Koftas

206Because we are not from the north, dinner is an evening meal. Except on Sundays, when Sunday dinner is always, always at lunch time. It was never always thus; before I had Greedy Boy I only bothered with a big midday meal if it was Christmas day or I was going to someone else’s house for lunch.On sundays we usually have a roast dinner – lamb, beef, chicken and pork on a rough rotation.¬† I don’t know if I have a great deal to say about the Roast Dinner, but I think this is an excellent blog on the matter. Greedy Boy loves a roast dinner, and it takes the idea of something special to dissuade him. Sometimes, in the summertime, thats the promise of a barbecue – but I’m too much of a control freak to enjoy barbecues much, men always need to take over and I don’t like the potential for poisoning in allowing someone else to cook my chicken over flames- but sometimes I can talk the boy into a kitchen cooked alfresco lunch. Today it was ‘Meatball Sandwiches’ – I knew he would never eat something I called Koftas in a million years – kids are funny like that, no?

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Serves 4:

  • 500g minced lamb, I got the ‘reduced fat’ one.
  • 2 small FREE RANGE eggs, beaten
  • 3 tbsp pinenuts
  • 75g stale white bread, crusts removed
  • 90g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 20-25g flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • Olive oil for frying.

First, heat a small frying pan on the stove, and without adding oil, put in the pine nuts and cook over a medium heat for about four minutes until browned. Leave to one side to cool down. Take your bread and tear it into a bowl, cover with cold water and when soaked through, squeeze out the water as best you can. Put the soaked bread in the bowl and add all the remaining ingredients apart from the olive oil. Now, mix this thoroughly with your hands until the ingredients are completely combined. When mixed, you need to shape it into koftas – this amount should yield 16-20 larger koftas or up to 30 small ones. For my purposes larger koftas were better, but should I have wished to serve them in a sauce with rice I would have probably made them smaller, for which I would have scooped up dessertspoon sized portions and made them about the size of a pingpong ball. I suppose the ones that I had today were about the size of a golf ball, just flatter (you can get more in a pitta if they’re flatter).

Preheat the oven to Gas 6. Heat up some olive oil between 3 and 5 ml deep in a large frying pan and start adding koftas, 5 or 6 at a time. Fry until browned on both sides and remove to a baking sheet. Repeat the process until you’ve browned all the koftas and then put the baking tray into the hot oven. Cook the koftas for 10 minutes approximately, until they’re cooked through. I served mine with pittas, raita, grilled halloumi and a greek salad. I think it suits eating in the garden very well.

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