Greek Chicken Meatball Lettuce Wraps
by Nick Mastrascusa, Chef, Kukio Golf & Beach Club, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
This recipe is a light and fresh weeknight meal that also works as an appetizer or main dish for weekend entertaining. If you’re hosting a crowd, arrange the lettuce leaves, meatballs, sauce, and toppings on a platter and let guests build their own.
- For The Meatballs:
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- Olive oil, as needed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 pounds ground Smart Chicken
- 4 ounces bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon Greek oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Pinch of salt
- For The Yogurt Sauce:
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 ounces lemon juice (the juice of about two lemons)
- 4 cloves garlic, grated
- ¾ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- Pinch salt and black pepper
- For The Wrap:
- 10 butter lettuce leaves
- 2 cucumbers, sliced lengthwise into ribbons
- ½ red onion, shaved into thin slices
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges for serving
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Begin making the meatballs by caramelizing the onion slices: Heat a drizzle of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until lightly browned (approximately 15 minutes), stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and add about 1 tablespoon of butter. Continue to cook for another 25 to 40 minutes until the onions are a dark golden-brown and all liquid has evaporated. Set aside and let cool.
When the onions have cooled, add the remaining meatball ingredients and mix together. Wet your hands with water and form the mixture into 2-ounce meatballs (about the size of a golf ball). Place the meatballs on a greased sheet pan and roast in the oven until cooked through (about 15 to 20 minutes).
While the meatballs are roasting, prepare the yogurt sauce. In a bowl, mix the yogurt sauce ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To build a lettuce wrap, top a lettuce leaf with a couple meatballs, cucumber ribbons, red onion slices, a drizzle of yogurt sauce, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice.
Pairing: 2014 Skouras Moscofilero