Thursday, March 24, 2011

Greek Meatballs

I love Greek food. There's the hummus and the tzatzki and the mint and the garlic....all such a delicious melding of flavors designed to dance and delight the tongue! I ran across a recipe for Greek Meatballs and I had to try them. I made them with turkey but you can try beef or lamb.
I will tell you though....the turkey is so moist and tender that the meatball almost melts in your mouth!
What you need:
1 lbs Ground Turkey
1 Red Onion (grated)
3 Tbl freshly chopped mint
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 Tbl minced basil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used organic whole wheat)
Salt and Pepper

What you do:

Mix seasonings, eggs and onion together. Stir

Add ground turkey and breadcrumbs. Mix. You might have to do this with your hands.

Roll meatballs, approximately 1 inch in diameter

Heat 1/4 of a cup of oil in a saute pan, over medium heat.

**The Trick To a Tantalizing Meatball**

The first time I made these, I was left with a meatball that was pretty loosely held together. I wanted something a bit more sturdy. So, I upped the original amount of breadcrumbs and added an additional egg. Now... if you want a meatball that looks delicious and holds it's playful ball shape (cause be honest, any food that is in the shape of a ball is playful!) here is what you need to do.

The oil MUST be really hot. If your wondering how to tell this, olive oil has a very distinctive look when its reached optimal frying temp. When its cool its more dense, when is hot, its more liquid. Also, a wonderful nutty scent will lightly waft up.

If your still not sure... run your hands under water, shake the loose droplets off over the pan. If it pops and're in business!

Drop the delightful balls of joy into the pan and then using the handle of the saute pan move it back and forth so the meatballs are rolling around in the hot oil. You want to not just let the meatball sit in the oil, instead you want to get all sides of the meatball to brown and firm up.

The meat should get all nice and caramelized, the outside of the meatball cooking firmly to hold the inside together.

Now, your heat should be on medium so once the meat is that delicious light brown color, cover the pan with a lid. This is kind of steam the meatball to cook it all the way through.

Every few minutes, check on the balls and do the quick saute movement. You don't want them to stick to the pan.

The meatball is done when its firm to the touch.

Its a playful summertime meal so I decided to use a pink plate!

There's a few ways to eat this but always always eat it with tzatziki sauce.

I put mine in a whole wheat pita, with tomato and avocado with tzatziki sauce. YUM!

I served it with baked brussel sprouts, homemade pita chips with hummus and a salad. The salad was a yummy mix of cucumber, black olive, hearts of palm, avocado and goat cheese. I squeezed fresh lemon juice and salt and peper into it and then just mixed!

It was a fab dinner for a weeknight!!

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