Friday, September 10, 2010

Spanakopita Meatballs

Spanakopita Meatballs [photo]

For today's special feature, I bring you FrankenThumb! It's even sporting some light pink nail polish over here. You should feel very honoured by its presence. Okay it's not so franken at the moment, but that poor thumb gets cut or otherwise mangled a *lot*. 

Clearly I need some knife training. Vegetable peeling classes wouldn't go amiss either. Heck I probably need to brush up on my oven extraction technique too, since I've burnt myself on numerous occasions taking things out of the oven. Of course, that might also be due to the size limitations of said oven... 

But FrankenThumb or no FrankenThumb, my love for meatballs just does not falter. These  bypass the usual suspects of beef or pork and instead makes use of chicken. Add a few handfuls of a large bunch of spinach, a couple of herbs and some salty feta and you've got yourself a deliciously light salty little morsel. Bursting with the bold flavours of the Greek islands. Now you just need a bronzed Greek god/goddess and you're good to go.

Spanakopita Meatballs [photo]

Spanakopita Meatballs
Adapted from Food Network (Rachael Ray)
Makes 40 (approx)

1 bunch spinach, washed and stalks removed
500g (1 lb) chicken mince*
1 medium onion, finely chopped 
1 tsp minced garlic
100g feta, crumbled
1 tsp greek herb seasoning (or use a mixture of rosemary & oregano)
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3 - 4 tbsp breadcrumbs

1. Using a food processor, finely shred the spinach.
2. Mix everything together in a large bowl, then form into small balls using your hands.
3. Place in a steamer and steam for 5 - 10 minutes or until almost cooked through.
4. Transfer to oven dish and quickly grill for a few minutes to brown slightly. Alternatively you can just pop these babies in the oven at 180C (350 F) for about 20 - 30 minutes or until cooked through and browned on top.
Serve with a big green salad and sweet cherry tomatoes. Alternatively, use them as stuffing for pitas with tzatziki sauce and fresh lettuce.

*Now, if you're like me, you probably won't find chicken mince in the shop, but it is super easy to buy the skinless boneless fillets and just chop it up finely in your food processor. In fact, I actually prefer it this way, least I know what goes into my mince!


nina on September 10, 2010 5:14 am said...

I like it a lot. There is so much you can do with these babies. Mind if I try them?

Arnold on September 10, 2010 5:43 am said...

This is something I have never eaten but it definitely looks very nice. This might just be a way of getting the little ones to at least try some spinach. Thanks for this.

Marisa on September 10, 2010 6:36 am said...

Nina - What do you mean "mind"? I'd love if you tried them!

Arnold - Good idea! You'll just have to find some excuse for the green bits in there... ;-)

Hila on September 10, 2010 7:55 am said...

These look really wow, have to try them soon.

I make my own chicken mince too, the stuff at the shop scares me

Anonymous said...

I would also make my own mince rather than get something dodgy!

Meeta K. Wolff on September 10, 2010 12:03 pm said...

oohh! these look awesome! perfect little snacks!

Nicola on September 10, 2010 12:10 pm said...

Yum, these look great. Perfect weekend food :)

Marisa on September 10, 2010 12:14 pm said...

LadyRaven - Isn't it just scary? Much better to make ones own as far as possible.

Tandy - Logic prevails all round it would seem!

MeetaK - They are lovely to nibble at. Even cold from the fridge. :-)

Ally_R on September 10, 2010 1:55 pm said...

This looks absolutely heavenly! YUMMO!!

Faith on September 10, 2010 8:35 pm said...

These are so pretty and I love the idea of meatballs that are full of veggies! I definitely have to give this recipe a try!

Joanne on September 10, 2010 11:30 pm said...

I'd much prefer a side of Greek God/Adonis to go with my spanokopita. But other than that MINOR contention, these look fantastic! Spanakopita never fails to make me happy.

Paula on September 10, 2010 11:47 pm said...

I love your blog!

This looks so delicious!

Have a nice time!

Spoon and Chopsticks on September 11, 2010 5:07 am said...

Lovely... makes great snacks.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried making them without feta? Or is there an alternative to feta, I can't eat dairy.

Kayla on September 12, 2010 8:50 pm said...

These look great!

Marisa on September 12, 2010 10:04 pm said...

Ally_R - Thanks!

Faith - Hope you like 'em. :-)

Joanne - If I see a Greek God on this side, I'll send him over, stat.

Paula - Thanks for stopping by! Lovely to have you.

Spoon & Chopsticks - Yup, these would be great to nibble on while watching a game.

Anonymous - I haven't tried making them without feta actually. I would suggest adding 1 more egg and a handful of extra breadcrumbs to make up for the loss of moisture from the feta. Also, up the salt.

Kayla - Why thank you. :-)

Linda Harding on September 13, 2010 12:17 pm said...

De-li-cious!! Those looks so tasty! Perfect for appetizers at a dinner party.

Lori on September 13, 2010 1:44 pm said...

What a great idea! These will definitely be on our table soon. I also agree with Chef-ette, perfect for an appetizer for a dinner or cocktail party.

Anne's Kitchen on September 13, 2010 6:22 pm said...

Oh man, that sounds very, very yummy! I'm a fan of the good old meatballs, so these will have to be tried out one of these days! Yum!

Juanita on September 13, 2010 9:16 pm said...

Those look absolutely fantastic - so pretty even!

You know, you joke about veg peeling classes, but when I was training as a chef, I could wield large knives with very little damage to personal safety BUT that pesky veggie peeler inflicted more damage on my skin, fingers and finger nails than any knife! They're scary!

Marisa on September 14, 2010 8:38 am said...

The Chef-ette - Yes, these would be fantastic as appetizers or tapas style evenings even.

Lori - Hope you enjoy 'em!

Anne's Kitchen - You just can't go wrong with good ole meatballs, can you? :-)

Juanita - Yup, vegetable peelers are dangerous!

TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

These are certainly less fussy than spanakopita, and more substantial too! =)

Mitch said...

Going to modify this for a "meat-off" with a friend of mine who is doing Grape Jelly Meatballs. I dislike the taste of red meat so I figured I'd modify this a bit to make them more Italian. Going to use mozzarella instead of feta and oregano/basil/parsley instead of Greek seasoning. Then serving over penne rigate with a homemade Alfredo sauce :D Thanks for the recipe!

Marisa on December 06, 2010 2:08 pm said...

Loving the Italian spin! Think it'll taste superb. Do let me know how they turned out.

LunaSea on August 18, 2015 9:06 pm said...

Is chicken mince cooked chicken meat or uncooked? Can't wait to make these !!

Marisa on August 31, 2015 9:24 am said...

@LunaSea - it's uncooked. Ground chicken basically.

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