I have not been putting a lot of new material out lately and I apologize for that. It is not that I have not been cooking in fact the opposite is true, I have been cooking a lot.
When I don't update I get more e mail than when I do. Yesterday I got one that rankled me a bit. It was not the first.
"I know you hate Rachel Ray BUT if you are very busy you can put out some recipes for very busy people and we don't care if you open a few cans or packages to make things simple, all of us do."
I did a search...to date I have received over 1000 e mail referencing my supposed hatred for Rachel Ray. I DO NOT HATE RACHEL RAY, in fact I like much of what she has done.
I wrote a column criticizing her for the constant used of canned/boxed stock and her claim that it makes people think you have been cooking all day. To me it tastes like you used a boxed shortcut. Rachel Ray is a big girl, she is on the Food Network and widely syndicated. I admire her for bringing new choices to the masses. Suggesting lamb instead of beef has probably opened the tastes of thousands of midwestern families that had previously not considered such 'exotic' meat.
Now that this has been clarified let me dedicate a recipe to Rachel and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you use home made stock. However this is one recipe that can deal with stock from box and after you use it for the meatballs it can make a good soup.
These are really great meatballs and the cooking method renders them nice and lean.
1-pound ground lamb
1 very finely diced medium onion
4 cloves of garlic
8 tablespoons of barley crushed in the food processor
4 tablespoons fresh parsley diced
2 tablespoons fresh mint diced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
8 cups of STRONG beef or chicken or veal stock
1 coarsely chopped onion
2 celery stalks diced
2 carrots sliced
1 cup Greek yogurt
Juice of one lemon
Squeeze the lemon juice into the yogurt and set aside while you make your meatballs.
Combine the lamb, onion, garlic, barley and herbs in a bowl and mix with hands. Add in the egg and mix again.
Shape into small walnut sized balls. (At this point I like to fry a tiny one to taste for salt and seasonings, adjusting as needed) Set aside.
Bring your stock to a boil with the onion, carrot and celery. Add the meatballs to the boiling stock turn to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
With a slotted spoon divide meatballs and vegetables in bowls and top with lemon yogurt.
Save the stock and refrigerate, the next day remove the fat and you will have a killer soup stock ready to go.
With half the protein needed and more than 100% of the B12 with an excellent showing across the nutrition board this is a great choice. At only 500 calories a serving it is one you can prepare often.