The Ground Meat and Sausage category is mainly 2 types of dishes: ground meat patties and ground meat kebabs. 9-29: Ground Meat Kebabs is one of the kebab variety. I made this recipe at the same time as 9-19: Meatballs on Skewers because they called for almost identical ingredients.
Grilling outside is much more satisfying than using a grill pan in my apartment, but I currently don’t have a lot of space for grilling.
Editor’s note: Putting on my ex-history teacher hat for a second–note that Simply Delicious claims this dish is from the vineyards of Yugoslavia, which hasn’t been a country since the late 80s/early 90s, around the time the Soviet Union collapsed. These remind me a lot of lule kabobs, which were one of my favorites when we lived in a heavily-Armenian area in Los Angeles (the apartment with the blue tiles and yellow walls from the beginning of this project). These are NOWHERE near as good as those ones, but I suppose they could pass in a pinch.
Gyro is probably my favorite preparation method of ground meat, so when I saw this recipe, I got very excited. This recipe, 9-19: Meatballs on Skewers is basically the same recipe as gyro, just served differently. However, I wish I had just bought a container of tzatziki at the store instead of making the yogurt sauce.
The rabbit handle piece on the end of the skewer in the example photo is simply incredible. I’ve never seen a set of skewers quite like that. It looks like the other skewers have other animal handles, I think I see a cat and a chicken on the other skewers that are slightly obscured by the meatballs. The serving dish is very neat, I’d like to add one to my collection.
Simply Delicious has a lot of different kinds of recipes–intricate & laborious French-inspired cuisine as well as simple, weeknight-friendly fare. 3-15: Quick Mexican Soup is obviously (given the name) one of the latter types. Of course, I’ve yet to find a recipe that I don’t make some sort of tweak/edit to, and this recipe will be no different. 🌶
Most Simply Delicious recipes that claim to be Mexican tend to be more “Tex-Mex” than authentically Mexican. I grew up in Los Angeles–real Mexican food is a BIG part of life there. I’m not saying I’m anywhere close to an expert on the subject, but I feel like I’ve got a sense of the cuisine. Simply Delicious has an idea of where they were going with this soup–I’m just going to help it along a bit. 🇲🇽
Here’s another one of those 1980s attempts at “healthy”. 9-10: Lean Meatballs with Tomato Sauce calls for the use of veal, which doesn’t immediately resonate with me as being “healthy”. A quick and dirty Google search comes up with veal having less calories than pork but more cholesterol than beef. Calories were the enemy in the 1980s, so I suppose that’s part of their justification for deeming veal meatballs “healthy”.
I’m not a huge fan of veal, and considering there’s a whole lamb & veal section to this book that I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of, we’re going to keep these meatballs “healthy” and swap veal for turkey. My mom was (and still is) a huge proponent of ground turkey, so this is probably a swap she or I would have made if we’d made this before.
There are LOTS of different ways to prepare meatballs–at least 20 according to this Serious Eats piece. So far, the only meatball recipe I’ve covered on here is 9-4: Swedish Meatballs, although 9-44: Wok-Fried Beef Patties are pretty close. A quick Google search brings up albondigas for “South American meatballs”. Prior to 9-30: South American Meatballs, my only experience with either of these concepts is something similar to this recipe that you get at Mexican restaurants. And none of it involves coconut. 🌴
Coconut is the main thing here–it’s meatballs with coconut all up in there. It’s not a bad taste, just an an acquired one. Paprika is usually associated with Hungarian (European) cuisine, but its origins are in the Americas, brought over during all of that New World/Old World business in the 16th century.
There seem to be a lot of differing interpretations of Swedish meatballs out there. Serious Eats runs into the same dilemma and ups the meatball’s game with umami and acidic flavors; Alton Brown stays simple and sticks to earthier allspice and nutmeg. Both soak the white bread in milk (panade) before adding it to the meat mix, whereas 9-4: Swedish Meatballs swaps the milk for water and keeps the spices restrained simply to salt and pepper. This doesn’t bode well.
Simply Delicious, you can’t call it an “original recipe” when the only original thing about it is how bland and unseasoned it is. I made these as a requested dish for someone else, and was provided only ground beef (their preference) as opposed to a mix of meats with which to make them. As a result, they were even LESS exciting–it’s a good thing the requestor digs bland food.