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Gratifyingly Great Greek Meatballs Served with Orzo and a Greek Salad

 

Greek Meatballs

Well, it’s been awhile since my last post. I started this blog when my work was really slow….and low and behold, it has picked up and I find I can’t do two things at once!  I recently finished an adorable, compact bungalow style house for a friend and a pro bono additon to our local food bank. Currently, I have two jobs going for two wonderful clients;  a very cool house up north which is almost ready to go out to bid and a remodel/ addition to a small, unattractive commercial building in my town’s historic district.  The small commercial building has to fit in the historic district – it doesn’t have to replicate a historic building, but it should have some historic character in order to be appropriate to the area it is in. I’m having fun delving into traditional storefront design, drop siding, cornices, mouldings, etc.

I love doing this blog, though, so I need to be a better time manager! Currently, I have a backlog of recipes to share, plus some great ones to share from my foodie friends. It is so fun doing this blog because everyone that knows about it talks to me about food and what they’re doing with food and you know, I just adore food.

I made this recipe a  couple of months ago when my parents were over for Sunday dinner. It’s from one of my favorite cookboods, The Family Dinner by Laurie David. Sometimes, I just crave Greek food. So these greek meatballs served with some orzo pasta and a refreshing greek salad hit the spot. My parents loved them and the kids did, too. And, it was actually healthy – which is a good thing!

 

Greek Meatballs

Adapted from The Family Dinner by Laurie David

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. pepper (I do not love pepper, so I halve this amount)
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 t. allspice
  • 2 t. ground cumin
  • 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 3 T. lemon juice
  • 2 T. fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 2 T. fresh mint, chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • 2 pounds ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 recipe fragrant tomato sauce (or cheat & use store bought, but this is better!)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Mix together thoroughly everything except chicken, feta, olive oil & tomato sauce in a big bowl.
  2. Let is rest for about 10 minutes and then add the chicken and stir in well.
  3. Form mixture into golf ball sized meatballs and place them on an oiled baking pan.
  4. Place the pan on the middle oven shelf and broil until they start brown, and then flip them to broil t he other side.
  5. Then pour the fragrant tomato sauce over and top with the feta. Cover in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with herbs and serve with orzo tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper.

 

Fragrant Tomato Sauce

Adapted from The Family Dinner by Laurie David

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2-28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 t. ground cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 t. cumin
  • pinch of cayenne
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cooking Directions:

  1. Heat the garlic and the onion in the olive oil in a medium pot until the garlic is fragrant and the onion translucent.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Gently simmer for 15 minutes and adjust seasonings as you like.

 

Greek Salad Vinaigrette

Adapted from The Family Dinner by Laurie David

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 t. fresh oregano, chopped or 1/2 t. dried
  • 1 t. salt
  • pepper to taste

Cooking Directions:

  1. Put it all together and shake it all up.
  2. Add to your favorite combination of chopped kalamata olives, chopped red bell pepper, chopped cucumbers, chopped fresh tomatoes, sliced red onions, cubed feta cheese and a bit of fresh dill, mint and italian parsley.

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