Today, we have a recipe straight from the book It's All Greek to Me. For more delicious recipes, you can find the blog tour schedule below. Enjoy!
Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
These little delights remind me of my grandmother, Thespena, for whom I am named. Her soutzoukakia were magical, and even though my mom and my aunts use the exact same ingredients, they have yet to replicate the flavor and texture of Yiayia’s. I still wonder if she had a secret ingredient she never divulged. Still, this is her recipe, and it will yield a fantastic result—secret ingredient or not!
SERVES 4 TO 6
FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 ripe medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE MEATBALLS
1 to 11/2 cups day-old bread, crusts removed, cubed
11/2 pounds lean ground beef, extra ground
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe Pilafi (page 230) (optional)
To make the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the tomatoes, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring every so often, until the tomatoes break down, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a large baking dish.
To make the meatballs: Soak the bread briefly in a bowl of water, just to wet it all the way the through. Squeeze the water from the bread, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Use impeccably clean hands to gently mix the remaining meatball ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
Roll the meat mixture into little sausage shapes, about 2 inches long. Carefully arrange the meatballs in the prepared baking dish in an even layer. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the oven and immediately add them to the tomato sauce, taking care not to break them. Gently stir to coat the meatballs in the sauce and cook for 5 minutes more over low heat. Serve over Pilafi, if desired.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Both of Debbie Matenopoulos’s parents immigrated to the United States from Greece and instilled in Debbie the concept of philoxenia, a passion for bringing friends, family, and even strangers together over the dinner table for meals made with love.
A two-time Emmy nominee, Matenopoulos has sustained her career as a compelling journalist and talk show host for more than a decade. After starting out on The View as the youngest person in daytime history to hold a permanent co-host position on network television, she went on to launch the TV Guide Channel, host the TBS hit series He’s a Lady, write and sell a movie to Oxygen Network, and co-host FOX’s Good Day Live. She then joined the E! Network family and began co-hosting red carpet events, The Daily 10, and also hosted Fashion Police and Style Network’s Instant Beauty Pageant.
She is now correspondent for CBS Television’s The Insider and covers everything from pop culture trends to the latest hard-hitting news.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Debbie Matenopoulos, the first member of her family born in America, grew up in a traditional Greek household, eating delicious, authentic Greek cooking that her family had passed down for generations.
By the time Debbie had started her television career in New York on The View, she began eating a standard American diet. But despite carefully limiting how much she ate, she found herself gaining weight and lacking energy. As Debbie’s career as an entertainment news reporter and television host on BS, MTV, E!, and other networks had her constantly on the go, she was grabbing whatever food was readily available. It was only when she returned to her traditional Greek diet that she found herself easily—and healthily—realizing her natural weight and regaining her natural energy, stamina, and physique.
Now, in It's All Greek to Me, Debbie shares 120 of her family's traditional Greek recipes and adds her own touch to make them even healthier and easier to prepare.
After tasting Debbie’s dishes, such as her mouthwatering version of Spanakopita (Spinach Feta Pie), Kalamaria Kaftera (Spicy Calamari), her family’s secret recipe for Baklava, and, of course, Arni kai Patates (Classic Roasted Leg of Lamb with Potatoes)—you’ll be amazed these delicious foods are good for you. With a foreword by Dr. Michael Ozner, one of the nation’s leading cardiologists, the recipes in It’s All Greek to Me adhere to the healthiest diet on the planet: the traditional Mediterranean Diet. Modern science is catching up to what Greeks have known for millennia: health comes from eating natural, whole-food ingredients that haven’t been processed or pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, or preservatives.
Let It’s All Greek to Me bring your friends and family together to share in the experience of a Greek meal and way of life. Opa!
Do you want to win a copy of It's All Greek to Me? Here's your chance. I will be giving away one copy of It's All Greek to Me. US/Canada only. Once I have chosen the winner via Rafflecopter, I will email the winner to ask for his/her shipping details, which I will then forward to BenBella Books. Prize fulfillment will be done by BenBella Books. Ready? Enter below:
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