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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Meatball Kebabs


Ha ha ha ha.

I really am finding this tour of the Mediterranean uproariously funny, especially since I didn't plan it out that way. But here we are again, dining on kebabs with cucumbers and minty yogurt on the side. We'll be flying back home from our vacation to Santorini tomorrow. I promise.

These kebabs are very simple to make. The one ingredient that I just couldn't figure out what it was doing in a kebab was Chinese five-spice powder. No matter, it works and the smell is amazing.

I served the meatballs with sliced cucumbers and Greek yogurt with chopped mint.

Meatball Kebabs

1 lb ground beef
1/3 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint or parsley
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

1. In a large bowl, mix ground beef and all other ingredients together and add 1 tsp kosher salt. Shape into 24 1 1/2-inch-diameter meatballs. Thread onto wooden or metal skewers.

2. Brush a grill pan or griddle with some olive oil. Heat to medium and cook kebabs, turning often, until meatballs are browned all over, about 8 minutes.

The Verdict: Amir has found his dream meal. It was an amazing sight to behold.

The meatballs are great. They aren't particularly complex in taste, but flavors are just enough to make them delicious. Grilling them makes them slightly crunchy, searing the juices inside. I was a little worried that they'd be too dry to withhold cooking, but they did wonderfully.

I didn't have any garlic paste, so I just took a tablespoon of jarred minced garlic and attacked it with my mortar and pestle. I don't get to use it that often, but man, it's so much fun when I do.

I would highly recommend the cucumber and yogurt as sides. The coolness of the two foods are wonderfully complimentary to the spices in the meatballs. I just added chopped mint to our yogurt; I also think the harissa sauce from an earlier kebab (kofte) post would be delish. Noyan really liked the minted yogurt, though, and we both enjoyed watching Amir copy Daddy using it as a dipping sauce.

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