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Keftedakia with Ouzo
(Greek meat balls with a small twist)


400 gr minced beef (preferably flank as it has the right fat content)
200 gr minced pork
1 onion minced
2 thick slices of bread (can be 1 or 2 day-old) soaked in water and drained
1 egg
4 tbsps. Yogurt
1 shot of ouzo
1 shot of olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin (optional)
Salt (about 2 tsp. but it is to taste)
Pepper (about 1 pinch)
Oregano (about 2 pinches)
Mint (about 4 to 5 leaves chopped up if using fresh, 1 pinch if using dried)
Flour and vegetable oil to cook

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well combined and the structure resembles a mushy meat dough. If not in a hurry it should rest at least for 1 to 4 hours in the fridge for the fats to set, flavors to infuse and achieve our desired consistency.

In a pan or deep fryer poor vegetable oil until you are about 3 fingers from the bottom. Heat until about 180c (350F) or when you sprinkle some flour on top of it and it begins to vigorously bubble. (Should your oil get too hot or should it smoke, remove immediately from the heat and allow it to cool down.) Shape your butter into balls and coat with flour, then put in hot oil and cook until golden brown. Do not put too many in your oil as it will bring the temperature down and the meatballs will go mushy rather than crispy.  After removing from heat, place on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Repeat until done. While they should be consumed asap for maximum flavor and crispiness you should wait for about 5 to 10 minutes as they will be quite hot. An original Greek always eats the first fry while cooking the rest. Serve with your favorite tzatziki, mustard or even my simple yogurt sauce (1 cup of yogurt, 2 tbsps. Olive oil, 1 tbsp. lemon juice/vinegar, salt, pepper and fresh mint).
Kali orexi!

Antoni Katsoulis is a well known chef from Eressos

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