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Stuffed Lamb Meatballs

From: Executive chef/owner Adam Sappington, The Country Cat Dinner House and Bar, Portland, OR. Yield: 4 servings.

1½ lb. 80% lean ground lamb
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
¼ cup ground bread crumbs
¼ cup whole milk
1 bunch Swiss chard, de-stemmed, rough chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 oz. fresh goat cheese
to taste, salt and pepper
as desired for serving, orzo pasta
as desired for serving, chopped tomatoes
as desired for serving, olives

In a large bowl, combine lamb, salt, basil, oregano, garlic powder, bread crumbs and milk. Mix until well-incorporated. Divide meat into four equal balls, each weighing about 6 oz.  Set aside.

In a large sauté pan, gently heat the oil. Add Swiss chard; season with salt and pepper and sauté until wilted and tender. Remove from heat.

Split meatballs in half. Flatten each half to form a patty, making 8 patties. On 4 of the patties, place 2 Tbsp. chard in the middle and top with 1 Tbsp. cheese. Leave a ½” border around the filling. Cover each filled patty with a plain one; seal the edges and reform into meatballs.

Place meatballs on a sheet tray; bake at 350°F for about 40 minutes or until warm in the middle when pierced with a toothpick.

Serve with orzo pasta, chopped tomatoes and olives.

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