Not an authentic keftedes recipe, but (a hugely popular) one I developed for my half pescatarian family. It combines the Greek love of fritters and meatballs with mustard sauce – a common addition to souvlakia or gyro.
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 a bunch of flat-leaf parsley
100g fresh breadcrumbs
600g white fish fillets – such as cod, haddock or pollock – skinless and boneless
2 large eggs
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 spring onions
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons French mustard
400ml crème fraîche
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 a bunch of dill
Preheat your oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Grind the fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar, then transfer to a food processor. Roughly chop the parsley and add to the processor along with the breadcrumbs, then pulse once. Cut the fish into small chunks, add and blitz until just blended together. Crack in the eggs, season well and pulse once or twice, till everything is just combined. Roll the mixture until small balls, around 3–4cm. Drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil into a large ovenproof frying pan and place on a medium heat. Fry the fish balls on all sides until golden brown and crisp all over, then spoon onto a plate.
Trim and finely slice the spring onions, peel and finely chop the garlic. Drizzle a little more olive oil into the pan and sauté the spring onions and garlic for 10 minutes on a low heat, then stir in the mustard and crème fraîche. Heat for a couple of minutes, then season and pop the fish balls back in. Scatter over the capers and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Finely chop the dill, scatter over the dish and serve. Perfect with a stack of pita breads and a big chopped salad.
Recipe excerpted with permission from Taverna by Georgina Hayden, published by Square Peg, April 2019.
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