Middle East Meets West!

Theme: Middle East

I will say that out of all the different kinds of food out there in the world Middle Eastern is probably my least favorite and most unfamiliar to my palette. Where I live (Inland Southern California) there are not a whole lot of options for Middle Eastern food and the options that are available are not that good. So I was less than thrilled when this theme came up… But with a little research and open mindedness I found a couple things that peaked my interest and hopefully would change my outlook on Middle Eastern Cuisine.

I decided on a Persian Meatball with Dried Cherries and Pistachios. Sounds interesting, right?! For those of you who are not familiar with Persian culture, they are an Iranian ethnic group native to Iran. I usually think of Persian culture as being extremely artistic with their pottery and weaving. Even their writing looks like a beautiful work of art. My meatballs were not a work of art, but they were delicious. Big thumbs up with my husband.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp pistachios, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cherries, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1½ cups chicken stock

Directions:

1. In a bowl combine turkey, spices, pistachios, dried cherries, shallots, breadcrumbs and egg.


2. Roll into small balls, about the size of a golf ball. Set aside.


3. In a cast iron pan add olive oil and brown the meatballs on all sides. Remove from pan and keep warm.

4. Over medium heat in the same pan add the flour and cook for a minute, stirring to cook the flour. Gradually add the chicken stock a little at a time, stirring to incorporate completely.


5. Add the meatballs back to the pan and coat with sauce. Cover with lid and cook on low to heat through.

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