Tag Archives: meatballs

Soutzoukakia: Greek Baked Meatballs In Tomato Sauce

Over the course of nearly 9 years writing this blog, I have posted numerous meatball recipes from many different cultures. Until The Hubs recently came across this one from The Mediterranean Dish, we had never heard of Soutzoukakia, football-shaped Greek meatballs.

Soutzoukakia is not an easy word to enunciate, so try this “soot-zoo-KAH-kee-ah”. Flavor-packed meatballs with loads of aromatics, fresh parsley, and a special blend of spices, including ground cumin and a touch of cinnamon baked in a rich tomato sauce.

Soutzoukakia are delicious meatballs made with ground beef, onions, garlic, fresh herbs, and a unique spice combination, the star of which is cumin. The cumin’s warm and distinctive flavor with bitter, lemony undertones provides a great earthy base here. Adding to the flavor is the epic tomato sauce scented with bay, garlic and a touch of cinnamon.

The meatballs are baked in the sauce to create a dish that is comfort food at it’s finest. The secret to making great meatballs that are extra tender and juicy? Add pieces of milk-soaked bread and use a light hand when mixing and forming the meatballs. (With no whole wheat bread slices on hand, we incorporated a toasted hamburger roll.)

When you first eyeball all of the ingredients, you may say “No way!” But if you look a little closer, you’ll notice that 4 of those ingredients repeat in both the meatballs and in the sauce. Plus, there is no need to brown the meatballs, which is a time-saver in itself.

To make ahead, you can prep both the sauce and meatball mixture the day before. Mix the meatball mixture and keep it in the fridge for up to one day in advance. When you’re ready, form the meat into oblong shapes, place them in an oiled baking dish, and pour the sauce over. Bake and serve. Quickly cook up some rice or orzo and heap meatballs and sauce atop them. Dinner done.

Soutzoukakia: Greek Baked Meatballs In Tomato Sauce

  • Servings: Yields 16 meatballs
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For Meatballs

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, toast-size, toasted to a medium-brown (or use gluten free bread if you need)
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1½ lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to grease the baking dish

For Red Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 30 oz. canned tomato sauce, that’s 2, 15-oz. cans of sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¾ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, place the toasted bread and cover with milk (or water) to soak. When bread is soft and well-soaked, squeeze the liquid out completely and discard remaining milk if any.
  2. Transfer the bread to a large mixing bowl. Add round beef and remaining meatball ingredients. Knead well until well-combined. Cover the meat mixture and rest in the fridge for now.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. While oven is heating, prepare the sauce. In a sauce pan or large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes or so. Add garlic and cook for another minute, stirring regularly.
  5. Now add red wine and cook to reduce by about ½, then add tomato sauce, bay leaf and remaining sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Prepare a large baking dish and lightly oil the bottom with extra virgin olive oil.
  7. Take the meat mixture out of the fridge. Wet your hands and scoop portions of about 2 ½ tablespoons of the meat mixture and form into large elongated meatballs (football-shaped). You should have 12 to 16 meatballs or so. Arrange meatballs in the papered baking dish and top with the sauce. Be sure to have removed the bay leaf from the sauce.
  8. Place the baking dish on the middle rack of your heated oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the meatballs are well cooked through. Check part-way through to make sure sauce is not dry, and if needed, add a little bit of water to the bottom of the baking dish.
  9. Remove from oven and add another drizzle of EVOO. Garnish with parsley and serve over rice or orzo.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Adapted recipe from Suzy Karadsheh

Jalapeño-Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti

Intrigued with this odd combination found in a recent Fine Cooking Magazine, we were pleasantly surprised at the results. Despite two large jalapeños and some chili powder, it was only slightly spicy. Of course, if you did want to ramp up the heat, don’t discard the jalapeño seeds.

Our meatballs did stick to the foil, so we suggest using parchment or coating the baking sheet with an oil spray such as Pam. Also, to thicken the sauce, we added about 2/3 of the shredded Gouda to the cream cheese/milk mixture, then sprinkled the remainder on top.

