Queens is “The World’s Borough.” We absolutely love the diversity here and a big part of that is the food. Within 2 blocks, I can get you incredible Italian, mouthwatering Halal, fresh Thai, beautifully-made sushi, authentic curry and unicorn tears. Well, not really unicorn tears, but you get the point. Any food you can think of…IT’S HERE and IT’S GOOD! Astoria is our home and this place is a vibrant Greek neighborhood. One of our greatest treasures in New York is our sweet neighbor, Eleni. She’s Greek; born and raised in Brooklyn, but she lived in Greece for 20 years after she got married. She has been kind enough to share her traditions, her stories and, even better, her recipes with us. She is a blessing beyond measure to our family. This is her Avgolemono. It’s simple. It’s fresh. It’s made with love. To hear her talk about making the meatballs is like listening to a beautiful song. She talks of beautiful herb gardens and bringing in water to boil from the well. When I eat this soup, I feel like a part of her memories.
*When she originally translated this recipe for me, her measurements were by Greek coffee cups. We determined that 1 Greek coffee cup is the equivalent of 1/3 cup.
- 1lb Ground Beef
- 1/3 cup of White Rice
- 1/3 cup of Olive Oil
- 1 White Onion
- Parsley (1/2 bunch, finel chopped)
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 3 Fresh Lemons
- Flour (or Almond Flour)
- 2 Egg Yolks
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, mix together the ground beef, white rice, olive oil, onion, parsely, salt+pepper. Make the mixture into meatballs (about 24) and then flour them. I do this by spreading the flour over a cookie sheet and dropping the meatballs on top as I finish shaping them. Then, gently roll them around until they are coated. Slowly and gently drop them into the boiling water. Once they’re all in, carefully scoop out water (I use a measuring cup) until all the meatballs are just submerged. You’ll boil them until they are cooked, about 30 minutes. At the 20-minute mark, scoop out a cup of the broth from the boiling meatball mixture and transfer to a small bowl. This will be set aside to cool. You can put it in the fridge to speed up the process, but don’t tell Eleni I said that! While that cools, combine the egg yolks and juice from 3 lemons in a small bowl. Once the broth has cooled, slowly add the egg yolk/lemon mixture while stirring constantly. When the meatballs are done, remove the pot from heat and allow that to cool for 30 minutes. You will gently add the yolk/lemon/broth mixture to the meatball water while agitating the meatballs. The pot will turn an opaque, yellow-ish color. Dish out and serve warm with a side of pita for dipping.