Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Greek Meatballs with Lemon Couscous

The first time I had true Greek food was at a small Greek restaurant in Chicago. Those of you who live in Chicago or have visited know that our Greek town is on one street and goes on for about four blocks. It offers a dizzying array of choices, some are old school with proprietors straight from the homeland, and some are new offerings provided by some of Chicago’s best restaurateurs’. I prefer the first, something about seeing Mom and Pop in the kitchen gets me every time. The smile on their faces when you walk in and the preverbal hand shake from Pop; this always gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. I had the pleasure of working with a Greek gentleman for five years, at the first place I managed. He had an amazing assortment of recipes all kept in his head. This was a fantastic experience for me; he cooked everything “old school”. I cooked everything how I had been taught in culinary school; new and fancy. At the time I thought I knew everything, turns out I really didn’t know all that much, he truly schooled me. Funny thing I have always learned the most from the Moms and Pops out there.

Greek Meatballs with Lemon Couscous

Bread Crumbs- 1 cup
Milk- ¼ cup
Feta Cheese- ¼ cup (crumbled)
Parsley- ¼ (chopped)
Green Onions- 3 tablespoons (Minced)
Oregano- 1 tablespoon (dried)
Egg- 1 (beaten)
Ground Chuck- 1 pound
Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons
Garlic- 1 tablespoon (minced)
Crushed Red pepper- 2 teaspoons
Salt & Pepper- to taste
Whole Tomatoes- 2 cans (28 oz)

Method to the Madness

1) In a large mixing bowl combine the crumbs, milk, feta, parsley, green onions, oregano, salt & pepper, and the egg. Stir in the ground chuck and mix well. Shape into 2 inch balls.

2) Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add the meatballs, browning on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and tent with foil.

3) In the same pan add the garlic, and Pepper flakes sauté for 1 minute, add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the meatballs simmer for 5 minutes.

4) Serve over Lemon Couscous with a Feta dressing. Garnish with diced cucumber.

Lemon Couscous

Chicken Broth- ¾ cup
Lemon Juice- ¼ cup (fresh)
Butter- 1 tablespoon
Salt & pepper- to taste
Couscous ¾ cup (dry, plain)

1) In a sauce pan add the chicken broth, lemon, butter, and salt & pepper to a boil. Add couscous stir, cover and remove from heat for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Feta Yogurt Dressing
Feta cheese- ¼ cup (crumbled)
Greek yogurt- ¼ cup
Lemon juice- - 2 tablespoons
Lemon zest 1 tablespoon
Salt & pepper- to taste

1) In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients together, and chill until ready.


  1. The other day there's a blind test of meatballs held in one of TV show here...and the Greek meatball has stood out as the best.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  2. Thanks Angie!! They were really good. I happen to have a Italian wife, so she wasn't so sure, but she ended up loving them.

  3. they were amazing...soo much flavor!