Greek-Style Cocktail Meatballs with Tzatziki

With summer fast headed our way, picnic and party season has commenced! When invited to such an occasion, it is often customary to bring a plate of something tasty to share. These cocktail meatballs fit the brief and will please any given crowd (okay, maybe not the vegetarians). With Greek flavours of lamb, lemon, mint and a touch of spice, they are utterly moreish. The tzatziki dipping sauce is delicious in its own right (and the vegetarians will be happy with that!). The meatballs, which can be served hot or at room temperature, can be made the day before and the tzatziki several hours before, making it the perfect party food.

Ingredients (makes about 35):
For the tzatziki:
1 x Lebanese cucumber, peeled
250g Greek-style creamy yoghurt
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Meatballs:
500g lamb mince
1 lightly beaten egg
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
Finely grated zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
About ¼ cup olive oil, to fry

Method (30 minutes):
1. For the Tzatziki: grate the cucumber, squeezing out excess liquid using your hands. Mix with the remaining ingredients, pile into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. For the Meatballs: Place the first 10 ingredients in a bowl and mix well together using clean hands. Using wet hands roll the mixture into 30 evenly sized small balls.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frypan over a medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs, turning often, until brown all over and cooked through – about 5-7 minutes. Don’t overcrowd the pan – if necessary cook in batches. Drain on paper towels.
4. Serve the meatballs with hot or at room temperature with the tzatziki.

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