Every couple of weeks I look at all the bits and pieces of vegetable and salad stuff knocking around in my fridge and decide to make a Phyllis Diller Garbage Soup.  

I feel very virtuous using up all my odds and ends, chucking in a tin of beans and some kind of random spices and cooking it all up.  This is then packaged up in singleton portions and crammed into any spaces I can find in my under-counter freezer.

I pounce on these with glee for work lunches which I then heat up in the microwave, feeling very smug when colleagues around me are paying a fortune for “street food” from Camden Market.

I wasn’t feeling so smug last week though.  I started heating up a block of what I thought was Garbage Soup but it turned out to be uncooked Olympia Dukakis’ Meat Balls mix!  I must get one of those machines that create labels that go on freezer bags.  Or at least a pen that writes on them and doesn’t just slide off.

No matter, the meatballs were DELICIOUS for my dinner and I hereby announce that they FREEZE WELL.

I had some for my tea that day with veggies and some a couple of days later with spaghetti and sauce (I know this isn’t an authentic way of serving GREEK meatballs, but it was good!).

Olympia Dukakis’ Greek Meatballs

1/2 pound / 225g ground/minced beef

1/2 pound / 225g ground/minced veal

1/2 pound / 225g ground/minced lamb

1 large egg

1/4 cup / 65ml milk

1 large onion, chopped

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon tamari (or soy sauce)

1 teaspoon dried oregano, divided use

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 drops red-wine vinegar

1/3 cup / 30g plain dry breadcrumbs (or cornmeal)

1/2 cup / 15g chopped fresh parsley, divided use

In a large bowl, combine the beef, veal, and lamb. Add egg, milk, onion, mustard, soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of the oregano, 3/4 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, vinegar, and breadcrumbs. Gently mix with your hands until combined. Shape into walnut-sized meatballs, or make smaller meatballs for a buffet or for the kids, Olympia suggests.

Heat a 12-inch nonstick frying pan over a medium heat. Add half the meatballs and sprinkle them with 1/4 teaspoon of the remaining oregano and 2 tablespoons of the parsley. Cook, gently turning the meatballs as they brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a platter, keep warm and repeat with remaining meatballs, oregano, and parsley. Transfer the last batch to the platter with the other meatballs, sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 cup parsley and serve.

Makes 36 large meatballs

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