Monday, April 4, 2011

Greek meatballs with herb and lemon orzo

At the end of last week a regular cool spring weeknight turned into Greek night at our house. I love Greek food! I have been hooked since my first trip to Rhodes in my early teens (in the 80s). We ate Souvlaki (Kebobs) and Gyros every day for two weeks. I could eat Tzatziki sauce on just about anything. And Feta cheese - don't get me started! So when I found this recipe in Americas Test kitchen's 30-minute suppers (spring 2011), I immediately cried out: "I am making that!"
 And what a treat it was. These meatballs are soooo good. Very authentic. When I closed my eyes this meal sent me back to that small family restaurant a stones throw from the beach that we would it at every night. It is my dream to one day bring my family there. But I digress. The meat balls are delicious dipped in Tzatziki sauce, and would actually be great as an appetizer as well, maybe just a little smaller in size, because they are quite filling. The Herb and Lemon Orzo  was a great companion for these. With the addition of the Zatziki sauce, and nice big olives, this was a wonderful meal.

Note! Although this is a great recipe overall, I found that it took me longer than the suggested 7 minutes to get the meatballs browned on all sides and even then I didn't feel that they were cooked through completely. I baked them in the oven @ 350 degrees, covered with foil, for an additional 15 minutes. The meatballs came out perfect!

Greek Meatballs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices high-quality white sandwich bread,
torn into small pieces
1/3 cup plain  standard yogurt (not Greek)*
1 1/2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
1 small red onion, grated
1garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

In a large bowl mash bread with yogurt until smooth.
Add beef, onion, garlic, dill, mint, salt and pepper. Form mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs (this size should give you 24).
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 5-6 meatballs and cook gently, shaking pan and turning meatballs with tongs, until browned on all sides and cooked trough, about 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining meatballs.

No comments:

Post a Comment