Nikoletta Nicolaou – October Week 2 – Cypriot Meatballs – Yiayia Talou’s Keftedes

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October Week 2

Cypriot Meatballs – Yiayia Talou’s Keftedes (Nikoletta’s Original Recipe)

  • 1kg pork mince
  • 2 onions, grated coarsely
  • 3 large eggs (600g), beaten
  • 4 medium potatoes, grated finely (squeeze any excess water)
  • 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 2 slices of stale bread, crumbed (insides only, but keep the crusts for later)
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • a pinch of pepper
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 litre mild/light olive oil for frying
  • * Makes about 20 large keftedes *

Step 1 Place all the ingredients (apart from the baking powder) in a large bowl, mix and knead really well until everything is incorporated. Give it about 5 minutes of your time, it needs the love. Once you’ve done that, grab the crusts that were saved earlier and poke them into the mixture to help soak any excess moisture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

Step 2 Remove the bowl from the fridge 30 minutes before you’re ready to shape and cook them. You want to bring the meat to room temperature before you drop them into the hot oil.

Step 3 Remove the crusts, add the baking powder and mix well. Scoop a handful of mixture, shape into an oval or ball shape and place on a plate or tray. Repeat until you’ve used all the mixture.

Step 4 Pour enough mild/light olive oil in a saucepan, ensuring at least half of the keftedes will be covered when you put it in and place it on a medium heat. To test if the oil is ready, pinch a little of the mixture and drop in. When it starts to sizzle and begins to golden, the oil is ready.

Step 5 Avoid overcrowding the pan and fry the keftedes in batches for about 7 minutes, turning them between. Pricking them once or twice with a souvlaki stick or fork will help them cook through too. Ensure the heat isn’t too high so you don’t overcook the outside and undercook the inside.

Step 6 Transfer them on to a plate with kitchen paper and repeat this process until you’ve cooked them all.

Introducing… Nikoletta Nicolaou from Nikoletta’s Kitchen

Who is Nikoletta?

Nikoletta is a passionate home cook, who shops weekly at Paddy’s Markets turning her fresh purchases into delicious dishes inspired by her Cypriot heritage!

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