Monday, November 05, 2012

Kafta - Middle Eastern "Meatball"

Kafta (or Kofta) is a Middle Eastern meatball.  It is a highly seasoned ground meat mixture that can be shaped in a variety of ways including round meatballs, football shaped spheres, or molded onto skewers.  It can be eaten atop a plate of rice, with hummus, tabbouleh, plain yogurt, or tzatziki sauce.  It can also be wrapped in thin pita like a burrito or  in a traditional pita as a sandwich.  It is delicious and we always look forward to it at our house.  This time I made a very untraditional venison version that was very tasty, but feel free to use more available meats like ground beef or lamb.  I served mine with a mixture of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, parsley, and a plain yogurt sauce.  The kids always like to eat the meatballs on their own with a side of rice.

1 lb ground beef, lamb, or venison
1 medium onion, quartered
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh mint
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 slice white bread, cubed
1 egg
3 T kafta spice mix
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients in food processor except meat and 1 T spice mix and egg.  Pulse 5-6 times or until onion is diced, add egg.  Break up ground meat and place in food processor with egg and onion mix.  Season meat with reserved spice mix.  Blend until meat and onion mixture comes together and begins to form a ball.  (At this point I fry a tablespoon of the mixture and taste.  Then I adjust the seasoning if necessary.)  Form into desired shapes and cook on a hot grill.

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