In an effort to stay good on my resolution to make this place a better resource and more practical for you all I am hoping to include more every night dinner options. There will still be cakes – last week alone I made two plus a couple of cream pies. Let’s call it therapeutic baking. But the simple food, the sort we eat on a regular basis, doesn’t always make it to these pages. Let’s change that. I know for myself I am most often flipping through cookbooks and visiting blogs for inspiration for the quick, healthful, and comforting food that can easily make it to our dinner table and possibly with minimal grumbling from the little ones.
Totally unrelated to this particular recipe I’m about to share but I thought of it as I mentioned quick dinners – do you all have an Instant Pot? I think I’m perhaps one of the last to jump on this bandwagon but I have fallen hard for this device and this is coming from someone who generally hates devices. Get me a sharp knife and a cutting board and I’m set. Slow cooker? What’s the point I say. Rice cooker? I’ve got a pot and a lid for that. Yesterday I made the best chicken broth of my cooking career in thirty minutes. Side note to my side note: I took that chicken broth and made this recipe for chicken and dumplings for my sick family (sadly the smell of the broth made one sick child feel sicker, mom fail). I used leftovers from a roasted chicken made the night before and added one cup of grated Comté cheese to the biscuits.
Okay focus, Ashley. So regular dinners. That’s what I have here in the form of a very simple meatball. I mentioned these last week as they accompanied our Cauliflower Tabouli. The kids loved these simply spiced meatballs as did the group of friends I made them for recently. In fact I promised I would get this post up today so they could have the recipe. Not the kids, the friends, although this recipe is easy enough for the boys to throw together.
Kofta is a type of meatball that is found in Middle Eastern, South and Central Asian recipes. At its simplest it is ground meat mixed with spices. Other recipes include mixing the meat with grains and vegetables. Here ground chicken is seasoned with garlic, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander bound with a bit of yogurt and laced with a flurry of fresh herbs.
A couple of things to note: Perhaps consider doubling the recipe. They make great leftovers for lunches or future dinners (they freeze well too). Also, think leftover meatball sandwich – a slather of the creamy yogurt feta sauce and some crisp greens and thinly shaved cucumber. Yes. Make more than you need.
I used ground dark meat here and I think the moisture is needed. If you can’t find any add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to add just a bit of fat to the meat. For the herbs, use any variety of the soft leafy sort that you might have on hand – dill, cilantro, mint and parsley all do nicely.
More weekday dinner ideas to come. And cake. Always cake.
Chicken Kofta Meatballs + Yogurt Feta Sauce
Chicken Kofta Meatballs
Serves 4 to 6
1 1/4 pound ground dark meat chicken
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/2 cup minced fresh herbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
Yogurt Feta Sauce
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
Pinch salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl combine the chicken, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, salt, lemon zest, and yogurt. Mix well to combine. If you're okay with this I'd suggest using your hands.
Heat a cast iron (or other oven safe skillet) over medium high heat. Cook a teaspoon size patty to test for seasoning. Add more salt if needed.
Add the oil to the pan. Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to shape the meatballs into roughly two tablespoon-sized balls. They may loose their shape a bit as there are no eggs or bread crumbs but just add them gently to the pan then sear on all sides, turning them carefully with tongs.
Carefully transfer the skillet to the oven after all the meatballs have seared and roast for 10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
In a small bowl combine the yogurt, feta, dill, salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Taste and add more salt as needed.
Serve with the Yogurt Feta Sauce (recipe below). This also goes beautifully with the Cauliflower Tabouli.