Tuesday, February 08, 2011
One of my favorite ingredients
Spanakopita Chicken Meatballs with Spicy Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
Rachael Ray’s Book of 10 Copyright 2009
2 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese I used a 4 oz container of feta
1 pound ground chicken
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped DIVIDED
1 tablespoon grill seasoning, such as McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning
Extra virgin olive oil, for liberal drizzling I left this out and coated them with cooking spray
1 ½ cups Greek-style plain yogurt
1/3 seedless cucumber, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill I used dried dill
½ tablespoon ground cumin I omitted this
½ tablespoon ground coriander
Juice of ½ lemon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Wring out the spinach completely dry. Separate the spinach as you add it to the mixing bowl. Add the feta, chicken, onion, two thirds of the chopped garlic, the grill seasoning and a liberal drizzle of olive oil to the bowl. Mix the meat with the veggies and feta and form 18 1 ½-inch meatballs. Place the meatballs on a rimmed non-stick baking sheet and bake them for 10 to 12 minutes until they are golden and the juices run clear.
While the meatballs bake, place the yogurt, remaining chopped garlic, the cucumbers, dill, cumin, coriander, lemon juice and a little salt in a food processor and process until smooth. Adjust the seasonings and transfer sauce to a serving bowl. Serve the meatballs with a bowl of the sauce and toothpicks for dipping.
I've come late to the Rachael Ray party. Her delivery turned me off at first - the long lists of ingredients, her coupling of main dishes with sides, the way recipe variations are presented in some of her books (switch out this for that, leave out this,add that,etc). Now that I have several of her recipes under my belt, I can look back and say, "Wow!" I have loved all of her recipes.
Of course she has made herself even nearer and dearer to my heart by often utilizing one of my favorite ingredients, ground chicken. I am slowly working my way through all of her ground chicken recipes. I settled on this one next since I didn't need to buy too many ingredients. I was a bit hesitant. I'm not sure why. I think it was the cumin. I don't care for cumin in places I'm not used to it (i.e. I like it in chili and stuff like that but not much else). I decided to just leave it out and I think, for me personally, that was a wise decision. I am learning to listen to my little voice more often.
These are chock full of spinach and feta. The chicken is not the star. In another cookbook, she uses the same basic mix for burgers, but only one box of spinach. So, if you're not into a LOT of spinach, I'm sure you could cut back. Me? I loved them with a lot of spinach. Spinach is one of those vegetables that are supposed to give my complexion that attractive color, so that was a bonus. They didn't need a bonus though, these were just plain delicious. Lots of flavor in the meatballs, the sauce was great (without the cumin). Before Greek yogurt was available, I could never make a tzatziki that I liked. Now, made with the proper Greek yogurt, I love it. I ate these in a whole wheat pita. Ding! Ding! Another Rachael Ray winner.
I'm going to add these to my ground chicken recipe round up.