I got this recipe from a Lebanese man at market, who has been in the US for more than 30 years and is not a chef by training. But his food is delicious and these meatballs are an easy way to make Middle Eastern food at home.
Typically I serve these meatballs with quinoa or couscous, flavored simply with olive oil, parsley and garlic, plus some wilted spinach.
I love Middle Eastern food, but it makes me sad these days in the midst of all the fear and dissension about refugees. Our church is currently helping to re-settle a Syrian family; Ben was at their place last week ostensibly to play soccer with their boys, but all he could talk about when he came home was Randa's food. He asked me to get her recipes, bless his heart.
Food is my favorite cultural sharing, so I hope to eat Randa's food, too, and communicate my love in whatever way I can.
Spiced Meatballs from Mr. Saif
In a mixing bowl, combine and let stand together about 10 minutes:
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Separately, combine and let stand together also about 10 minutes:
1/3 cup raisins
boiling water to cover
Drain raisins and add to yogurt mixture.
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
2 finely chopped scallions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
dash hot sauce, or cayenne, to taste
1 lb. ground lamb or beef
Mix gently and thoroughly. Form into 1" meatballs and space out on baking sheet (I line mine with a Silpat). Bake at 350F for 15-25 minutes, depending on how big your 1" meatballs really are. Serve hot over rice or cous cous.