Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lamb and Pine Nuts in a Cup

Tonight I wanted to experiment. I had some left over pot sticker wrappers (like wontons) from an attempt at making ravioli out of them gone awry.
(Making ravioli from wontons is yucky!!!)
So, I did some research on how to bake them in a muffin tin and create little cups to hold fillings.
I was in the mood for something Greek/Middle Eastern, so I filled them with a combination of ground lamb, beef, pine nuts, feta, garlic and parsley.

They were really good!

I served them with Orzo with feta and beans.

1 lb. ground lamb
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 T dried parsley
1 T dried thyme
1/2 T cumin
1/2 T garlic salt
1/2 T red chili flakes
1 tsp. cinnamon

About 20 gyoza wrappers (pot sticker wrappers)

4 oz. feta cheese

Olive oil for brushing

Canned diced tomatoes, optional.

Brown the beef and onions on medium/high heat and then add the lamb. Mix together and cook until the pink is gone. While cooking, add in all of the seasonings and stir to combine. Add in the garlic, but keep the chopped parsley aside for now.
Continue to cook for about 8-10 mins on low/medium heat & allow the flavors to combine. Stir occassionally.

In a seperate pan, spray with non-stick spray and lightly toast a handful of pine nuts. More if you like more! We like more.

Drain fat from the meat mixture.
Add chopped parsley and pine nuts and stir to combine.
Add in crumbled feta, stir, and keep warm on low heat.

In a muffin tin, spray with non-stick spray, and in each cup lay 1 wrapper on one side of the cup and wet the bottom with a tiny bit of water (dip your fingers in water and run over the bottom of the wrapper) and lay in another wrapper on the other side of the cup.
Do this until you fill up the whole muffin tin.
Brush each cup with a bit of olive oil.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until beginning to brown.
At this point, I took them out of the oven and carefully removed each cup. I placed them all on a flat cookie sheet (or pizza sheet) and filled them with the meat/cheese mixture.
I replaced them in the oven for an additional 5 mins.

Remove from oven and serve with yogurt sauce and your favorite side dish!

Yogurt sauce:

1/2 cup of plain yogurt, allowed to let drain all day and thicken
handful of fresh mint, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

Let yogurt sit in a strainer or coffee filter in a set-up where the yogurt will not touch the bowl it is in and will allow it to strain the liquid out. Or, just buy Greek Yogurt.

Add in the fresh chopped mint and garlic and serve with the meat pies above.

Oh oh oh! In 1/2 of them I added half of a can of diced tomatoes, just to see if that would taste better. It didn't taste bad, but it didn't taste better. The nice flavors of the lamb, pine nuts, garlic and cheese was a great combination and the tomato flavor was overpowering.

It did taste more Italian though, so if you like a more Italian flavor, you might enjoy it with tomatoes more.

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