2 In The Kitchen: Chef Maria Loi’s Greek Meatballs

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Chef Maria Loi’s motto is “the past is the future.” She stopped by the CBS 2 studios to cook up a classic dish you’ll want to try.

For more information about Chef Loi, check out her restaurant by clicking here.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe (.pdf)

Keftedakia

What We Need:

  • 1 ½ lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tomato, grated
  • ½ c  mint, chopped
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • ½ c  parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 2 egg
  • 4 tbsp Greek olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ -1 c breadcrumbs
  • Greek Yogurt, as needed, for garnish/serving

What We Do:

In a mixing bowl, grate the onion on the largest holes of a box grater, and then add minced garlic (can use a garlic masher as well).  Next, grate one tomato into the bowl, then add the chopped herbs.  To add the fresh thyme, simply strip the leaves off the sprig and add right into the mixture.  Then, add the eggs, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.  Finally, add the breadcrumbs (start with half a cup and if you need more, add after), and the meat, and mix all together with two forks – be careful not to over work the meat, as you want your meatballs light and fluffy.  When everything is all mixed up, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

**Note – you can chop your herbs with a knife or use kitchen shears/herb scissors – the latter will enable you to not lose the essential oils and juices from herbs that cutting boards often absorb.**

Once your meat mixture has rested, using a teaspoon or tablespoon, portion out and roll your meatballs.  The same mentality still applies – try your best not to over handle your meat, the gentler you are and the less you handle your meat, the lighter and fluffier they will be.

If you’re baking them, place on sheet tray lined with parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 350° F until browned (depending on oven, can take anywhere from 15-20 minutes – be sure to keep an eye on them).

If you’re frying them, heat a frying pan with olive oil.  In a separate pan, pour some flour for dredging.  Coat the meatballs in the flour and then shake to remove excess.  Fry meatballs until golden brown on all sides, and then place on paper towel lined plate to drain once cooked.  Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt on the side and enjoy!