Sunday, November 21, 2010
Now the upshot of these two recipes is that I've learned a valuable lesson about myself and recipes. First: I need pretty pictures. This particular recipe in Foods of the Greek Islands didn't have a picture. I saw the word "meatballs" and since I love meatballs and had some ground beef that needed a home beyond the freezer I pretty much locked onto it without thinking it through. Second: read the recipe! duh... not just once and don't just skim. Visualize the steps. Yet through all that is that I can fix a clunker.
The recipe was titles thus: Soutzoukakia Lemonata (meatballs with rice and herbs in lemon broth). I sorta missed that last word. All the elements were appealing but the final result was a bunch of tepid looking herbey spheres with rice poking out of them like some weird sci-fi planet or medieval weapon floating in a soupy herbey broth. The broth looked and tasted delicious and the meatballs tasted amazing but boiled meat is boiled meat no matter how you dress it up. I'd totally glossed over the fact that this was supposed to be a meatball soup. I understand why there was no picture.
Here's what I did: I skimmed out the meatballs and reduced the broth thickening it with egg and lemon juice (an optional note at the bottom of the recipe) to end up with a gravy chock full of onions and herbs. My own fix-it note was to brown the meatballs in a skillet with some olive oil and drop them back into the gravy. The dish ended up looking like herbey swedish meatballs and it tasted amazing. It looked a little too oily but I managed to scarf it all down anyway. The leftovers reheated well and I finished the whole thing off the next day.