If you have leftovers, top with some milk and/or olive oil to add moisture before popping in the microwave.

Jalapeño-Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten 
  • 2 Tbsp.s olive oil 
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 lbs. uncooked ground turkey breast or ground turkey
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped onion 
  • ¼ cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 14-16 oz. package dried multigrain, whole wheat or regular spaghetti
  • 6 oz. packages cream cheese
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt (optional)
  • 4 oz. Gouda cheese, shredded
  • Fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In bowl stir together egg whites, oil, milk, chili powder, 1 tsp. black pepper, and 1/2 tsp. salt.
  2. In large bowl combine turkey, onion, bread crumbs, jalapeños, and chopped cilantro. Fold egg white mixture into turkey mixture; mix well. Shape turkey mixture in 1-1/2-inch balls. Place on a foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until no longer pink (170 degrees F).
  3. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti, with 1 tablespoon salt added to water, according to package directions. Drain; keep warm.
  4. In same pan used for pasta melt cream cheese over low heat. Add milk. Cook, stirring, until bubbly. Return spaghetti to pan; toss to coat with cream cheese mixture.
  5. Serve spaghetti with meatballs, cheese, and cilantro.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe from Fine Cooking

Puttin’ on the Ritz with Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Considering that both chicken Parmesan and meatballs with marinara are popular choices, why commit yourself to just one? Here, Cook’s Country captures the best flavors of both dishes while minimizing the effort—and with fabulous results I must report. The Hubs is already planning to remake them for an upcoming retreat.

Starting with the meatballs, they use a flavorful mixture of Parmesan cheese, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to perk up the flavor of mild ground chicken. When shaping the meatballs, it’s a good practice to keep a small bowl of water nearby to dunk your fingertips in, it helps keep the mixture from sticking to your hands.

In place of a panade (a seasoned mix of starch and liquid), crushed Ritz Crackers (we used the garlic butter variety) and an egg are stirred into the ground chicken. This paste adds enough structure to skip the browning step (which helps meatballs hold together) and still have meatballs that hold their shape and remain tender.

The sauce is kept simple with seasoned crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce with a generous amount of fresh garlic, dried oregano, and pepper flakes. After a brief simmer, pour the sauce over the meatballs and top it with a crown of mozzarella (for its gooey meltability) prior to baking. When the saucy meatballs finally emerged from the oven, a sprinkle of savory Parmesan cheese, crunchy panko, and fragrant basil impart that familiar chicken Parmesan vibe.

You can make this dish ahead up to the point of topping with the shredded mozzarella. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. Bring to room temperature as you preheat the oven, then continue with the remaining directions. Remember, the dish will need to rest for 15 minutes before you add the panko/parm topping.

As there was already crushed crackers and panko topping involved, I opted to serve the meatballs simply with a side of fresh green beans and a tossed salad. But if you’re not concerned with carbs, or want to stretch the meal, you can add cooked pasta and some crusty bread to help sop up all of the wonderful sauce.

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2¼ tsp. dried oregano, divided
  • 1½ tsp. table salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 22 Ritz crackers
  • 5 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (2½ cups), divided
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 lbs. ground chicken
  • 8 oz. whole-milk block mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup torn fresh basil

Directions

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add sliced garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, ¼ teaspoon oregano, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper flakes. Bring to simmer; reduce heat to medium-low; and cook until slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Place crackers in large zipper-lock bag, seal bag, and crush fine with rolling pin (you should have about 1 cup crumbs).
  4. Combine crumbs, 2 cups Parmesan, egg, garlic powder, pepper, remaining 2 teaspoons oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl. Add chicken and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.
  5. Divide mixture into 20 portions (about ¼ cup each). Using your hands, roll each portion into ball, and transfer to 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
  6. Pour sauce over meatballs, then sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake until meatballs register at least 160 degrees and mozzarella is melted and beginning to brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, combine panko, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in bowl. Microwave until panko is light golden brown, 1 to 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
  8. Sprinkle meatballs with panko mixture, remaining ½ cup Parmesan, and basil. Serve.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Recipe from Cook’s Country