Greek Keftedakia Meatballs with Pita and Fresh Vegetables
In the Greek Islands, Keftedakia is the word used for Greek Meatballs. They are eaten often in many forms: as a sandwich with pita, tomato, red onion and Tzatziki sauce; as a main course with spaghetti and grated Greek aged cheese, and with a flavorful Avgolemono sauce. They are traditionally made with ground lamb however in the United States, many Greek Americans make it with ground round or ground chuck. As a tribute to Greek Americans, here are some excellent recipes to try below from World Cuisine Today. These recipes are created by World Cuisine Today and inspired by those at Papaspiros Restaurant in Oak Park Illinois. They are located at: 728 Lake Street Oak Park Illinois Phone: (708) 358-1700 Website: www.papaspiroslive.com
Recipe for Keftedakia Meatballs
One pound ground round, chuck or ground lean lamb
Three cloves garlic minced
Juice of one large lemon
One egg yolk and two egg whites
One half cup minced parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
1) In a small non reactive bowl mix the lemon juice and egg yolks thoroughly set to the side.
2) Mince the three cloves garlic and parsley. Thoroughly mix in the lemon juice, egg yolks, parsley and 1/8 cup of the olive oil.
3) Take three tablespoons of the meat and herb mixture and form balls, disks, or sausage shapes.
4) With the other 1/8 cup of olive oil, place it in a large saute pan with high sides and a lid. Brown the meatballs for roughly ten minutes on all sides. Add one cup of water to the pan, place the lid on vented and simmer on low for another ten minutes.
5) Meanwhile in a smaller pan, painted lightly with olive oil, heat your pita breads one by one. Keep warm on a serving plate tightly covered.
Recipe for Tsatziki Sauce
Two cups Greek Yogurt
One cup Half and Half
One English style cucumber peeled, grated, and drained of extra moisture
Three large cloves garlic minced
Two tablespoons fresh mint minced
One cup parsley minced
1/8 cup olive oil
One teaspoon Paprika or ground Sumac for garnish
One bunch minced scallions
Two tablespoons dill
Four to Eight Kalamata Olives
1) In a non reactive bowl mix the Greek yogurt, Half and Half, grated drained cucumber, minced garlic, minced herbs and 1/16 cup of the olive oil.
2) Chill in the refridgerator covered for at least one hour.
3) Serve in a small serving bowl with the olive oil drizzled on top, sprinkled with the Paprika, a bit more Parsley and dill, and some Kalamata Olives
To serve, slice the two remaining lemons into wedges for squeezing over the hot Kefte sandwiches. Chop some Romaine lettuce (after washing and patting dry) and serve in a small bowl. On a small dish, slice some Roma tomatoes, and some Red onions. Let guests assemble their sandwiches with the meatballs first, then topping the warm pitas with the Tsatsiki, lettuce and tomato.