Turkish Inegol VegMeatballs with Veggies and Cheese (Sebzeli Kasarli Inegol Kofte)

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One important aspect of visiting other countries is to buy different spices and food helpers that you cannot buy back at home. In our recent trip to Turkey we bought several different spice mixes one of which happened to be a helper for one of my favorite meatball dishes: Inegol Kofte. The original plan was to make the meatballs using this mix and the soy meat, but then we saw something more mouthwatering on the package, which brings us to this recipe. Please note that it might be hard to find this mix since Knorr only makes this in Turkey. There are other brands that can be purchased online, but we can never be sure if the results are going to to the same. We apologize for any inconvenience in advance.

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

  • 1 lbs of Morningstar original vegetarian sausage patties
  • ½ pack of Knorr Inegol Meatball Mix  (if not available, you can try Basak brand which seems to be more accessible in some regions)
  • ½ c of boiling water
  • ½ Knorr vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 egg
  • 4 T butter
  • cooking oil

Veggie Roast:

  • 4 T butter
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium onion, chopped in cubes
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped in cubes
  • 2 small potato, peeled and chopped in cubes
  • 4 medium tomatoes, sliced in thin circles
  • 1 can of tomato paste (6 oz)

Garnish:

  • 1 cup of shredded Kasseri cheese or similar (e.g. provolone)

Instructions:

Toast the sausage patties for 14 minutes at 400°F.  Pulse the toasted patties a food processor (or chop manually) to a ground beef consistency.

Melt the 4 T of butter (in a small bowl about 30 seconds on high in the microwave) and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Scramble the egg in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the boiled water with the bouillon cube and stir until it is dissolved.  Add the meatball mix continue stirring until well combined.  Add the toasted ground veggie patties, scrambled egg, and cooled melted butter.  Stir / kneed for about 5 minutes until it is mixed well. Make it long, round meatballs in shape of very short (2″ long) hot dogs, but little bit flatter. While making the meatballs, try not to squish them too much.  You want the meatballs to stay as fluffy as possible.  Put the raw meatballs on a greased cookie sheet in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Heat 4 T of butter in the empty large skillet. Add the onions, carrots, potatoes, garlic, tomato paste (in this order). Stir-fry until soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set the vegetables aside.

Heat oven to 350°F.

Heat 2 T of vegetable oil on high heat in a large skillet.  Add the meatballs and sear them for one minute each side.  The meatballs should be browned on each side but not burnt.  You may have to do a few batches depending on how large your pan is.  Set the meatballs aside.

Grease the bottom of a deep baking dish.  Lay the tomato slices to cover the bottom. Spread half of the cooked vegetables on top, then add the meatballs side by side, and then add the rest of the vegetables on top.  Bake it covered for 40 minutes in center rack. Take it out, sprinkle the shredded cheese on top. Broil it until the cheese on top is melted and slightly brown (about  5 minutes).

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