Mini Kofta Patties with Tzatziki

The other night, when I made Chicken Zorba, I also made these mini Kofta patties.  They are meant to be made with lamb, but I hate lamb and I made them with ground beef.  Also, they are meant to be shaped onto skewers and grilled, but that’s too much work.  You can eat them in pita bread with the Tzatziki. Tzatziki is a Greek yogurt and cucumber sauce, that is very refreshing.

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Mini Kofta Patties with Tzatziki

4 cloves garlic
1 Tbs kosher salt, plus a pinch
1 lb ground beef chuck or lamb
3 Tbs grated onion
3 Tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbs ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for brushing the grill
Tzatziki, recipe follows
Grilled flat bread

Smash the garlic cloves, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, and, with the flat side of a large knife, mash and smear mixture to a coarse paste. Mix the paste and the remaining 1 tablespoon salt with the meat, onion, parsley, and spices.

Line a pan with aluminum foil. Divide the meat mixture into 28 rough balls. Flatten each ball and place on a pan, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.

Heat a grill pan over medium heat or prepare a grill. Brush the pan lightly with olive oil. Working in batches, grill the patties, turning occasionally, until brown all over and just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with tzatziki and flat bread.

Tzatziki

Makes 1 1/4 cups

2 cups Greek yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved, and seeded
2 tsp kosher salt, plus a pinch
1/2 clove garlic
1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried mint, crumbled

Grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater into another bowl. Sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons salt and rub into the cucumber with your hands. Set aside 20 minutes, then squeeze the cucumbers to express as much liquid as possible.

Smash the garlic, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt, and, with the flat side of a large knife, mash and smear the mixture to a coarse paste. Stir the cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and mint into the yogurt. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

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