We've been on holiday to Turkey twice already (to Antalya and Bodrum) and we'll be going again this year (to Kusadasi) so I decided to try my hand at a Turkish-inspired meal. I'm trying to use up some of the more unusual spices on my spice rack which is why I used sumac, but you could substitute this for any other herbs and spices that you have.
Turkish Kofte Meatballs
500g mince (beef, turkey or lamb - whatever you fancy)
1 cup cooked rice (great for using leftovers or a sachet of microwavable rice is ideal)
1 onion, very finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
6 tbsp sumac (or substitute for other herbs/spices if you like)
1tbsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper
persil, mint (fresh or dried - whatever you have)
1 cup flour
2 cups toasted breadcrumbs
Put the mince, onion, garlic, rice and spices in a bowl, roll up your sleeves and squish it all together with your hands until everything is perfectly combined. Beat one egg and add to the mixture to help hold it together. Press it together into one large lump (keep kneading it until it all comes together) and place the bowl in the fridge for an hour.
Line up your dishes - first the bowl of meat mixture, next a plate of flour, then a bowl with the remaining two eggs (beaten) and finally the bowl of breadcrumbs. (I actually used up some stale savoury oat biscuits, crushing them in a freezer bag with a rolling pin, which gave them a lovely, slightly crunchy texture.) Don't forget to keep a baking tray or plate handy for putting the finished kofte on before you cook them. Pull off a piece of meat (a bit bigger than a golf ball), roll it in your hands then slightly flatten it between your palms. Gently dip and roll it in each bowl - flour, egg then breadcrumbs.
Heat a generous glug (enough to cover the bottom of the pan) of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the kofte until totally cooked through - about 5 minutes per side until they've gone golden brown and the juices run clear when they're stabbed.
I served these hot with Spanish potatoes but they would also go really well with couscous and salad - maybe Moroccan-style orange and carrot salad for a change. The leftover kofte are also delicious cold, dipped in garlic mayonnaise, so they'd be great for picnics or lunchboxes.
Join in with the No Waste Food Challenge at Utterly Scrummy this month
Linking up with Food of the World which is focusing on Turkish food
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