Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Feta Stuffed Greek Meatballs

I experimented with Mozzarella stuffed meatballs and they were very difficult.  The melting point for Mozzarella is so low it oozes out of the meatballs while baking. Then you are left scraping the pan to have a broken meatball with a gooey cheesy skirt.  Before I completely gave up on the idea I decided to try using a cheese that has a much higher melting point.  Feta!  I can't get enough Feta cheese!  It's salty and tart.  It adds such a huge punch of flavor in such a small package.  If you like sharp cheddar cheese, I bet you would also like Feta.  A little goes a long way.  The acid in the Greek seasoning adds a fabulous kick to the meatball.  These are little meatballs with attitude!


2 1/2 lbs ground beef                           7.38
1/2 onion                                                .20
1 clove garlic                                          .03
1 large egg                                             .23
2 Tbsp Greek seasoning                        1.00
1/2 cup bread crumbs                             .25
6 oz chunk feta cheese                        4.49


In a medium mixing bowl add the ground beef.  Grate in the onion and garlic.  Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of Greek seasoning.  Crack in the egg and top with bread crumbs.  Mix together with your hands until all the spices and bread crumbs look incorporated.  

After you wash your hands use a small plate or cutting board to slice the feta into 1/2" cubes.  Grab 3 8x8" pans and lay them out on your counter.  Now you are ready to assemble!
Grab a small hand full of the meat mixture and flatten it our in your hand to make a 2 1/2" to 3" patty.
Put one cube of feta in the middle of your patty.
Gently fold the meat up around the feta and give the ball and roll between your hands to form a ball.
Now place the meatball in one of your pans and repeat the ball making process until all the meat is gone.  I was able to make 27 feta stuffed meatballs with 2 1/2 lbs of ground beef.

Now cover the pans with labeled foil and freeze the two pans you are not ready to use.  Bake the remaining pan at 375 degrees for 30 minutes covered, 10 minutes uncovered.  When you are ready to use the frozen meatballs please thaw in the fridge for two days before baking.

These meatballs came out fantastic.  My husband was pleased with all the flavor packed into one little bundle.  They are great just as is, or you can top with a little marinara sauce to add a balance of sweet tomato to balance the acid in the Greek seasoning.  If you are feeling festive you can mix shredded diced cucumber, dill and sour cream to make a basic Tzatziki sauce, but do not freeze the sauce.  It will split.

My favorite brand of Greek seasoning is the Greek Rub from Pampered Chef.  But you can make your own seasoning by combining 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 tsp dried mint, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 tsp dried marjoram, 1/2 tsp dried minced onion, 1/4 tsp dried minced garlic and 1 tsp of grated lemon zest.   We serve our meatballs with a side salad and sliced tomatoes.  Opa! 


Christie aka Keeza