Rita

My name is Rita and I write this blog.
I was born in Russia, grew up in Israel and have been living and breathing New York City for the past few years. I’m a mother of two (boys), wife to a game designer and an artsy soul.
I love food! I love it simple and straightforward as much as fancy and sophisticated. My cravings includes, but not limited to, oysters, medium rare burgers, cherry tomatoes, olives and my grandma’s Napoleon cake.
I’m an avid “food blogs” reader and a cooking reality shows junkie (“Allez Cuisine!”). I'm thankful for having the opportunity to cook, almost daily, fresh and healthy food for my boys and I’m psyched to let you in on my culinary adventures!
Thanks for stopping by!

 
 

Chicken, Cauliflower and Lemon meatballs

I came across this recipe a few years ago in a newspaper, in one of these fat weekend editions. It was a meatball special, by chef Israel Aharoni and it included some pretty interesting combinations. But this one, stood out. Browsing through the recipe, I saw that the preparation included a few stages: cooking the cauliflower that to be added to the chicken mixture, letting the chicken mixture “rest”, frying and then cooking the meatballs- making preparation time almost 2 hours total, which seem a bit too much for comfort food. But the “union” of cauliflower, lemon (and sage) stroke me as promising.
And yes, I must admit, they are definitely one of the most time consuming meatball recipes I tried, but also probably one of the most rewarding. Even my picky toddler and my even pickier husband agree. The chicken, cauliflower and lemon makes them light, airy and slightly sour- a perfect combo for hot summer days.

Since making it for the first time, I passed the recipe along to a few of my friends (to Yossi, who gave it to Ayelet, who passed it to Gilly and the list goes on and on…) and all of them are hooked for good. I execute this recipe as is, no tweaks here, maybe apart from cutting back on the lemon juice in the sauce. The original recipe says ½ a cup of lemon juice, but frankly I think it’s a bit too much, so I use about ¼ cup.
Unfortunately there are not too many time saver/cutting corners tips in this one. If I know that I don’t have too much time to cook, I prepare the cauliflower the day before, and even pre-make the mixture, leaving it in the the refrigerator over night, cutting the preparation time in two. If you do that, you might need to add a bit more breadcrumbs to the mix.
Once cooked, the meatballs can be frozen, but their consistency changes and they tend to fall apart once thawed.
As for accompaniments,I think they go especially well with couscous, but rice, israeli couscous-ptitim, work really well too!

Chicken, Cauliflower and Lemon meatballs
Ingredients
For the meatballs (probably about 25, depending on the size):

* 1 medium-sized head cauliflower (about 1 pound) broken into small florets.
* 1 pound ground chicken
* 1 big onion, finely chopped
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 5 sage leaves,finely chopped
* salt, pepper
* 2 table spoons of lemon zest (1 medium sized lemon should be quite sufficient to make 2 tablespoons lemon zest)
* 3 table spoons of lemon juice (1 medium sized lemon should be quite sufficient to make 3 table spoons of lemon juice)
* 1 cup of bread crumbs
* 2 eggs

For the sauce:

* 4 table spoons of extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/4 cup lemon juice (3 medium sized lemon should be quite sufficient to make 3 table spoons of lemon juice)

* 2 cups of chicken stock
* 4 sage leaves
* salt, pepper

Directions

* Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water with a touch of olive oil to a boil and cook the whole cauliflower until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and squeeze to remove excess water if needed.

* Mash the cauliflower by hand or in a food processor and combine with the rest of the meatballs ingredients. Use half of the breadcrumbs. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it stand in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

* Have a bowl of water handy to keep your hands wet while making meatballs.

Shape into meatballs, then dip into the bread crumbs. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add meatballs and cook, turning once, until browned (about 5 minutes)

Remove the meatballs from the pan, place on a plate and set aside.

* Add all sauce inference to a wide narrow pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer for 5 minutes and return the meatballs to the pan. Keep the meatballs in one level

* Cover and cook about 30 minutes.

* Serve with accompaniments.

Beteavon!

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2 Comments
 
 

2 comments on “Chicken, Cauliflower and Lemon meatballs

  1. melody on said:

    cooool! i’ve never heard of using cauliflower! i’m definitely trying this one!

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