Oct 3, 2011

IHCC: October Potluck

It's our first potluck with Tessa Kiros at I Heart Cooking Clubs.
IHCC Tessa Kiros Button

As a child, whether it was at church, with friends, with extended family, or with my grandparents' camping club I dreaded potlucks.  I never seemed to know what anything was in all those pots, bowls, and casserole dishes.  It wasn't that I was a picky eater (I definitely was not picky.  Remember?  I was a chubby bébé).  It had more to do with the fact that nothing tasted like home.  I had no sense of adventure anyway. 

Things weren't helped by the fact that I had this one great-aunt who was a bit (and by a bit I mean a lot) eccentric.  Every Southern family has to have at least one crazy aunt.  It's the law.  She contributed dishes like Aunt ____'s Unidentifiable Green Stuff to our holiday meals.

I've gotten over my issues with potlucks.  For the most part.  

And I promise not to bring Unidentifiable Green Stuff to this, or any, potluck.

Instead I'm bringing Unidentifiable Fried Stuff.

We liked these Chickpea Balls from Food From Many Greek Kitchens by Tessa Kiros.  I particularly liked the dill, which is something I don't cook with often.  I grew dill once.  Only once since I was faced with a choice of letting it self-seed all over my yard or pulling up the strays.  Not a position I wanted to be in.  You know how I feel about pulling up plants. 

I served the chickpea balls with Tessa Kiros' Yogurt on the Side, which I also liked.  Tessa Kiros suggests that this is a good alternative to tzatiki when you need something "more plain."  This is also a great substitute for tzatiki if you're serving someone who doesn't like cucumbers.   The chickpea balls and the yogurt went well together.

Keep in mind that the chickpeas have to soak overnight and the garlic and olive oil for the yogurt have to sit for half an hour.

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Chickpea Balls (Revithokeftedes)
from Food From Many Greek Kitchens by Tessa Kiros

1/2 c dried chickpeas
1 Tbsp flour, plus extra for coating
6 1/2 oz potato (1 medium to large)
1/4 c onion, grated
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped dill
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
salt & pepper
light olive oil for frying
lemon quarters for serving

Soak the chickpeas and the flour in plenty of cold water overnight.

Boil the potato in salted water until very tender.  Drain.  When cool enough to handle, peel and mash with a fork in a large bowl.  Drain the soaked chickpeas and puree them in a food processor, leaving some texture.  Add to the potato along with the onion, dill, and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper and mix well.  Shape into 18 walnut-size balls of about 1 oz each.  Put some flour in a bowl and gently roll the balls in this to coat.

Pour the olive oil into a large skillet to a depth of about 1/4 inch and put over medium-high heat.

Fry the balls in batches, gently turning them to brown evenly.  As they are done, remove with tongs and drain on paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt and serve hot or cold with lemon quarters.

My notes: The chickpea mixture was a little wet, so I added a sprinkle or two of flour to help hold it together.  I used a deep fryer since I had it out for something else.  Skipped the lemon and used a yogurt dip instead.

Yogurt on the Side (Yiaourti)
from Food From Many Greek Kitchens by Tessa Kiros

1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 c Greek yogurt
about 1/4 c plain yogurt (I didn't need this)
a large pinch paprika
1/2 tsp dried mint (used fresh)
salt and pepper

Put the crushed garlic and the olive oil in a cup and leave to steep for half an hour or so.

Put the Greek yogurt in a bowl.  Add just enough regular yogurt to loosen it (you might have some left over, as not all yogurts are the same thickness).  Add the paprika and mint, and pour the olive oil in, keeping back the garlic.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix.

Please join me Sunday evening--October 9th for a weekly potluck link-up!


  1. These sound good!

  2. I was looking at that one last night!! You are so in my head. I am making a soup and hope to have it posted tomorrow.
    Nice choice :-) I love your stories, by the way...a trip down memory lane.

  3. These look great! I made my dish today but it will post Wednesday as that is the day open for this in my blog posts...the baked fennel...omw I could not stop eating it. Yikes. I think I would have a similar problem with these balls you made...the yogurt sauce on the side a big attraction as well. LOL on potlucks, same here...I wanted to know who brought each thing before I would even touch it (and I was a picky eater, but still...important to know who had their hands on that food!). I think we have the same aunt...once she brought A pistachio lime jello thing that she subbed in little bits of peanut butter for the pistachios (like that was going to work) and then threw in some marshmallows as she thought they looked so pretty...and then insisted on putting it on all our plates "to give it a try, it's delicious!" It was not. Unidentifiable green stuff indeed...it appeared quite often one of the first pieces of advice my family gave my husband-to-be was "Don't take any of the green jello stuff, we like you, and we want you to return."

  4. Anonymous10/03/2011

    Lucky Pot..when this delish dish comes under the lid;))

  5. Oh my gosh...those look so good!
    I wish I would have made those. My potluck isn't food. Well, it is food but not edible! ;)

  6. You really can't go wrong with unidentified fried stuff...it's always a crowd pleaser. :P

    I love these chickpea balls! Dill is one of my favorite herbs.

  7. Know what you mean about the crazy aunt thing. lol These look absolutely fab and I love the yogurt dip, too!

  8. Mmmm...awesome choice. I don't think I'd be able to stop "poppin'" these! So good. I wonder if I'm considered the crazy aunt....

  9. Fun post! I would love a big pile of these and I like the sound of the yogurt sauce too. Great picks! ;-)

  10. Delicous! This fried chickpea balls were one of the first things I tabbed in the Greek book. They just look so good.

    Love that new banner. It's totally fitting!

  11. What a great dish! And the potato in the chickpea balls is intriguing. I'll definitely have to make this for my daughter when she comes for dinner - she would absolutely love it.

  12. I have a crazy aunt. I also had similar feeling about potlucks growing up.I like the option of the yogurt on the side,perfect substitute for tzatiki.

  13. So pleased you brought these instead of unidentifiable green stuff. I would definintely be hovering around your plate at a pot luck dinner. I reckon I could devour a whole batch of these single handed - or should that be single mouthed?!
    Sue xo


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