May 1, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Greek Meatballs

There is something about the smell of cinnamon that I find intriguing. It is one of my favorite spices to cook and bake with both for the great flavor and the delicious smell. However, since I have two currently very picky young boys they can be hit or miss with eating dishes heavy on the cinnamon. If a dish is sweet such as raisin bread or coffee cake, they love cinnamon, but meat dishes can be another story entirely. The last time I made cabbage rolls they told me that they were spicy (as in a strong cinnamon taste), so I stopped making dishes with large amounts of cinnamon. In the last couple of months though, I have been politely encouraging my sons to broaden their bacon oriented horizons to new foods. I really don't know how they stay in the 5th percentile for weight since they are always eating, thank you to my dad for his great genetics! I was happy to find a recipe for Sweet and Spicy Greek Meatballs in a recent issue of Redbook Magazine, which looked full of flavor from a number of spices including cinnamon.

This recipe has 16 ingredients. It takes 15 minutes of prep and 18 minutes of cooking time and makes 4-6 servings. I did make a few ingredient modifications. Thanks to my kids helping my memory I completely forgot to buy parsley, so I left it out of the recipe completely. Additionally, I still haven't bought more oregano so I substituted Italian seasoning (I will actually buy oregano one of these days, I promise!). For the meat I chose to buy lamb and grind it myself. Grinding your own meat is very easy and the texture and taste is so much better than pre-ground. The cooking times in this recipe were pretty spot on and I followed the instructions as written. I ended up with 15 meatballs total.
My husband and oldest son really enjoyed this recipe. I was worried that my sons would turn up their noses at this dish since it uses a large amount of spice, but my 6-year-old ate his entire serving. I thought that the mint flavor was a little strong. I think if I make this recipe again I would reduce the amount of mint to a teaspoon and a half. As written the tablespoon of mint made the meatballs a little strong on the mint taste. I thought that the meatballs tasted like the inside of a cabbage roll, which I love. It was nice to try a different type of meatball other than the regular pork and beef varieties. Overall, a dish full of flavor and only takes a little over a half an hour to prepare. 

For the recipe go to Sweet and Spicy Meatballs.
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