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Middle Eastern Style Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

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This is a great take on your regular, run of the mill, meatballs- not that any thing is wrong with that… but sometimes it is nice to change it up a bit…. they are really good to entertain with… I served mine with delicious couscous…

  • 1 pound ground pork (any ground meat can be used)
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs soaked in ½ cup milk (let sit for at least 10 mins)

Mix all the ingredients and set aside for at least an hour.

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • Zest of one orange (keep juice aside)
  • 3 cups tomato sauce, homemade or canned crushed tomatoes
  • Salt

Heat a heavy saucepan with the oil. Add the tomato paste, fennel seeds, ground cumin, cinnamon and orange zest. Saute on medium heat for a minute and add the tomato sauce and the saved orange juice. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat with lid on for at least 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Take lid off and increase heat and form meatballs and drop gently into the pan. Lower the heat to a simmer with the lid on and cook for 30 minutes. Check for seasonings and add salt. Serve on top of couscous topped with yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground roasted cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon dried mint, crumbled
  • ½ cup grated cucumber, water squeezed
  • ½ cup grated carrot, water squeezed.
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sumac

Mix all the ingredients and check for seasonings. Serve with meatballs.

Middle Eastern Style Meatballs1

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