Spicy Turkish Meatballs

Becky Low shares her recipe for spicy Turkish meatballs.

1 cup plain Greek yogurt
6 cloves garlic, crushed, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small onion, grated
1 pound ground beef (or ½ ground beef & ½ ground lamb)
¼ bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1-1 ½ teaspoons cumin
1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can (14 oz) diced fire roasted tomatoes with garlic
1-3 teaspoons red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
1 red bell pepper, optional
fresh flat leaf parsley, optional garnish

Make yogurt sauce by stirring together yogurt, 2-cloves crushed garlic and pinch salt. Refrigerate to blend flavors.

Grate onion and place in wire sieve over a bowl. Using the back side of a spoon squeeze out excess juice from the onion. Combine drained onion, beef (and lamb if used) 2 cloves minced garlic, chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste (approximately ½-teaspoon salt, ¼-teaspoon black pepper), 1-tablespoon paprika, the cumin and an egg. Mix very well; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a scoop or teaspoon, shape meat mixture into 48 mini meatballs; place on baking sheet and bake 25 minutes or until cooked through and browned. TIP: As needed dip spoon or scoop in water (shake off excess water) to help shape the meatballs.

While meatballs are baking heat olive oil, over medium heat in a large skillet; add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add can of tomatoes and the red pepper flakes, bring to a simmer. Add cooked meatballs and simmer to blend flavors and reduce juice. Sprinkle with optional snipped parsley and serve with yogurt sauce.

Dumpling Version:

The dough is a simple egg noodle – 1-cup flour, ½ to 1-teaspoon salt, 1-egg, 2 to 4 tablespoons water. Whisk together egg, salt and 2 tablespoons water; stir in flour until you can knead. Knead on a lightly flour surface until smooth. Cover dough and rest for 30 minutes. On a lightly floured surface roll dough “very” thin. Cut into 1 ½-inch wide strips, then squares. Place ¼ to ½ teaspoon meat mixture on each square; fold sides into the center and seal. Drop in boiling water in batches; cook until dumplings float (8-10 minutes). Remove with slotted spoon. Reduce tomatoes (above); serve dumplings with tomato or chili oil and yogurt sauce.

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