Keftedes (keff-tay-days) are spicy meat-balls, belonging originally to Greek cuisine, but now, with slight national variations, common to the cuisines of most of the countries bordering the Mediterranean. They may be served as an hors d’oeuvre or, in larger quantities, as a satisfying main dish accompanied by a hot tomato sauce, boiled rice and a green salad.2 lb. veal or beef, finely minced
1 medium-sized onion, very finely chopped
2 oz. fresh white breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or
1 teaspoon dried mint
2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, crushed teaspoon mixed spice or ground allspice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
4 oz. flour
4 fl. oz. vegetable oil
In a large mixing bowl, combine the meat, onion and breadcrumbs, mixing until the ingredients are well blended. Mix in the egg. Add the parsley, mint, orcgano, garlic, allspice, salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and the vinegar, and blend well.
With your hands shape the mixture into 32 walnut-sized balls. Place half the flour on a plate and lightly roll the meatballs in it, shaking off any excess.
Place the balls on a plate and put them in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour. Remove the meatballs from the refrig- erator and coat them with the remaining flour.
In a large frying-pan, heat the veg-etable oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add about one-third of the meatballs and fry them, turning occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are evenly browned and cooked through.
With a slotted spoon, remove the balls from the oil and drain them on kitchen paper towels. Keep them warm while you cook the remaining balls in the same way.
Transfer the meatballs to a warmed serving dish and serve at once.