Monday, August 02, 2010

Zucchini Meatballs

Zucchini meatballs / Suvikõrvitsa-hakklihakotletid

I imagine I'm not the only food blogger who's drowning under the weight of courgettes/zucchinis at the moment. There are several wonderful zucchini recipes here on Nami-Nami already - I urge you to try the Greek zucchini pie Kourkouto, Zucchini rolls with goat cheese, walnuts and figs, roasted marrow with garlic and herbs,
zucchini carpaccio, to name just a few. Today's recipe is slightly different. It's with minced meat, and more suitable for a quick midweek meal rather than a more special get-together with friends. These meatballs - or patties, rather - are super-moist because of the cream cheese and grated zucchini in the mixture.

Serve with a cold sour cream sauce (recipe below) and some ripe, sweet tomatoes. Very satisfying, and helps you eat your way through those courgettes!

Zucchini Meatballs
Adapted from a Finnish food magazine, YhteisHyvä Ruoka, July 2010
Serves 4

400 g minced meat (I used ground beef)
300 g zucchini
100 g cream cheese
1 finely chopped garlic clove
1 egg
100 ml (7 Tbsp) breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
oil for frying

Grate the zucchini coarsely. Mix all ingredients and form into 10-12 large patties. Flatten and fry in oil until dark golden brown on both sides.

Serve with a cold sauce:
250 ml sour cream or plain yogurt
1 finely chopped pickled cucumber
1 Tbsp finely chopped dill
salt and black pepper

Mix all ingredients, season to taste with salt and pepper.


Kalyn Denny said...

I like this idea, I can imagine how moist the meatballs would be!

Farmgirl Susan said...

Hi Pille,
These look and sound wonderful! I'm definitely going to try them with ground beef, but I'm thinking they might also be good with ground lamb and some feta cheese in place of the cream cheese (I love feta lamb burgers). Thanks for the delicious zucchini inspiration! :)

Jill said...

made this for supper the other night and it was great. I made it with boiled potatoes from my garden and kethcup....some members of my family can't handle the sour cream/pickle sauce. The meatballs are even good for breakfast the next day (cold!)

Beth said...

We made these last week, and they were great; thanks for sharing! We'll be making them again for sure.

Susan D said...

Hi Pille,
I made these this week and was generally happy with the results -- they were lovely and moist. I'd be interested to throw in some pine nuts and would like to try serving them with a tzatziki-type sauce. I have a couple of questions for when I make them next, and would appreciate your feedback.

1) Breadcrumbs: were they very dry and fine? I used fresh crumbs (finely chopped lightly toasted bread) and I used two or more times the volume of crumbs in your recipe.

2) Cream cheese: was it softened or otherwise processed before mixing? The cream cheese in the US is very firm and it did _not_ want to mix in with the other ingredients. I ended up using my hands.

Thanks for your help and your web-presence!
Susan in Chicago

Pille said...

Kalyn - they were _very_ moist. The good thing is that they stay moist for a few days, unlike "pure" meatballs.

Susan - thank you! Lamb & feta (or lamb & soft goat cheese) would also work indeed!

Jill - glad you enjoyed them!! (PS I love a cold meatball on a buttered rye bread next day:))

Beth - thank you for your feedback!

Susan - I use indeed bought breadcrumbs, which a pretty dry and pretty fine. I guess the amount of breadcrumbs needed depends also on the fat/moisture content of the minced meat.

Re: cream cheese - I used a regular local alternative to Philly cheese. As long as the cream cheese is at room temperature (as when making cheesecakes) it should amalgamate easily with the other ingredients. You may want to use a wooden spoon to soften it a bit more before mixing with other ingredients.

And thank you for your kind words about my blogs - they are much appreciated!