For some reason this is a bigger year for social gatherings than in past years. Are people feeling better about the economy? or is it just the time of year that brings out the best (and sometimes the worst) in us. I'm doing my fair share of entertaining since I've always celebrated this season as Hannamas which combines Hanukkah and Christmas. Just give me a reason to celebrate and I'm there.
One of the events is a potluck and I really wanted to simplify my life. I happened upon an interesting recipe over at Kalyn's Kitchen that adapted a South Beach Diet recipe. I loved the ingredients and decided to give it a trial run before I make it for the pot luck. It also doesn't hurt that it's figure friendly given that I'll probably have to have my jaws wired shut just to get through the holiday season.
Mini Greek Meatballs
1 lb lean ground beef (I used lamb)
1/2 small onion, minced
1/2 cup very finely crumbled feta cheese (measure after crumbling finely with a fork)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg
1 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish
1 T dried Greek oregano
4 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt (optional - I didn't use it since the Feta is salty)
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp Greek seasoning (I omitted this since I didn't have any on hand)
Preheat oven to 400 F. Use a food processor to chop the onion very finely (or a box grater), then drain if it seems like there is a lot of liquid.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then use your hands to mix ingredients.
Lightly oil a 9x13 baking dish (I foiled and sprayed). Shape meat into 1 Tbsp size meatballs and place on baking sheet.
Bake 20 minutes, after which time you will see liquid oozing out.
Turn meatballs and bake 10 more minutes. Turn again, and bake 5-10 more minutes, until meatballs are well-browned and cooked through.
Tzatziki Sauce is great with these meatballs.
Verdict: Using the lamb instead of beef gave it a distinctive and wonderful flavour. I found that I didn't need the full 20 minutes in my oven before the first turn and that the meatballs were done by the end of the first turn.
I would make these again and double or triple the recipe for a crowd.