Keftedakia With a Paprika SauceSep 28th, 2010 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Appetizer, Beef, Featured, Greek, Main, Meze, Sauce, Spices
Here’s a bookmarked recipe that I finally got around to trying this summer. Keftedes are a seasoned Greek meatball and here we have the use of the the diminutive, “keftedakia” or little meatballs. The recipe comes from Ethnos, one of Greece’s daily newspapers. It seems every paper in Greece has a section dedicated to food, most offer a special food magazine monthly and some even have a part of their website dedicated to food, wine, entertainment and recipes.
There are two aspects to the recipe: making the keftedakia and the paprika sauce. With the keftedakia, you have three choices for cooking them…grilling them, baking or frying. With the grill (charcoal or gas), you want a medium-high heart, a clean grill surface and one that’s been wiped with a towel dabbed in vegetable oil. The second option is to bake the keftedakia in a 425F oven. You’ll need about 30 minutes to bake the meatballs with a flip at the midway point. When it gets too cold here in the Great White North (Canada), I do like this baking method.*
The third method is to fry your meatballs. A light dredging in all-purpose flour, about a 1/2 inch of olive (or vegetable) oil in your skillet and fry off until brown on both sides. All three methods are perfectly acceptable. I prefer the grilled method, then baked and finally fried.**
The second component to this recipe is the paprika sauce. This sauce is one that’s not exactly found in the traditional Greek cook books but it uses mainly Greek ingredients and the flavour is a wonderful complement to the keftedakia and the best part? It’s easy to make!
The sauce begins with the making of a roux with some butter (or olive oil) and flour, some minced garlic, whole milk, sweet paprika and grated cheese. The original recipe uses Parmesan but I like using Greek cheeses. A grated Kefalograviera would work well here. You may use a firm Gruyere, Gouda or other favoured of cheese of your choice.
More of my personal touches to the sauce were a pinch of smoked paprika, a some Greek yogurt and a pinch of Boukovo (chilli flakes) for a little heat.
I’ve gone with my usual (and preferred) mix and seasoning for my keftedakia – I omitted the cumin for this recipe. If you want to serve this as a main course, roll the keftedes and then form into larger patties or as a meze/appetizer, roll into bite-sized meatballs…or keftedakia!
Keftedakia With a Paprika Sauce (Κεφτεδάκια με σάλτσα πάπρικας)
1kg. of medium-ground beef
1 large onion, passed through a box grater
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1-2 slices of stale bread, soaked in water and then squeezed dry in your hands
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. of fine sea salt
1 heaping tsp. of dried Greek oregano
1 Tbsp. of unsalted butter (or olive oil)
2 heaping Tbsp. of all purpose flour
1 cup of warm whole milk
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 tsp. of sweet paprika
2/3 cup grated Kefalograviera cheese
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
pinch of Boukovo (chilli flakes)
pinch of smoked paprika
- Add all the keftedakia ingredients into a bowl and mix well with your hands. Roll a small meatball and fry it off. Taste and adjust seasoning to your tastes. If the mixture is too dry, add some olive oil and if too wet, add a little breadcrumb to help bind the mixture. Roll into balls (small or big).
- Grill, bake or fry off the keftedakia as instructed above. *** Reserve and keep warm.
- To make the Paprika Sauce, warm up some milk in a pot and reserve (keep warm). In another pot, add the butter to medium heat and once it melts, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon for a minute. Now a grab a whisk and while stirring, add a little bit of warm milk, the minced garlic and sweet paprika. As soon as the milk is absorbed, add some more milk while stirring.
- Now add the grated Kefalograviera cheese and as soon as it has incorporated into the sauce, stir for 30 seconds and take off the heat. Add the Greek yogurt, adjust seasoning (more cheese) or if you like the sauce a litter thinner, add a splash of milk.
- Add the chopped fresh chives (or scallions), a pinch of Boukovo and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Serve on a platter and spoon the sauce over the Keftedakia.
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© 2007-2010 Peter Minakis
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© 2010 – 2011, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.