Wednesday, August 17, 2011

World of Food: Lebanese Meatballs

Some nights dinner comes together with little fanfare. It's easy. Chop a little this, mix a little that, cook it up and eat.

Tonight was not one of those nights. It was one of these ....

(okay, minus the romping sex and string bikinis)

But seriously, there was a healthy dose of randomness and chaos.

It's World of Food night and this week Olivia chose Lebanon and this recipe.

Sketchy, right?!?

Problem is, I didn't review it in advance. I just asked her for the ingredient list & bought the stuff (well, except the 1/2 cup white toine. What the hell is toine?!? Google it. I challenge you to figure it out!)

The toine mystery was just the beginning. Don't you just love recipes that list ingredients that are then not mentioned in the directions? Or instruct you to use ingredients that aren't on the ingredient list? ARGH!

So, we just made it up as we went (in between helping with pre-algebra and english homework, mind you).

Ingredients "Our Way"

  • 1.5 pounds of meat (ground beef from Harris Farms. We love them. Here's why. I love his accent!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (use plan, not italian)
  • 1/2 cup white wine (a.k.a. "toine"?)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 4 oz tomato paste
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves


1. Mix the meat with the seasonings and egg whites

2. Form into meatballs (instead of the rolls in the official recipe), then dredge the rolls through the bread crumbs.

3. Heat oil in skillet and cook meatballs until browned, turning.

4. Combine 1 cup water, wine, vinegar, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and tomato paste to make sauce. Add to skillet and cook until meat is done and sauce is thickened.

5. Serve with something. Olivia chose elbow macaroni and a side of carmelized red onions and sauteed kale.

Admit it. You're thinking: HOT MESS!

But actually, the Lebanese Meatballs were pretty darned good! The cinnamon and nutmeg "tastes like Christmas", according to Jason. And everyone ate it up. Nothing left on the plates. Hannah even choked down the kale (with the promise of dessert).


  1. sounds delicious! I love Lebanese food, and I like cinnamon as a meat seasoning in general.

  2. I don't think we've ever worked with cinnamon and meat, but have to say I like it!

    I'd love to try more Lebanese recipes. Any you particularly like?

  3. I wonder if it was some sort of typo for "white wine." Try saying "white toine" out loud and it sounds like "white wine" with a bad accent!

    I used to love the Lebanese Salad at Captain Hook's in Hoover. It was a lot like this recipe,, only I think it also had garlic.

  4. DLinBHAM -

    Someone on Facebook suggested it was actually white wine, so that's what we used ... and it worked out fine! (not sure if it's authentic, but tasted good)

    That salad looks good! What is COS lettuce? I'd have to eat it by myself, though, since I've got a lot of tomato and cucumber haters in this house. (what's up the that?!?!)

    I don't remember Captain Hook's. Where was it?

  5. Aahhh...this took me back to the meatballs my mother fixed me when I was young...LOVED those things! =)
    Kristina J.

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Kristina - and happy we could send you down memory lane! Olivia has decided that meatballs are going to be her specialty. We're on to "M" next. Do you think they make meatballs in Madagascar?!?