A few Nibbles for New Years

Tuesday 31 December 2013

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We did a One Night in Bethlehem activity at our chapel prior to Christmas.   We tried to serve all biblical or middle eastern foods . . .  finger foods, foods that would make great nibbles for the New Year's Eve Buffet table.

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I made this lovely feta dip, which was really delicious and tangy and so simple to make.  It is basically just feta cheese, olive oil, thyme and lemon zest and juice blitzed until smooth in the food processor or blender.   Very simple really.  

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It was absolutely wonderful!   It was nice served with vegetables for dipping and crackers for spreading.  You want something crisp to go with the smooth richeness of this dip.   It went down a real treat.  

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*Creamy Feta Dip*
Makes about 2 cups
Creamy, sharp and herby.   Goes well with toasted pita chips, raw vegetables, crackers.   Quick and easy to make. 

400g feta cheese (1 3/4 cups)
125ml of extra virgin olive oil (1/2 cup)
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled
the finely grated zest of two unwaxed lemons
the juice of two lemons
fine sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
a few springs of fresh thyme 

To finish:
a drizzle of olive oil
a few thyme leaves  

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Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth.  Cover and chill until needed.  Place into a serving bowl.  Drlzzle the top with some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a few thyme leaves.  

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I also made these lovely little Lamb Kofta Meatballs.  Spicy and just wonderful served with some pita breads and Tzatziki for dipping.    You could fry them if you wanted to, but I just bake them in the oven because they brown nicely, evenly and as lamb is a rather fatty meat anyways it helps to cut down on some of that extra fat.

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*Kofta Meatballs*
Makes about 20
Moist and spicy.  Serve with some Tzatziki sauce for dipping.  (Your own or purchased) 

2 pounds lean ground lamb
1 medium onion, peeled and finely minced
1/2 bunch of fresh flat leaf parsely, finely chopped
1 TBS ground cumin
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
fine sea salt and fine black pepper to taste 

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/gas mark 6.   Have ready several rimmed baking sheets.  Place the cumin, cinnamon and allspice into a dry frying pan.  Cook over medium heat until very fragrant.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool. 

Crumble the meat into a bowl.   Add the chopped onion, parsley and cooled spices.   Season with salt and pepper.  (If you wish you may cook a small bit of this in the frying pan and taste it to see if you have seasoned it correctly.)   Shape the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and place them evenly spaced on the baking trays.  Bake in the heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until nicely browned and cooked through.  Serve warm or at room temperature with sauce for dipping if desired.  

Note: These are also nice served hot and tucked into warm Pita Breads with some lettuce and sauce. 

Happy New Year!  Have fun and stay safe!


  1. I like dips like those..hummus..different bean dips..fresh tasting!

    Watched the Call The Midwife special last night..we just love that show.to tears:)when they plated turkey dinner I was reminded of yours:)

  2. Your dip would definitely be a hit here. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  3. That dip really appeals to me. Yum!

  4. Love both recipes- we are trying more low carb so I think I will try both together with fresh veggies for dinner. I might add some chopped cute to the dip as well. Thank you!!


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