Keftedakia (Addicting Appetizers Series)
Keftedakia, or keftedes, are fried, miniature-sized ‘meatballs’ that belong to an extensive list of mezzedes (appetizers) that are served at family gatherings or holiday parties. Keftedes have a crunchy exterior and a moist, flavorful center. In the Middle East and South Asia, keftedes are called kofta, seasoned meatballs with herbs and spices–very similar to the Greek ketedes. Beef and pork are used in this recipe, however ground lamb or turkey is just as tasty. Substitute meat with butternut squash to satisfy the vegans and vegetarians in your life.
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes.
- ½ lb. ground beef
- ½ lb. ground pork
- 2 small white onions, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped finely
- 40 tips fresh oregano OR 1 TB dried oregano (powdered oregano should not be used as a substitute)
- Fresh mint, 40 tips (1/2 cup crushed)
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 5 slices French bread (6 oz.)
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 large tomato, grated
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 cups flour, for dredging
- 1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
Kitchenware and appliances:
- 2 Shallow bowls
- 1 frying pan
- 1 measuring cup
- 1 plate
- 1 serving bowl
- Food processor (optional*)
- Paper towels
*If you do not use or own a food processor, make sure to knead the meat mixture until all ingredients are equally distributed.
Seasoning and preparation:
- Place ground pork and beef in a shallow bowl.
- Add all minced ingredients along with the remaining crushed and chopped herbs.
- Add grated tomato and season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Add wine and knead well for 2 minutes.
- Soak 6 slices of French bread in 2 cups of whole milk. Once the milk is absorbed, use both hands to squeeze excess milk out of each slice.
- Place (wrung out) French bread and 2 eggs into food processor.
- Add the French bread/egg mixture to the meat. Knead for 1 minute to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- After you add French bread/egg mixture to the meat, it will become extremely moist and wet. This will ensure the flour sticks to our keftedes (The flour will create the crunchy exterior after frying).
- Use a tablespoon to measure the size of each kefte. Place the tablespoon of meat mixture into the palm of your hand and form a ball.
- Pour 3 cups of flour in a shallow bowl.
- Drop each ball into the bowl of flour (Do not mix the flour into the meat; simply coat the exterior of each ball).
- Heat frying pan and add 1 of cup of vegetable oil. Add the keftedes to the oil, over medium heat. Fry in batches of 10 to ensure each kefte is fully cooked, with a crunchy exterior. You should have a total of 3-4 batches.
- Have a plate ready with paper towels to catch and absorb excess oil.
- When frying is complete, place all keftedes into a serving bowl.
- Let sit for 10-15 minutes and serve.
Recommendations: For the best flavor possible, leave meat mixture refrigerated with all herbs and minced ingredients 1-6 hours before frying.