Mediterranean Meatballs

 

My eye infection got cleared and it was time to get out and breathe some fresh air. We hit the beach; it was loads of fun. My little one loves the beach and since its 10 minutes walk from home, we do have our water play at least once a week.
 
Both hubby and I indulge the child in us as we join Saana in making a sand castle, run into the waves and the splash-splash play. Good fun indeed! Truly spending quality time with the little one is rejuvenating.
 
Over to the recipe, after a week of all the vegetarian meals, it was time for some meat.  And this Mediterranean Meatballs is what I made for lunch today. They are so full of flavor and really easy to whip up. I have adapted the recipe from Kraft and made some changes to it. With this I have one more recipe to cook for Saana often as she simply loved it. 

 


You need –

  • Ground Beef – 300 grams
  • Bread crumbs – 1/2 cup
  • Cream Cheese –1/4 cup, room temperature
  • Onions – 1 small, finely chopped
  • Pitted black olives – minced, 2 tablespoon
  • Egg – 1
  • Garlic cloves – 2, minced
  • Ground oregano- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoons or as required
  • Marinara sauce – 1 cup
  • Paprika – 2 teaspoon

To serve

  • Couscous – 1 cup & cooked as per packed instructions
 
How to –
 
In a large mixing bowl, put the beef, crumbs, cream cheese, onions, olives, egg, garlic, oregano and mix till everything is well combined. Take a tablespoon of meat mixture and shape into balls.
 
Heat oil in pan and fry in batches till the meatballs are evenly browned. Remove and set aside.
 
Into the same pan add the marinara sauce, paprika and the meatballs. Over a medium heat simmer the sauce and cook for 8-10 minutes or till the meatballs are cooked through.
 
Turn off the heat and serve hot with couscous.
 
 
 
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Couscous and bacon salad

 
The staple food of North Africa and is made from fine semolina. Traditionally the couscous is steamed over a pot in which the meat or veggies are cooked. In here we find mostly the instant couscous which just needs to be added into a pot of boiling water and stock. Cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes or as per the instructions on the packet.
 
Well this is also one of my standbys when I need to make something quick. Its perfect with  stew.


You need –

  • Couscous – 1 cup
  • Chicken stock – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Bacon – 150 grams (chopped in small pieces)
  • Bell pepper – 1 (I used 1/2 of yellow and 1/2 of green). Finely diced
  • Paprika – 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic – 1 clove, minced
  • Olive oil – 1 tablespoons
  • Lemon juice – 2 teaspoons
  • mint leaves – finely chopped, 2 teaspoons
  • Parsley 
 
How to –
 
In pot, bring the stock and water to boil. Turn off the heat add the couscous, cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes or until the liquid is all absorbed. Fluff with the fork occasionally.

Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a pan, add the garlic while the oil is still cold and cook till soft over low flame. Add the bacon and fry till crispy. Add the paprika and stir briefly.
 
Now add the bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Make sure not to over cook the bell pepper.

 

Turn off the heat and add the bacon-bell pepper mixture to the couscous. In a small bowl mix the remaining olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle over the couscous; toss well to combine. Garnish with chopped mint leaves, parsley and serve.