Wendy has a large variety of recipes on her blog. The Gold and Silver Popcorn is what I originally planned on making since popcorn is Hasan and Bilal's favourite snack. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find gold and silver edible glitter. So after browsing Wendy's blog some more I decided to make Soutzoukakia (Greek Meatballs in a Tomato Sauce). I find I have been lacking in posting main courses on my blog mainly because I struggle photographing them well. So this summer, I thought that I need to focus more on getting some main courses up on the blog. I also chose this dish because we don't eat a lot of Greek food. Halal Greek restaurants aren't very common in Toronto.
This is a very simple dish to make. The meatballs are baked in the oven while the tomato sauce is cooking. I prefer the baking to frying...less hands on time, less mess and healthier! Once the meatballs are cooked, they are added to the tomato sauce and simmered for a few more minutes. The original recipe called for 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef. I decided to use 1 pound but leave the quantities of spices the same. Since we eat spicy food, I knew that using the original amount of meat would make it too bland for us. This dish turned out really well! We enjoyed it with some long grain white rice but it would be great with some crusty bread as well.
Some other recipes that I've pinned for later are Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread, Chicago Style Pizza and Black Bean Quesadillas. Please hop over to Wendy's blog to check out some of her fabulous recipes! You can also see what everyone else made for The Secret Recipe Club by scrolling to the bottom of this post.
Soutzoukakia (Greek Meatballs in a Tomato Sauce)
Adapted from A Day in the Life on a Farm
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 ripe tomatoes, diced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (I used more)
1 pound lean ground beef (I used veal)
1 slice of bread
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a glass baking dish with oil.
In a small bowl, add the ground beef, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Wet the slice of bread and squeeze out all the water. Crumble into the beef mixture. Mix with your hands until combined. Shape the meat into ovals that are 2 inches long and place on the prepared baking dish. Bake 30 minutes. While the meatballs are baking make the tomato sauce.
In a dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes until tomatoes have broken down, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.
Once the meatballs are done, immediately add them to the tomato sauce with all the juices. Gently stir and cook on low for 5 minutes. Garnish with some chopped cilantro or parsley (optional). Serve with rice or some crusty bread.