Monday was Gary’s birthday but he wasn’t home. He had a business trip that required him to leave at the wee hours in the morning, returning Tuesday evening.
If you saw TSKR’s Facebook page, then maybe you saw the pictures of the roses Gary gave me, on HIS birthday. What a sweetie. I’m a really lucky gal. Really lucky. I was thinking I’d like to make dinner for my sweet hubby when he returned from his overnight. He’d have spent the last 5 meals eating out and needs a good home cooked meal!
He loves the Lebanese Kofta Kebabs from the Lebanese Spice Kit. Side note: Did you know Gary is 1/4 Lebanese? OK. Now you know if you didn’t already :)…. I’ve made Kofta about one million and 20 times and I also make a Kofta Meatloaf that’s topped with fried potatoes. They are both sooo good! But I wanted to change it up just a bit. Allspice and cinnamon are characteristic flavors in Lebanese food- both savory and sweet dishes. Initially, I was skeptical about using spices I thought to be only for sweets in other things like beef, rice, and stews… but that skepticism is long gone. It’s now one of my favorite flavors!
These meatballs are seasoned with Lebanese spices in a tomato sauce also only lightly seasoned with Lebanese spices- different than our usual Kofta recipe which is seasoned prominently with mint and baharat (an arabic spice blend). When it comes to meatballs, we eat them on their own, over rice, pasta, or sandwiched between a couple slices of bread or pita. It doesn’t matter. The meat is the star and only 47 calories per meatball!! In fact, it may sound strange, but meatballs were and are instrumental in me losing and maintaining my weight. They’re easy to make and I bake up a batch (portion control) and store them in a Tupperware, grabbing one any time I need a snack. Meatballs are also a great way to sneak in veggies like carrot and red pepper. I’d suggest adding 1/3 to 1/2 cup minced veggies if you choose.
So we ate our meatballs over rice with a side salad and nice glass of our favorite wine while Gary told me about his business trip, which involved cooking at a culinary school in the NY Finger Lakes wine region! It’s funny how as we eat, we talk about things we ate, and things we plan to eat. That is our life! And we finished the evening watching a PBS show on Roku about a plastic bag, told by a plastic bag. Um…. I think we could have skipped that one….. Gary zonked out on the couch with the dogs- all 4 snoring and life is good.
- 2 lbs. 93% lean ground turkey or chicken
- ⅔ cup plain bread crumbs
- ½ cup onion, finely minced or grated
- ⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
- ⅓ cup parsley, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp. (6 cloves) garlic
- 2 tsps. each salt, sugar
- 1 tsp. each allspice, coriander
- ½ tsp. each cayenne, cinnamon, cumin
- 1 Tbps. olive oil
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 2 tsps. (4 cloves) garlic, minced
- 1 (28 oz.) can good quality crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 (8 oz). can tomato sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar
- ¾ tsp. each allspice, oregano
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. each black pepper, cinnamon
- Combine meatball ingredients and mix well with your hands.
- Roll into golf ball size meatballs and place on a baking sheet.
- Preheat oven broiler and place rack in the center.
- Broil meatballs 5 minutes.
- Start making the sauce by heating oil in a medium saute pan on medium heat.
- Add the onion and saute 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute 2 minutes.
- Stir in remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a rolling boil.
- Add meatballs. Cover and reduce heat to medium/low.
- Simmer 15 minutes.
This recipes made 36 meatballs.