Keftedes (Greek meatballs with mint)


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Greek Week continues!

I had a hankering for Keftedes, which is probably in part related to the overgrowth of mint in my yard. I rarely crave meat, but I wanted to have these again.

Unfortunately, the keftedes I desired call for ground lamb and beef combined, yet the local Giant had no ground lamb nor were they allowed to grind it “as per health regulations” :(.

Instead I settled for sirloin steak, which I had the butcher grind for me (once).   I wanted something lean, as there is nothing more disgusting than biting into a bit of gristle or fat in a piece of sausage or a meatball.. ew.. there was hardly a trace of fat on these.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 slices white bread, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup (almond, or other) milk
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 cups minced leek (or onion if you dare)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 eggs

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 deg.

Moisten the bread pieces in milk. Set aside while you prepare the rest.

Add minced garlic and leek, mint, salt, and pepper to the ground beef in a large bowl

Add the moistened bread and eggs to the mixture and combine with your hands to make sure it is evenly blended.

Form mixture into 1.5″ balls and place on a cookie tray or baking dish.  (Another option is to dredge meatballs in flour / or not, just smash them flatter,  and fry them completely or partially.  Baking is healthier, but you get a tad more flavor by frying them.)

Bake for approx 30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.  Some fat dripped out, so you might want to bake these on a roasting pan or tray to make them even healthier.  I just pulled the meatballs off without any of the fat around them.

Add more mint for more flavor!

 

May 4, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Spinach Mac and Cheese and Chicken Sausage meatballs


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If there is a staple item that I loved as a picky little kid but have never grown out of even as my tastes have matured, it is mac and cheese. But with the high fat/low nutritional content ratio, it is usually not a good thing to make. I found this recipe on Rachael Rays cooking show- Meals in 30mins or less then added some tweeks of my own
Ingredients:
-One package of fresh or frozen spinach
-Cup or so of parmesan cheese
-Milk (I used regular but suppose you could subsititute)
-Bit of butter
-Pasta for the mac and cheese (I used veggie shells)
-Ground chicken or turkey can be subsituted
-Herbs for meatballs- rosemary, tarragon, thyme
-Onion or leek, chopped
-Bread crumbs- I used italian style but you can use regular and add your own herbs
-Two eggs
First, make the sauce. Saute a small pad of butter then add milk, you can use a dash of half and half or cream but of course that adds to fat content. Slowly pour in the parmesan cheese stirring on medium heat until it melts making a creamy sauce. The key to any good alfredo/cheese sauce is adding the cheese slowly. Once you have a good amount of sauce, add in the spinach. While fresh is best, I love frozen spinach because they pack sooo much into a little package so you are eating tons of greens. Stir the spinach into the sauce. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. I used multicolored shells that are veggie based.

The meatballs:
I use ground chicken because it is leaner and healthier than ground beef. With the right combo of herbs it tastes just like sausage, you won’t know the difference but is lower in fat and cholesterol. Also, by adding in bread crumbs etc you are making the meat (and your money) stretch.
Mix together herbs (onion, rosemary, thyme and fennel see are key to making it taste like sausage), a little parmesan cheese if you have some left, bread crumbs, two eggs and ground meat. Make into decent size balls then place in 350 degree preheated oven for ab out 15mins or until meat is brown, not pink.
Serve over mac and cheese and voila!- a grown up healthier veggie and protein packed version of your childhood fav!
chops bobblehead etc 011 300x225   Spinach Mac and Cheese and Chicken Sausage meatballs

April 29, 2011
Food, Recipe