April 6, 2006

kefta or middle eastern meatballs

The January 2006 issue of Gourmet magazine featured such an inspiring collection of recipes from way back when it started. Classic dishes from the 50’s to the present. This Middle Eastern kebab or kefta was just one of the many interesting recipes which caught my attention. We’ve tried a Turkish restaurant in the area where we had some of these meatballs along with other stronger flavored barbecues and spicy meats. Ground lamb was recommended but I used lean ground beef instead. Fragrant cinnamon and allspice combined with fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley ( I substituted fresh oregano with good results ) contribute to the unique flavors. The dip was a simple mixture of yoghurt, chopped fresh mint, minced garlic and salt. The meat mixture was formed into 1” round meatballs and may be grilled or broiled. I used my reliable stovetop grillpan and it didn’t take long to cook these meatballs. Served with feta cheese slices and Greek salad.

2 slices white bread, soaked in water,
(drained & squeezed to remove excess water)
1 small onion, finely chopped
fresh parsley leaves
fresh cilantro leaves
1 lb ground lamb
1 tsp salt
half tsp allspice
half tsp cayenne pepper
ground cinnamon
ground black pepper
pine nuts, toasted & finely chopped

chopped fresh mint
minced garlic

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