Chicken Pesto Meatballs

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For the Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
2 cups fresh basil, chopped fine
½ cup pine nuts, chopped
8-9 cloves garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 egg

For the Sauce

Olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic (reserved from meatballs)
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper

PREPARATION

To assemble meatballs, use hands to squeeze together ground chicken, basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes until mixed well. Add the egg, and gently bind together. Form into 1-inch balls.

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet. Sauté garlic for a few minutes, and add meatballs, and cook until browned on all sides. Add the tomatoes, and let simmer, stirring gently every few minutes for approximately 30 minutes. Serve over cooked linguini.

Lamb Kefta with Herbed Yogurt

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For the Meatballs

1 pound ground lamb
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup red onion, chopped super fine
½ cup fresh mint, chopped fine
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup Kashi Whole Grain Nuggets or Grape Nuts (substitute with breadcrumbs)
2 eggs, beaten

For the Yogurt Sauce

2 cups plain Greek yogurt
½ cup fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt

PREPARATION

To assemble the meatballs, combine all ingredients except the eggs. Use hands to mix well, making sure all ingredients and spices are all combined. Form into 1-inch balls. Lamb meatballs can be either grilled over medium-high heat (turning until browned on all sides) or baked in a 375°F oven for approximately 30 minutes, rolling a few times to makes sure they are browned on all sides.

To make the yogurt sauce, combine all ingredients in a blender or use a hand held processor, and blend until smooth.

Serve meatballs with yogurt sauce, in pita sandwiches, or over Middle Eastern vegetables and couscous.

Mexican Herbed Chicken Albondigas Soup

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For the Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
Zest and juice of 2 limes
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper, chopped fine
¼ cup red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 tablespoon dried cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten

For the Soup

Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium zucchini, sliced round
1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 cups chicken broth
4 small fresh corn totillas, sliced in thin strips
Avocado, for garnish
Cotija cheese, for garnish

PREPARATION

To assemble meatballs, use hands to mix together all ingredients until well blended. Form into balls from 1 to 2-inches in diameter. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large soup pan over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, onions, red pepper, and carrots for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add zucchini, jalapeños, and spices. Mix well, sautéing for another few minutes. Pour in the chicken brtoh, and stir until well combined. Gently lower the meatballs into the pan. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for another 20 to 30 minutes over low heat, until meatballs are cooked through. Take off heat, and add tortilla strips. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with avocado and cotija cheese.

Sausage Parsley Fennel Meatballs with Tomato Cream Sauce

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For the Meatballs

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, ground
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 tablespoons milk
Olive oil

For the Tomato Cream Sauce

1 (12-ounce) can plain tomato sauce
1 (12-ounce) container heavy whipping cream

PREPARATION

To assemble meatballs, use hands to mix sausage, garlic, fennel seeds, chili flakes, and parsley until well combined. Add the milk to meatball mixture, and combine. Form into 1-inch balls, and set aside. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over high heat. Sauté meatballs, until all sides are well browned. Add the can of tomato sauce, mix gently, and cook on medium-low heat for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. To make sure meatballs are cooked through, slice one open. If they are not cooked through, continue the cooking process. Turn off the heat, and add heavy whipping cream, stirring gently until tomato sauce and meatball mixture are all mixed together. Serve over pasta.

Sicilian Style Herbed Meatballs

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

For the Meatballs

1 pound ground beef
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, ground
8-9 cloves garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
½ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
1-3 teaspoons red chili flakes (for spicier meatballs use 3 teaspoons)
½ cup pine nuts, chopped fine
½ cup currants
½ cup Kashi Whole Grain Nuggets or Grape Nuts (substitute with breadcrumbs)
2 eggs, beaten
Olive oil

For the Sauce

Olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped fine (reserved from above)
2 tablespoons each fresh parsley, basil, marjoram, and oregano, chopped fine (reserved from above)
2 pounds plum tomatoes, diced fine
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked pepper

PREPARATION

To make the meatballs, mix ground beef and ground sausage with garlic, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and chili flakes.
Use hands to mix well and combine ingredients. Make sure the mixture is well blended. Add the chopped pine nuts, Kashi cereal, and the currants. Again, mix very well using hands. Add the beaten eggs, and mix until all ingredients are well combined and moistened by the eggs. The eggs should cause the mixture to bind together.

Form mixture into about 1 to 1¼-inch balls, and set aside.

In a large and deep heavy bottom pan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil on high heat. Sauté meatballs in batches until all are well browned. Then, transfer them to another plate with paper towels to absorb any grease.

After all the meatballs are cooked, lower the temperature of the same pan, and add another tablespoons of olive oil if necessary. Sauté the garlic until translucent, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and tomatoes, stirring well to loosen the meatball scraps from the bottom of the pan. Add the red wine, salt, and pepper, again stirring to deglaze the pan. Bring to a low boil for about 5 minutes. Turn to low heat, and add the meatballs to the sauce, stirring gently until the meatballs are covered by the tomato mixture. Cook on low temperature for approximately 30 minutes, making sure you stir gently every few minutes being careful not to break apart the meatballs.

Serve over polenta or pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese!

The alternative to sautéing meatballs is to bake them in a 375°F oven for approximately 30 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Follow the same directions as above for the sauce.

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