Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Romanian Meatballs

 Is there a food that just takes you back to your childhood?  My mom, and her mom made these "Romanian Meatballs" when I was a kid.  They are different then Italian meatballs.  For one thing they look more like little hamburgers.  They are also covered in a coating of breadcrumbs so that they are crunchy on the outside after they are cooked.
             This was probably one of my favorite meals as a kid.  My favorite was Romanian style stuffed cabbage and the best was made by my Great Grandfather whom I was lucky enough to have had a relationship with.  This recipe is practically impossible to make here in the states because unlike the stuffed cabbage you normally get in this country, Romanian stuffed cabbage is made with a pickled cabbage.  But anyway, I digress.
           Okay, these little meatballs are called Kieftele(you pronouce the last e.  It makes the short e sound.)
           I use my food processor to mix all the ingredients.  It makes it easier.
           I start by putting in the processor a small onion(I always use sweet onions), a handful of fresh parsley, and 2-3 cloves of garlic depending on their size.  Process those ingredients first until it's all chopped finely.
           Then add in your ground beef, as well as one egg, and a slice of bread soaked in milk.(squeeze the excess milk from the bread first before you drop it in the processor.  Then add your spices and process away so that all the ingredients are combined.

            Get your breadcrumbs ready in a bowl.  What you're going to do next is take a small amount of the meat.  You round it into a ball and then flatten slightly into the breadcrumbs.  Then coat the other side.

           In a frying pan heat up some canola oil on medium heat.  Place your kieftele into the pan.  Fry them on one side, and turn them when the breadcrumbs turn golden brown.  It usually takes about 7- 10 minutes.  Flip them to the other side and cook them so that the breadcrumbs turn brown, also about 7-10 minutes.  Then take them out.  I always do a cheat to make sure they are cooked by taking a test one.  I cut it in half.  I then will proceed to eat it because it usually is.  I may test another just to be sure.(wink)

           When they are done, they can be served with homemade fries, or mashed potatoes.  I always love to eat them with pickles.  They are also good the next day served up on a slider bun.
           Just some comfort food from my childhood.


  1. 1 lb of lean ground beef
  2. 1 small onion
  3. 2- 3 cloves of garlic
  4. a handful of fresh parsley
  5. 1 slice of bread
  6. 1/4 cup of milk
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 1/4 tsp pepper
  9. 1/2 tsp paprika
  10. Bread crumbs


  1. I love your version of the kieftele... never tried them with a breadcrumb coating before, but I just know they would be delicious!

    I also looked through your beautiful blog and just love your tips and recipes. You are doing a fabulous job:)! It's so nice that you are homeschooling, what a blessing for the children.... but I am sure you have your hands full.

    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog... I am so glad you enjoyed the mici.

    Hope your day is going well:)...

    1. Thanks Ellie, I appreciate your comments. You are too kind! I hope you try the kieftele!