Keftethakia (Greek Meatballs)
Meatballs are popular in all of Greece: the small ones are used as appetizers and the bigger ones as main dish. They can be made of beef (preferably) or l amb, as long as the meat is lean and chopped very finely. They also should be well seasoned with herbs and spices, such as fresh mint, oregano and grated cheese.
Preparation: 30 minutes, plus an hour of refrigeration. Cooking time: 7-10 minutes.
This recipe serves six to eight people for appetizers (for four as a main dish):
- 50 grams or about two ounces of bread
- Three tablespoons of water or wine
- Two tablespoons of olive oil
- 50 grams or about two ounces of chopped onion
- 450 grams or about 1 lb of beef or lamb finely chopped
- One beaten egg
- Two tablespoons of grated cheeseOne tablespoon of fresh mint or parsley
- One teaspoon of oregano
- Fresh pepper
- Oil for frying.
Soak the bread in water or wine; warm olive oil in a pan and fry the onion slowly, without browning it, for 6-7 minutes. Take away from burner.
Mix the soaked bread, the onion, the meat, the beaten egg, cheese, mint or parsley, oregano and salt and pepper. Beat the mixture slowly with a wooden spoon or with your hands, until well blended.
Take a spoonful of the mixture at a time and roll it between floured hands in small balls if you want to use the meatballs for appetizers or bigger ones for a main dish. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour.
Heat three or four spoonfuls of oil in a frying pan and fry the meatballs at moderate heat for about 6-9 minutes, shaking the pan often, until they are golde n. Drain the cooked meatballs and keep warm until the time of serving them.