Super Bowl party tasty tapas

January 28, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Chef Bruce Aidells whips together some fast finger foods that will add a lot to your Super Bowl party.

Here is the recipe for tasty Tapas for your Super Bowl party. Buce Aidells and his wife Chef Nancy Oakes of Boulevard, in San Francisco, whip together some fast finger foods that'll add pizzazz to your party. Great Links: and

Politically Correct Meat Recipes
By Bruce Aidells

Spicy Middle Eastern Lamb Meatballs with Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce
4 Servings (about 25 meatballs)

Spicy Meatballs
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 small onion)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2-3 tablespoons chopped jalapeno chili (about 1 small jalapeno)
2 tablespoons whole milk Greek yogurt
1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cilantro/Yogurt Sauce
1/2 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon toasted seed mix (see above)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (about 12 leaves)
1 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (about 1/2 bunch)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl and stir until bread is moist. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and sprinkle in the seeds. Shake the pan until the seeds are lightly toasted and become fragrant. Remove from heat and dump into a mortar or a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Save 1 teaspoon of the powder for the Cilantro/Yogurt Sauce and the rest will be used in the meatballs.

In the same pan, heat again over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and stir, then cover the pan. Cook until onions are soft, but not colored, about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate to cool for 15 minutes. Dump onions, soaked bread and all but a teaspoon of the ground toasted seed mixture into a food processor. Add jalapeno, and yogurt and pulse to form a puree. Scrape this mixture into a mixing bowl and add the lamb, egg, cilantro, sage, allspice, salt and pepper. Using your well washed and cleaned hands, squeeze and toss the mixture until everything is well blended. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to make your meatballs. You can refrigerate this mixture up to 4-6 hours ahead.

When ready to cook, moisten your hands and roll the lamb mixture into 1-inch balls. In a large non-stick skillet heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Working in 2-3 batches, cook the meatballs on all sides until lightly browned, about 7-10 minutes. When each batch is done, transfer to a warm platter. When done, you can drizzle the Cilantro/Yogurt Sauce over the meatballs or better still, serve the sauce separately and let eaters dip their balls in the sauce as they wish.

Cilantro/Yogurt Sauce
Dump everything into a blender and blend to form a smooth mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

About Boulevard and Chef Nancy Oakes:
Contributing Chef Bruce Aidells: