf up over the meatball, then fold in the sides and roll up tightly, tucking in the sides as you go. Run a skewer through the middle. Continue until all the leaves are filled, placing four stuffed leaves on each skewer.

4. Grill over medium-low heat, turning often, until the fig leaves are browned but not burned and the meatballs have cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately, unwrapping the leaves and discarding them, with a bowl of raita for dipping.

Each four-meatball serving (without dip): 237 calories; 20 grams protein; 3 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 16 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 75 mg. cholesterol; 257 mg. sodium.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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