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Cooking With Pearl: Meat Balls That Even Your Kids Can Make …and will eat!

Shalom! I am thrilled to announce that I am going to be food-blogging exclusively for Israeli News Talk Radio. My name is Pearl.  I have lived in Europe, Miami, Florida, and currently reside in Israel.  I am originally from Czechoslovakia, so English is not my first language and I ask you to excuse any mistakes I make in my food articles.
I have been cooking for 16 years (I am 28 years old now) and in my kitchen experiences, I have had to throw out ruined burnt pots, suffer a kitchen full of smoke from food that turned into charcoal and last but not least, have experienced un-chewable  and inedible dishes that ended up in the trash.
I have been keeping kosher since 2009. In my time living in Czechoslovakia, I was turning most of traditional Jewish recipes from meat (basari) dishes into dairy or pareve recipes due to the shortage of kosher meat.
Living in Miami and Eretz Israel brought me another experience of turning traditional Czech and Slovak cuisine to kosher.
I love to host people for Shabbat, I always make my own challah and one of my other big passions besides cooking is baking cakes for simchas (celebratory occasions).
I hope you enjoy and have a lot of fun trying my recipes!
Pearl D’ Evereux

Meat balls that even your kids can make (and will eat)!

meat balls
This is a very simple alternative of a traditional recipe of meat balls. Meat balls are very soft and fluffy inside because of  the big ratio of vegetables. I can not really take credit for making this food as my friend’ s daughters made almost everything by themselves, I just explained to them what to do and than I was opening and closing the oven and putting the pans inside the oven. Oh and I had to sweep the floor which was actually full of breadcrumbs. So what? The girls were very excited and loved to make the dinner almost all by themselves. They were in the age group of 3-10 years old. And what’s great is that  you make two different dishes from this recipe.
500 grams (g) minced beef
500 g minced chicken
2 big onions (ground)
4 zucchinis (ground)
2 packages of parsley leaves (cleaned and finely chopped)
400 g breadcrumbs
4 eggs
150 g matza meal
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon pepper
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons dried garlic
and other seasoning according to your taste
Note: If you are making this recipe only for adults you might need to add little bit more salt.
Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl – but use only half of the amount of bread crumbs. Save the other package of bread crumbs for coating. You can keep the mixture in a fridge for about 30 min to rest before shaping the balls.
From the first half of the mixture. shape  inch (3,5 cm) size balls and coat them in the bread crumbs. Place them on the pan with baking paper and bake for about 30-40 min in a preheated oven 0f 200 °C (degrees Celsius) or 400 °F.  This will give you about three big pans  – or about 100 meat balls.  If you desire, you can also deep fry, instead of baking.
From the other half of the mixture, shape balls the same size like before, just do not coat them in the bread crumbs. Boil water in a big pot and place the balls inside. Cook about 20 min. I actually learned this trick from a friend who said it is much better not to cook the meat balls directly in tomato-cranberry sauce because all the additional fat will go into the water and you will not have to eat it. After cooking, you might use the broth either as a base for soup or you could just strain it and than reduce it where it can be used as a base for sauce. I would make the decision about possible use of the broth depending on how much fat was in the beef meat. Sometimes the broth comes out nicely golden (as a chicken soup) but sometimes it is “ichy” brown with a lot of fat which I throw out -or give to some poor (homeless) street cats.
For tomato cranberry sauce boil one can of cranberry sauce, two packages or half a can (Israeli size) of tomato paste and two cups of water, -or combine to your own taste.  You can add three spoons of sugar and one teaspoon of salt, to taste.