One woman's insight into her daily life and some 'adventures'.............cooking, collecting, travels etc. With a lil' bit of this and that...........

Friday, January 8, 2010

Turkish Meatballs

Thank you to our wonderful Hostess Susan for hosting this "Foodie Friday".

Stop by for some fun and exciting recipes and fabulous pictures at http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/

This is my husband's favourite dish........I decided to do an exotic recipe for today. It is a very popular Turkish dish and when I'm there to visit in Izmir Turkey my husband's family makes this dish. It is served very often in homes and restaurants.
This recipe I got off this cookbook that I purchased called The Sultan's Kitchen, I use it quite often I love the recipes. I find that these recipes are very close to how my husband's family cooks so I have been using it more often...... otherwise being married so long I just now wing my recipes, but before they were all new to me as I had no idea about Turksih cooking whatsoever. But I do find that their food is very healthy compared to North American cooking, they use a lot of veggies in all their dishes and make them look like a work of art on the plate.

Turkish Meatballs [Izmir Köftesi]
Adapted from The Sultan's Kitchen (page 77)
serves 4-6
2 lbs. lean ground beef or lamb
1 small onion, grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 large tomatoes, diced
2 cups water or lamb/beef stock
2 medium green peppers, seeded and cut diagonally into slices
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make the sauce first. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the tomato paste, then add the tomatoes and water or stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, while you make the meatballs [köfte] so that the tomatoes boil down.
Combine the ground lamb or beef, onion, garlic, eggs, paprika, cumin and parsley in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. With moistened hands, mix the ingredients for about 2 minutes. Keep a bowl of warm water nearby to wet your hands while working. Shape the meat mixture into 20-25 oval balls.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat, add the meatballs [köfte] and lightly brown the meat all over (about 5 minutes). Place the meatballs [köfte] in an ovenproof dish and set them aside.
Pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs [köfte]. Arrange the green peppers on top. Cover the dish and bake for 40 minutes.
Notes; In my photo as you can see I added some potatoes in chunks to it and mixed it with the meatballs and they all roasted together. When I do add the chunks of potatoes I add a bit more stock. This is how my Mother-in-Law roasts it sometimes with potatoes or without.
Here in my photo I didin't add any green peppers as at that time I didn't have any on hand..... but when I do use peppers I use the Cubanelles, they are the best for flavour.
This dish is good to round of with a salad and your meal is complete.

Oval Meatballs........sometimes I make round ones but the Turks I learned prefer the oval shape.

Ready to be sauteed.

.............ready to eat.

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Thank you for stopping by!


  1. What a fabulous recipe! Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I hope the New Year brings your family health, happiness and prosperity. Blessings...Mary

  2. Erica thank for this one...you know how much we love Turkish food and in fact we are going to a Turkish restaurant tomorrow night,,,I will definitely be trying these...
    Hope you are feeling better today!

  3. I've never tried this, and I can't wait. The meatballs look wonderfully good.

  4. YUM! I'm drooling looking at those pictures :)

  5. Oh, God! Can I resist these? I love meatballs, turkish cuisine, delicious dish...

  6. Hi, Erica, these look just delicious! I am so happy to read your beautiful blog.