(new photo added January 2014)
I can’t believe my blog has gone on this long without mention of keftedes. It’s just unacceptable! Keftedes are the ever-so-famous Greek meatballs that often grace the typical Greek’s table at any hour of day. They can be appetizers, sides, snacks, or a main dish. A bigger version of a kefteda is often called a bifteki – that’s about the size of a hamburger, but not as flat.
Now, you know I’m all about making things healthy whenever possible right? I’m all over reducing the amount of oil and butter in a recipe, swapping out certain ingredients, etc. I’d even suggest baking meatballs instead of pan frying them when you are making something like spaghetti and meatballs. So you’ll just have to trust me when I say – you are going to want to pan fry these babies. It’s just the right thing to do, ok? Do not let me catch you baking a Greek kefteda!
When I was young, keftedes and homemade French fries were one of my absolute favorite meals. When I was young, I was a fat kid. :)
The other day, I paired the keftedes with a relatively lighter Greek-style potato salad and green salad. So now that your sides are nice and healthy, you are going to feel just fine about the pan frying.
Keftedes (Greek Meatballs)
1 slice of bread
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 an onion, finely diced or grated
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
1 heaping tsp. dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper
flour, for dredging
olive oil, for pan frying
Put your slice of bread into a bowl and then pour milk into the bowl. Allow the bread to soak up the milk as you are prepping your other ingredients. Squeeze the bread to get rid of some of the milk, and then discard the remaining milk, keeping just the soggy bread.
Add the beef, egg, onion, garlic, oregano, parsley, salt & pepper to the bread. Mix everything together (with your hands – what Ina calls “a cook’s best tools”) but don’t overmix. Then, shape into meatballs–any size you want.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add some olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Dredge the meatballs in flour, shaking off the excess. I find the easiest way to do this is to put some flour in your hands and then bat the meatball back and forth. When the oil is hot, add your meatballs and pan fry them until they are cooked through (working in batches, if necessary).