Friday, April 17, 2015

Soutzoukakia for #OneYrGreek....

You can probably tell from the title of this blog that I have pulled out the wonderful It's All Greek To Me cookbook that I won last November.  I spent many a relaxing evening flipping through Debbie's book, enjoying the photos, learning a bit about her culture and drooling over the recipes.  I even shared her recipe for Olokliri Kota sti Skara which turned out wonderfully.  In fact, it would be hard for one of Debbie's recipes to not turn out, they are written in easy to follow directions that are clear and concise.  I love this cookbook and I am happy to announce that at the bottom of this post you will find an opportunity to win this great cookbook for yourself compliments of BenBella Books.


That's right...in celebration of the One Year Anniversary of Debbie's book, her publisher, BenBella was offering bloggers a free copy of the book in return for them recreating one of Debbie's dishes and giving an honest review of the cookbook and the recipes.  I had already done this last year when I won the book but was so pleased with the cookbook and results that I asked if I could participate in this party.  BenBella generously agreed and since I didn't need the cookbook they said I could raffle it off to my readers. How nice is that??

I chose to make Soutzoukakia or, in laymans terms, Greek Meatballs, using this recipe from Debbie's book.

Soutzoukakia (soo-zoo-KAH-kee-ah)
Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Here is what Debbie had to say:

"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.



The only change I made to the above recipe is to used canned tomatoes because it is April in Michigan and hard to find decent fresh tomatoes. When Tingting finished her 3rd, yes 3rd serving, she declared this recipe a keeper.  The meatballs were tender, moist and flavorful.  I did choose to serve them over Pilafi. I am sharing that recipe with you on a separate post, but it was perfect with these meatballs and dinner was ready and on the table in one hour which makes it a perfect weeknight meal.

If you live in the USA and are reading this blog you are eligible to win Debbie's cookbook, It's All Greek To Me courtesy of BenBella Books.  This giveaway will start today. 4/17/15 and run until Midnight ET on 4/24/15.  Good Luck!!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

24 comments:

  1. Does hummus count? If so, that's definitely a favorite in our house!

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    1. We love hummus too Sarah and I hope you win this great cookbook.

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  2. This sounds like a good recipe. My kiddos love meatballs

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    1. They were really good Paula. I have made several recipes from this book now and they have all been simple and delicious. Make sure you enter to win this cookbook. I think you will love it.

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  3. Greek food is fantastic! So many terrific flavors...

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    1. It sure is Cindy and this cookbook is filled with great recipes. Good luck in the

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  4. Pastitsio is my favorite but this sounds delicious too!

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    1. I love Pastitsio as well Tara. Debbie calls it Pastichio so we have learned it wrong evidently but her recipe looks luscious I hope you win so you can try it.

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  5. Replies
    1. We love Spinach Pie too. I have not tried Debbie's recipe yet but it sounds great. Good luck in the raffle Jacquie.

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  6. I don't know this cookbook, but we DO love Greek food. Something new to explore... yes!

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    1. I think you will love this cookbook Dee. Good luck!

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  7. My favorite is Pastitsio! So delicious, but very rich...have to limit it to a couple of times a year!

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    1. It is delcious Ali and the recipe in this book sounds wonderful. Good luck in the raffle.

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  8. I love meatballs! These look and sound delicious! I love Dutch Babies with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of powdered sugar!

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    1. The meatballs were lovely and I'm sure you will enjoy them. Good luck in the raffle.

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  9. my favorite is avgolemono soup

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    1. I have never tried that Itzia. I will have to remedy that. Good luck in the raffle.

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  10. My family has many favorites...Mousaka, Avlolemono Soup, Lamb Shank, Meat Pies, Cheese Pies etc! It would be nice to be able to make something authentic that would impress my Greek in-laws! :)

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    1. I hope you win. This book has tons of easy recipes that will make them think you were born cooking Greek.

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  11. I like paidakia. I had in it California with Rodney.

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    1. I have never heard of Paidakia. I will have to look it up. Good luck in the raffle.

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  12. I really have so little knowledge of Greek food, I don't have a favorite. This cookbook would be a great way to learn!

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    1. It sure would and the recipes are easy to follow so I think you will love it. Good luck,

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