Meatballs for Christmas??

It’s been a while since I have posted a recipe just for the sheer fun of it. Today, January 7th is Christmas according to the Eastern Orthodox calendar. It’s a special day I decided to honor by¬† making something delicious. My parents celebrated Christmas on December 25th (thank you Mom and Dad) mostly because the western calendar is more accurate, and I did not have to explain to my American friends why we were celebrating two weeks later in January. This day for my family was a time to go to church, to eat Kutya (posted last week), perhaps to receive a nominal gift to mark the occasion, and to keep the tradition.

Meatballs are featured in Russian cuisine, though not with the herbs I’ve listed below, nor with goat cheese. But, replace the oregano and thyme with dill and the chevre with a mild jack cheese, and you’ll have meatballs to suit the Russian palate. I must say, these Christmas Meatballs are fabulous! So “Merrie Hrismas”one and all:

1/4 c. Panko or white bread IMG_0746crumbs, 1/4 – 1/3 c.water, 3/4 lb. ground lamb, 3/4 lb. ground pork, 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley, 1 1/2 tsps. fresh or dry thyme, 1 tsp. fresh or dry oregano, chopped, 2 cloves garlic, squeezed, 3/4 tsp. pink salt, and 1-2 ounces fresh goat cheese. Heat oven to 350 and position a rack in the center. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.Mix all of the ingredients together with your hands, blending all the ingredients well. Use more water for softer meatballs or less water for denser ones. Makes 20 golf ball-size meatballs. Put a dent in each and fill with about 1/4 tsp. of cheese. Close the ball and roll the meat to completely cover the opening. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool slightly and serve. To die for! I couldn’t finish them all even with Tessie’s help. (She got some as a treat.) So the rest got packed up as you see, to be enjoyed again tomorrow.


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