Friday, June 30, 2017

Mediterranean Meatballs

In the blurb from the site I got this from it said this could easily be made on a weeknight.  D said, "Never are we to have this again on a weeknight."  It did take awhile, or so it seemed, so I'll take him up on that.

After eating it he did say we could have again.  We both like the rich flavors.  He said it is a good Sunday Dinner.

Mediterranean Meatballs

Photo by ALB

Adapted from Irvin Lin which was
Adapted from David Tanis’ One Good Dish

2 cups fresh cubed crusty whole wheat bread (Used Pepperidge Farm Italian Bread)
1 cup milk (2% is fine)
1 lb ground lamb (or ground beef if you aren’t a fan of lamb)
1/2 lb ground beef (used Laura's 93/7)
1 large egg
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, divided
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided
4 tablespoons chopped scallions (green onions), divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil (used 3 TBSP)

3 tablespoons olive oil (didn't use)
2 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
6 oz tomato paste
2 1-inch cinnamon sticks
pinch of saffron, crumbled in your fingers
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

2 cups Israel couscous
1/2 cup golden raisins (didn't use)
2 tablespoon olive oil (didn't use)
Add any left over parsley and cilantro to this
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Place the cubed bread onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the bread has dried out but not browned. While the bread is toasting make the sauce.

2. Place the oil (use PAM) in a large wide skillet or pot and heat until shimmering. Reduce heat to medium and add the onions and cook until the onions start to soften, about 5 minutes. Once they start to soften, add the garlic, tomato paste, cinnamon sticks and saffron. Stir and cook for about a minute, then season generously with salt and pepper. Add the broth, stir to incorporate, cook on medium high heat until boiling. The sauce will look thin. Lower heat to a simmer and then cover while you make the meatballs, stirring occasionally.

3. Once the bread is toasted, remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Move bread to a large bowl and drizzle milk over bread, tossing and mixing until the milk is absorbed. Add both meats, egg, garlic, salt and pepper and spices to bread. Add 3 tablespoons of the parsley, cilantro and scallions, reserving the 1 tablespoon each for garnish at tend. Using your hands mix and massage the mixture until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Roll the mixture into golf ball size meatballs then toss half the balls in the flour to coat. In a large pan, add the oil and heat until shimmering then pan fry half the meatballs, turning until they are brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. They don’t need to be completely cooked through, just brown. Move the browned meatballs to the simmering sauce, and repeat with the remaining meat, first forming the balls, then coating in flour and frying, then moving to the sauce. Increase the heat to medium and simmer the balls for 20-25 minutes or until the meatballs are tender and cooked through. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt, pepper and cayenne for heat if you want.

4. While the meatballs are simmering, make the couscous as directed by the package. While the couscous and meatballs are cooking, pour boiling water over the raisins and let soak to plump up (don't add raisins). Once the cous cous is done, drizzle the olive oil  over it (don't do) and then drain the raisins and add them as well. Stir together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Once the meatballs are done, spoon the couscous into bowls and cover with meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle parsley, cilantro and scallions over the top and serve immediately.

Makes enough for 4-6 servings.

21 Smart Points (my additions/subtractions at 5 servings (4 meatballs, 2/3C of sauce, 2/3C of couscous))

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