Too many leeks. Balls.

At the market last weekend, I bought a bunch of leeks: way too many for a household of two to do anything with without getting sick of eating them. And since I didn’t make an extra quiche to freeze, I had to find another use for the extras.

I came across a recipe online, that directed me to a recipe in a book I own: the Jerusalem cookbook. It’s been one of my faves since I picked it up a couple years ago. The recipes are generally a little time intensive for weeknight meal when you get home from the office at 8, so I would usually do more reading and salivating than cooking from it, but I’ve used it as a guide for technique for sure. In the vegetable section there’s a recipe for Lemony Leek Meatballs. Reading the word lemon in a recipe title elicits a Pavlovian response in me, so I used it as a guide for the balls I made today.

I served them on top of a bit of greek yogurt and with some chopped cucumber. They’re really soft and light and remind me of something we would have made for my Zaidy in his later years (cause it would have been easy for him to chew). It’s not my favorite texture, but I can see the appeal.  If I were to do again, I would go with more meat, less leek. But a good use of the leftover leeks nonetheless.

DSC_0521.JPG

RECIPE:
 
3 (and a bit) Leeks
1 pound ground beef
1 cup Bread Crumbs
2 large eggs
2 tbsp high heat oil – I used safflower
1/3 cup fresh sqeezed lemon juice
¾ to 1 ¼ cups Chicken Stock
salt and pepper to taste
 
Optional:
Greek Yogurt
Flat Leaf Parsley
Mini Cucumbers
 
 
METHOD:


1. Chop leeks into centimeter long pieces.
2. Steam till soft, let cool and do a few quick pulses in the food processor.
3. Add to bowl with egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and beef and stir till evenly mixed
4. Make into two-inch balls slightly flattened and refrigerate for half hour.
5. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan to med/hi and sear the balls on each side till golden, working in batches.  It’s helpful if you have a lid for this pan.
6. Wipe out the pan when done and place balls back in, overlapping if necessary.
7. Fill the pan with the chicken stock and lemon juice, enough to just almost cover.
8. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn down to simmer for about half an hour.
9. Remove lid and cook down the sauce till desired amount is left in pan. I like a bit extra to pour over.
 
Serve the meatballs room temperature to warm, and over the yogurt, parsley, and cucumber if you want. I liked the crunchiness of the cucumber as a contrast to the softness of the balls. Giggle.