20 October 2011

Molly Wizenberg's Meatballs ... Another Game-Changer!

Molly Wizenberg is cut from the same bolt as Clotilde Dusoulier - both foodies started out as young professionals right out of the academic environment and both tossed it all to write about, make, enjoy, and influence cyberfoodie culture. Molly and her husband have taken the path of restauranteurs and Molly has published a wonderful memoir on her father and family, her move to create a food blog called Orangette, and her courtship and marriage. Like many young women these days, she has chosen to balance a 'team dream' with her own aspirations as a writer. She is a modern day game changer in that she is living the 'follow your passion and make it work for you' mantra of so many folk - AND she is making it work in a wildly successful way.  Good for her and how nice of her to take her blog followers along for the ride ...

She has been a subtle influence on me since the time that I started reading food blogs and concentrating on creating my own little spot in cyberspace. Her writing style is casual and engaging. The blog, Orangette has been an interesting, fun, poignant, and addictive spot to visit. Her ability to chatter about the most inane and sometimes intimate of life's moments and bring them around to make a point or share a dish has been her hook - the way she draws her followers along through the blog and brings them back time after time. She is an anthropologist by training and while she makes light of her university studies, she has definitely kept some of that training running through her commentary on food and family, food and friendships, and food and culture ... mix that with a healthy sense of humor and its a good combination. To boot, she chooses some excellent foods to share on her blog and in her book (soon to be books). When A Homemade Life came out, I ordered it up and spent a few days making the recipes with which I was most intrigued ... one, the scones that I've posted is an adaptation of her recipe. I also posted a review of the book  and made the first set of those scones right from a recipe on her blog. Sooo good!

... turkey meatballs flecked with onions, chopped golden sultanas and chopped pine nuts

These meatballs are another of her recipes that I thought would make for an epic knoshfest ... they are a bit Mediterranean, a bit Middle East, a bit healthy eating vibe. I am liking them because of the sweet little raisins, toasted pine nuttiness, and tangy yogurt dipping sauce. With a side of rice or couscous and a green vegetable, I'm thinking that dinner is a complete affair. Heck, I could probably just sit down with the platter and a bowl of dipping sauce and call it a meal, but I am trying to keep to the 'vegetables at every meal' thing. I hope you enjoy them ... any way you wish!

 ... cumin, garlic, salt, and lemon juice ready for a mix-up in the plain yogurt

This recipe comes from her book, A Homemade Life. I have printed its ingredient list as it appears in the book, but I did alter it for my taste a bit - I added a bit more salt to the yogurt dipping sauce, another egg, matzo meal instead of bread crumbs, and more black pepper to the turkey meatball mash. I shortened the recipe's preparation commentary and typed basic steps to make the dish.

We're having steamed broccoli with roasted garlic and olive oil and a bowl of steamed basmati rice with the meal - and of course, a bottle of Sauvignon blanc. The kitchen is smelling pretty good right about now!

Thanks, Molly for your inspiration! Now, I am looking forward to seeing what my other cohorts are posting for their tribute to Molly Wizenberg, Number 20 on Gourmet Live's list of  50 Women Game Changers in the Foodie World. Stop in at Mary's foodblog, One Perfect Bite to see her post and click to the links of all the other bloggers who are along for this blogging challenge!

... ready for a side vegetable or salad

Doron’s Meatballs with Pine Nuts, Cilantro, and Golden Raisins
a recipe from A Homemade Life

Yogurt Sauce Ingredients:

1 c. plain yogurt
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 medium clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. salt

Meatballs Ingredients:

½ c. minced onion
¼ c. fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
½ c. pine nuts, chopped
½ c. golden raisins, chopped
½ c. fine bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
½ tsp. salt
⅛ tsp. cumin
⅛ tsp. black pepper
1 lb. ground turkey, chicken, or lamb
4 tbsp. olive oil plus more as needed

Making the Dish:

1. Combine the yogurt sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk gently to make a smooth sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until time for serving.

2. Mix all the meatball ingredients in a deep bowl and use your hands to squish them together to make a uniform mass. Don’t work the meat too hard or you will have a paste, leave some of the meat ‘grind’ intact.

3. Make 20 to 30 meatballs and place on a platter. Chill until ready to cook them.

4. Warm 4 tbsp. olive oil in a fry pan and add half the meatballs when it is quite hot.

5. Cook the meatballs until browned on all sides and firm (but not rock hard, as Molly says).

6. Remove the cooked meatballs to a warm platter and cook the second batch of ten or so meatballs. Add a bit more olive oil if the pan seems too dry.

7. Garnish the platter with a bit more chopped cilantro or parsley and have the cool yogurt dipping sauce in small bowls at each place setting.

8. Meatballs can be served hot, warm or even cooled.


  1. thats a very interesting recipe....I want to try this meat balls!!!!! well done....looks delicious!!!

  2. I loved the background about Molly that you shared with us. The meatballs sound delicious and it happens you've chosen a recipe I have yet to try. We'll remedy that real soon. Thanks so much for joining us each week. You add enormously to the fun. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  3. I love how the blogging world gives and appreciates inspiration. This recipe is a great addition to my knoshfest box. Did I spell knosh right :-)

  4. @ Oz - You DID spell it correctly! Knosh - to browse and eat just what looks good. Fest - a party! Put it together and it's heavenly!

  5. Wow - those look amazing. I am off to check out Orangette.

  6. What is better than tiny meatballs. I could just sit down to that plate right now, it looks wonderful.

  7. Nice writeup on Molly - my kids would love these meatballs - will have to give them a whirl!

  8. those meatballs look very very good.. I love Orangette, it is an awe inspiring, beautiful blog... lovely tribute x

  9. These look awesome. I really love the raisins in there! Plus, I've been in a total meatball mood lately, so I really want them :D

  10. Love meatballs - time for a new recipe!

  11. (I guess we all liked the same photo of Molly!)
    Great meatball recipe....I've not seen it before. It was fun doing Molly, wasn't it?

  12. Those meatballs look great - and I love that yogurt sauce.


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