Tabouleh with Eastern spiced meatballs

This is tasty, fresh and healthy. Might not look that special... But it is. Take a chance on me. 

Yesterday I've experienced a total cooking fail. So tonight, I needed a succes. It was :-)

The recepy for these meatballs I adapted from a recepy from Homemade by Yvette van Boven. In the original recepy Yvette rolls the meatballs through sesame seeds and bakes them in the oven. I've tried that and it's delicious. But as it turns out, I'm traditional about my meatballs and think they should be baked in butter to keep them from drying out and achieving that perfect crust. For my version you'll need:

- 300 grams of minced meat (beef)
- 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons of mustard
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 egg 

Half an egg sounds weird, right? I've beated the egg and used half of that. The reason I didn't use all of it is when your mixture get's too moist, your meatballs will fall apart. You don't want that! Mix the ingredients. I really love meatballs but I hate this part of preparing them. I usually have long nails and they get so dirty! Tonight I've mixed the ingredients with a spatula. It turned out fine and my nails stayed clean. Yay for that! Roll the meat mixture into 6 small balls. Heat up butter in a pan (if you have one with a thick bottom, use it). When the butter is done bubbling put in the meatballs and cook them for about half an hour to 45 minutes. Make sure you turn them with some tender love and care or they will, again, fall apart. Meatballs are fragile creatures. Just know your work will be rewarded, because once you've managed to get them cooked and out of the pan in one piece, they're simply fantastic.

With the meatballs I ate tabouleh. 'What the hell is tabouleh', you're thinking. Well, tabouleh is a lovely dish originally from Lebanon but popular throughout the Middle East, the Arab world and in Greece . There are many variations, but all you really need to know is you have to use a lot of fresh herbs (especially the parsley is very important) and pay attention to the quality of your tomatoes. I've used small roma tomatoes, but cherry tomatoes will do. Most important thing is they're dark red, this way you'll be sure they're sweet and tasteful. I got mine at a local grocery store. They really have the best tomatoes... Once you've tasted that, you'll never buy supermarket tomatoes again. Just remember, the smaller the tomato, the sweeter it will taste. In this dish I've used bulghur, which is a cereal food made from broken wheat grains. It's very healthy and a nice change from the usual pasta or potatoes.

For the salad you need:
- Bulghur (100 grams a person)
- Lots of fresh mint and coriander, original recepy contains parsley, but the parsley looked sad so I went with it it and chose coriander.
- Sweet tomatoes
- Lemon juice 
- Olive oil

Boil the bulghur. There appear to be many ways to prepare bulghur, this was the first time I've prepared it so I'm going to experiment some more, I'm considering a risotto-style bulghur for example... Stay tuned :-) This time I've boiled it in about 1,5 times as much water as I've used bulghur (the bulghur will be covered by a cm. of water). Cook for about 15 minutes, the bulghur will absorb the water. 
Chop up the herbs finely and cut the tomatoes in small pieces. Mix and pour over some olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Add a little salt and pepper and enjoy! The sweetness of the tomatoes and the freshness of the mint and lemon goes so well with those meatballs. It was very good.

Oh and by the way, this serves two. No solo dinner tonight :-)

Can't find bulghur in the supermarket? Couscous will do.

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