TODAY

TODAY   |  November 08, 2013

Make smoky lamb meatballs and more

Chef and culinary director Aliya LeeKong shares some recipes she has picked up in her travels like smoky lamb meatballs and Israeli couscous salad.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> your dinner tonight, you bring the flavors of the world to your table.

>> she has done the traveling for you and she is the author of the new book exotic table.

>> thank you for having me.

>> you travel a ton.

>> yes, i do.

>> you find spices and flavors from all over the world. what are some of your favorites recently?

>> i love places where there's a bunch of different cultures that have come together. peru, i was in lima which was amazing. turkey. i kind of went all over. istanbul and south africa .

>> what's great here is you have taken the flavors and brought them together in something recognizable so our kids will eat it.

>> that's what the book is about. global influences on every day food. this is how i cook at home based on my multicultural heritage. my husbands. my travels and it's about familiar foods.

>> yeah.

>> get in here and tell us about this.

>> so this is a couple of pounds of ground lamb we have at room temperature . always start with room temperature so it cooks all the way through. and we have shallots that have been cooked with garlic.

>> can you replace this with beef or chicken if you wanted to?

>> you can replace it with your favorite ground meat . we have egg yolk we'll add in there and bread crumbs but it's really the spice blend that gives it all of the flavor. and there's a couple of spices that add smokiness. spanish paprika and then we have a little bit of heat from chili pepper and black pepper as well.

>> can people find them readily or do you have to look far to find the more exotic ones.

>> you can find most of them. you might only find the green kind in your regular grocer which you can substitute.

>> we're going to do it gingerly because meat can toughen up if you work it too much. so you just want to do kind of a claw-like thing and just fold it all together basically.

>> all right. i'll give you that. you're going to scoop it.

>> but these are smaller meatballs. it cooks quicker. these are great for cocktail parties but you can also make some pattys or burger and throw it in the freezer.

>> you're putting these on parchment paper.

>> yes, keep them there before you throw them in the pan. we have these here are browning up and that's real the first step. we're going to just brown them for a few minutes to just get color on them and throw them in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

>> do you mind if we taste?

>> oh, yeah.

>> pair it up and make a nice salad and you have a great meal.

>> exactly.

>> thank you so much. they're so good that i can't even finish my sentence. great to see you.

>> great to see you.

>> the recipes are at today.com.