Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Greek Meatballs

Steven and I love gyros but making the meat at home is a bit challenging since we don’t have a vertical rotisserie. I figured Greek style meatballs would be the next best thing. We ate them on warm pita breads with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, sautéed onions, and tzatziki sauce; pretty close to a gyro.

Greek Meatballs - Keftedes
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb ground lamb
Half a medium onion, finely chopped
1 slice of bread, crust removed, pulsed in a food processor or cut into small cubes
1/4 C milk
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Zest from 1 lemon
1 egg
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp fresh dill or mint, finely chopped (I had some dill leftover from the tzatziki sauce)
2 to 3 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper
About 3/4 tsp salt, to taste

1/2 C or more dried breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil

Heat 1 tsp of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat and cook onions until softened. Remove from heat and stir in minced garlic.

Mix the onions and garlic together with the other ingredients except for the dried bread crumbs and vegetable oil.

To form the meatballs, instead of rolling them individually by hand, use this really cool method I learned from Rachel’s blog, Coconut & Lime:

Sprinkle your work surface with some bread crumbs. Roll about a cup of the meat mixture out into a log then cut into pieces about 1 tbsp for your mini meatballs. Then place the pieces into a wire mesh strainer and sprinkle some more bread crumbs over them. Toss and roll the meatballs around in the strainer over a bowl and you’ll have lightly-coated, perfectly round meatballs. You can reuse the breadcrumbs in the bowl for the rest of the meatballs, then throw away the excess in the end.

Heat about 1 tsp of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. I didn’t use very much oil because the meatballs exuded quite a bit of oil. If you find that your meatballs are dry, add more oil so they don’t dry out or burn. Brown all sides of the meatballs until they are fully cooked, about 10 minutes.

Makes about 20 meatballs.

Check out Elise's recipe for Greek meatballs
Kalyn also has another recipe for Greek meatballs. The addition of feta is a great idea! I'll have to try that next time.

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