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Beef And Leek Croquettes - {Keftes De Prasa} Recipe - Cooking Index

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Beef And Leek Croquettes - {Keftes De Prasa}

These traditional croquettes from Greece are delicious accompanied by a simple wedge of lemon, more elaborately finished by a short dunk in a simple tomato sauce, or as suggested here, untraditionally with a sweet-sour Persian walnut-pomegranate sauce. Pomegranate molasses is widely available in the Middle Eastern section of markets.

Type: Meat
Courses: Main Course
Serves: 6 people

Recipe Ingredients

  Persian Walnut Pomegranate Sauce
  Olive oil - as needed
1   Onion - minced
2 cups 474mlPomegranate juice
1/4 cup 59mlPomegranate molasses
2 cups 292g / 10ozVery finely-chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons 30mlSugar - (to 4) - to taste
1   Saffron - soaked in
1/4 cup 59mlHot water
  Salt - to taste
  Beef and Leek Croquettes
4   Leeks (large)
  Salt - to taste
1/2 lb 227g / 8ozGround beef
2   Eggs - beaten
1/4 cup 59mlMatzo meal - (to 1/2)
1/4 cup 23g / 0.8ozMinced fresh dill
  Freshly-ground black pepper - to taste
  Olive oil - for frying
1   Lemon - cut into wedges for

Recipe Instructions

Persian Walnut-Pomegranate Sauce: Add just enough olive oil to a large skillet to coat the bottom. Add the onion and cook over low heat until lightly browned and soft, about 7 minutes.

Add the pomegranate juice, pomegranate molasses, walnuts, sugar and saffron.

Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the nuts from burning. Taste the sauce and add salt to taste and additional pomegranate juice or sugar to achieve the desired sweet-sour balance. Cook until sauce just thickens.

Beef And Leek Croquettes: Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and wash well to remove any hidden dirt. Trim the root and discard the tough outer leaves. Cut into thin crosswise slices and swish in a bowl of water, changing the water two or three times to be sure the leeks are free of dirt.

Put the leeks in a saucepan and cover with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the leeks are soft, about 35 minutes. Drain the cooked leeks in a colander and cool. When the leeks are cool, squeeze out as much water as possible.

Place the leeks in a mixing bowl with the meat, eggs, matzo meal and dill. Beat together so the ingredients are well mixed. Place a small nut-sized piece of the mixture in boiling water and cook so you can taste for salt and pepper and texture. Taste and make adjustments if necessary.

Form into small patties about 2 1/2 inches across. Fry in one inch of hot olive oil until cooked through, browning both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes total. Drain. Serve immediately with Persian Walnut-Pomegranate Sauce or simmer for 10 minutes in the sauce and serve. Garnish with lemon wedges.

This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.

Each croquette with 2 tablespoons sauce: 265 calories; 4 grams protein; 18 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 13 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 42 mg. cholesterol; 31 mg. sodium.

The Los Angeles Times, 03-31-2004


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