So, this is me slowly crawling my way out of the holidays. Happy New Year, everybody!
I have spend the days between Christmas and New Year like most of us probably did: stuffing my face with delicious
fat-loaded heavy goodness of both the sweet and savory kind with friends and family. And the days I have spend at home I was still feasting on left-overs (sounds familiar?). Thank you stomache for handling this maltreatment as well as you did, even though you have had me lying on the sofa feeling drained more than once this time. Those pillows have never felt that good before. I don't regret nothing.
But that's what December is for, right? Now is not quite December anymore.
Even the glitz of New Year's has faded by now and all that is left gloom. And some soggy fireworks on the streets. The last days have been dark and colourless. That kind of days where midday already feels like evening. What a relieve when it actually gets dark so I do not have to see that dull gray in gray anymore. . . Pouty me is not impressed with you so far, twothousandandtwelve.
This kind of weather wanted me to make something with an undertone reminiscent of late summer. A bit of dried thyme – that I picked when one could still sit outside without a coat and a scarf - was the ingredient of choice in these meatballs. The cumin works just great with the mildly sweet note the carrots are providing and its warming characteristics is just right for the cold season. The feta is a bit of an extra but also serves as a warm and creamy surprise in the centre that can easily be omitted. It's still great and gives a nice change in texture. Depending on the size of the meatballs, they make great finger food or a salisbury style steak for a main dish.
Feta-Filled Carrot Meatballs
- 2 carrots, grated
- 500g (17.5 oz) minced meat. Half beef, half pork (that is something you can buy here but either beef or pork works just as well. Half beef half turkey is also a great alternative if you don't do pork.)
- 1 tblsp ground cumin
- 1 ts paprika
- 1/2 ts curry powder
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3-4 splashes of soy sauce
- 1 little sprig of thyme (dried) or about 1/4 ts dried thyme
- 1 ts mustard (heaping)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste (or ketchup if you aren't a snob)
- 200g (3.5 oz) feta cheese
- 100g (about 3/4 cup) breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
- Mix well all ingredients but the feta.
- Cut feta into cubes to your liking (small ones for finger food, larger and maybe cuboid shaped for salisbury steaks etc.)
- With your hands, take a part of the mass, form into a ball and push in one feta cube each (make sure that there is no white peaking out).
- Bake meatballs on centre rack for 15-20 minutes (time greatly depends on size of meatballs) until the tops are nicely browned.