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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Kofte - Turkish Meatballs

By Kara Elder

These meatballs, flavored with the spices of Turkey, make a quick, easy, and tasty component for dinner. Serve them with flatbreads, slivered red onions dusted with sumac, yogurt spiked with lemon juice and Marash pepper, and a simple salad of chopped tomatoes and cucumber (sprinkled liberally with salt and Urfa pepper, if you like). The recipe makes about 40 meatballs, which means they're fit for a feast or perfect to stash in the freezer for a quick meal after work or school.

If you don't like lamb, feel free to use all beef. Or, experiment with ground turkey! 

Kofte - Turkish Meatballs
adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook and Bon App├ętit 

1 pound ground lamb
1 pound ground beef
1/8 cup bread crumbs
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Turkish spice blend
2 teaspoons Marash Pepper
2 teaspoons Urfa Pepper
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
Chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, chives, oregano) to taste
2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Put the meat, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, spices, and herbs in a large bowl. Mix together with your hands until the spices are well incorporated. 

Warm a thin film of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Cook a small meatball to test the seasoning, then adjust the spices and salt to taste.

Form the rest of the mixture into meatballs about the size of walnuts and cook, turning until all sides are well browned and inside is cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes total. 

Serve with flat breads, slivered red onions sprinkled with sumac, yogurt, and/or tomato and cucumber salad. 

Freeze leftover meatballs, raw or cooked, for up to 6 months. Defrost frozen, raw meatballs in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

Yield: about 40 meatballs

Middle Eastern delights. 

Kara Elder grew up playing in the kitchen cupboards and reading cookbooks for fun while watching her mom cook tasty Mexican meals. After graduating with a degree in Russian, she found herself increasingly interested in reading food blogs and planning menus. Kara, her mom, and her sister started a food blog of their own, The Troika Table. Kara is a Bazaar Spices Team Member and also works for Joan Nathan, a DC-based cookbook author and food writer. 

1 comment:

  1. Yum! Can you make this with just lamb? Or substitute Turkey? What about Tofu?