Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pistachio meatballs with tahini sauce

Meatballs!! I wonder how many variations of the meatball exist. While some meatballs are mostly made of meat and ingredients to cement the ball, others may include other ingredients. How one makes meatballs depends as much on one's cultural background as on individual taste. There are even meatless 'meatballs' to satisfy vegetarian palates.
Well, for the past week, my husband kept reminding me to make the pistachio meatballs with the tahini sauce. It’s something about the tahini sauce and the hearty meatballs that makes him really happy.
He has a strange affliction with this dish, well he loves tahini sauce, I love it too! And if he’s happy, then I’m happy. So I whipped up a batch of flavorful pistachio meatballs, sprinkled them with sumac and served them with a tahini sauce. The flavor of this sauce is rich, and its nuttiness enhances the meatballs so perfectly.
Most of you are probably familiar with tahini, a paste of ground sesame seeds used in cooking. Tahini-based sauce is common in Middle Eastern cuisines, it's served as a side dish or as a garnish, usually including lemon juice, salt and garlic and thinned with water.

Ingredients (around 25 meatballs):
Meatballs: 1 white sandwich bread, crusts removed - 1 lb (500g) ground beef - 1 onion, grated - 1 tsp salt - 1 tsp cumin - 1 tsp allspice - ½ tsp paprika - ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper - ¾ cup minced parsley - ½ cup finely-chopped mint - ¼ cup unsalted pistachios -  2 tbsp olive oil - sumac for garnish

Tahini Sauce: ½ cup tahini paste, well stirred - ½ cup water- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice - 1 garlic, crushed into a paste

For the Meatballs: Dip the bread in cold water and squeeze dry against the bottom of a fine sieve.
In a large bowl, mix bread with beef, onion, salt, cumin, allspice, paprika and black pepper. Mix thoroughly, but avoid overhandling. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Mix in parsley, mint and pistachios with your hands and shape mixture into balls.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add half the meatballs and saute until browned and cooked through, about 7 minutes. Regulate heat so meatballs don't burn, and shake pan vigorously to turn them.

Transfer to paper towels. Wipe skillet and repeat with remaining oil and meatballs. Place in a serving plate, sprinkle them with sumac. Serve hot or warm, with tahini sauce.

For the tahini sauce: Combine tahini, water, lemon juice, and garlic, stirring well.


Boulettes de viande aux pistaches et à la sauce tahini
Ingrédients (environ 25 boulettes):
Boulettes:
50 g de mie de pain - 500 g de viande hachée - 1 oignon râpé - 1 càc de sel - 1 càc  de cumin - 1 càc de 7-épices - ½ càc de paprika - ½ càc de poivre noir moulu – 70 g de persil haché – 70 g de menthe finement haché - 1/4 tasse de pistaches non salées - 2 càs d'huile d'olive - sumac pour la garniture

Sauce tahini:
120 ml de tahini - 120 ml d'eau - 60 ml de jus de citron - 1 gousse d'ail, écrasée

Pour les boulettes: Trempez le pain dans l'eau froide et essorez-le bien.
Dans un grand bol mélangez le pain, la viande hachée, l'oignon, le sel, le cumin, le mélange 7-épices - le paprika et le poivre noir. Malaxez puis réfrigérez pendant 1 heure.

Ajoutez le persil, la menthe et les pistaches et façonnez avec vos mains des boulettes de viande.

Faites chauffer 1 càs d'huile à feu moyen dans une grande poêle. Ajoutez la moitié des boulettes de viande et faites-les revenir jusqu'à ce qu'elles soient dorées et cuites, environ 7 minutes, en les retournant régulièrement.
Attention le feu ne doit pas être trop fort.

Répétez avec l'huile restante et les boulettes de viande. Déposez-les dans un plat de service, saupoudrez-les de sumac. Servez chaud ou tiède, avec de la sauce tahini.

Pour la sauce tahini: Mélangez le tahini, l'eau, le jus de citron et l'ail, en remuant bien.

36 comments:

  1. wow, that looks really interesting. I love pistachios...

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  2. I wish the meat balls fell off my screen :D

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  3. Sounds like a yummy and modern version of kafta w tahini! Love it! Happy Easter!

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  4. Meatballs for me, anytime...nice. The sauce looks good with a tangy lemon taste!

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  5. Added your link to my blogroll. Cheers!

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  6. I will have to give this one a try - they look so good.

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  7. Nice post great idea thanks for sharing with us.
    zubair mehar raanjha

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  8. What tasty looking meatballs - adding pistachios are a great addition.

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  9. The sauce makes this a perfect pair!

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  10. These really look delicious, Cherine. Your husband is a lucky guy. I love your tahini recipe and the addition of pistachios to the meat mixture is genius. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  11. I would love these meatballs, bet you made your hubs very happy. All those flavors together sound wonderful. Pistachios & mint is so creative.

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  12. Oh my goodness, I am in love with these! Everything on your blog looks absolutely delicious.

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  13. L'idée est géniale, les boulettes indémodables et puis j'adore le tahini.
    Félicitations pour ton beau blog appétissant :-)

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  14. I'm with your husband - tahini sauce is THE best. It's actually all I've craved for the past month but my blog would get pretty boring it that were all I ate!

    These meatballs sound fantastic. I am bookmarking this recipe!

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  15. on est copines de boulettes alors!!!!

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  16. OMG, that is one of my favorite sauces! I am totally addicted to tahini... A lovely dish!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  17. Très sympas ces boulettes avec les pistaches!!
    Avec cette sauce en plus ça doit etre très bon!

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  18. Thank you for visiting my blog. This looks like a great meatball recipe...the pistachios sound interesting and tasty!

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  19. I would love to try these! Nice Blend :)

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  20. These sound fantastic, and I have been looking for some new recipes, as I recently stocked up on spices at my favourite store. So far, I've found recipes to use my sumac and mahleb, and I can't wait to continue looking through your blog--you always have such fantastic recipes!

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  21. elles m'ont l'air delicieuses tes boulettes, et meme s'il existe tant de variantes, ta version me plait beaucoup surtout avec les pistaches.

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  22. It looks really good..interesting combo..

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  23. Scrumptious! I love the combination of meat balls and Tahini sauce.

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  24. I'll have to try this. I bought a bag of pistachios and sumac for my Middle Eastern weekend experience. This looks and sounds awesome!

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  25. Wow. I'm sure if I put pistachios in meatballs and smothered them in tahini sauce, my husband would be begging me to make them again too! These sound fabulous.

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  26. These look great.
    try to add couple spoons of wocherstershire sauce next time and let me know what do you think.

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  27. I absolutely love Lebanese food, I few books on Lebanese recipes, I love the smell, the spices, this meatballs looks delicious with pistachios. I'm so bookmarking you, Lovely blog.

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  28. I love the flavors in these meatballs. They look amazing! The pistachios must add a lovely dimension of flavor.

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  29. These look amazing!!! My husband adores pistachios in everything so I'll definitely be making these soon.

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  30. these sound enticing...and the fact you have no egg in the mixture means I can adapt for my allergy suffering daughter...

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  31. Hi, I purchased all the ingredients to make this dish tomorrow. About the shelled pistachios, do you chop them at all before mixing them with the other ingredients? They don't go in whole do they?

    Thanks.

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  32. No need to chop them, u can use them as whole! Let me know how they yurn!

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