Kotleti, which are meat patties commonly made with a mixture of different meats, are something we had weekly growing up. A couple of these with a side of creamy mashed potatoes and a salad of freshly chopped cucumbers and tomatoes - comfort food, the European way. I vaguely remember running home from school with a grumbling belly (always hungry, as I was growing like a weed), the smell of frying food drifting blocks from home. Mama in her comfy slippers, scarf around her hair.
I'm so thankful to have childhood memories that I can gladly welcome as I recreate the dishes so often made when I was growing up. Kotleti are still a dish you will often find at my mother's house, and they are just as delicious as the ones in my childhood memories. I've just gone slightly astray and added new ingredients (such as the jalapeno) to spice things up.. literally. I hope you enjoy my recipe.
Chicken Jalapeno Kotleti
2 1/2 lb chicken thigh
1 large onion
1 large (or two small) carrots
1 egg, whisked
1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (or fresh bread crumbs)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
1. Roughly chop the chicken thigh, onion, carrots and jalapeno. Add this, in small batches, to your meat grinder. Grind into a large bowl, then start over with the ground mixture. Mixture should be ground twice in total.
2. To the bowl of ground meat, add the whisked egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Mix well. Form round, flat patties about 2 inches in diameter and lay out on a foil lined cookie sheet.
3. To a large pan (I use a pot with high sides for less splatter), add 2-3 tablespoons oil and let it come to a medium heat. Working in batches, fry the kotleti until lightly golden brown on each side. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cool slightly before serving. Enjoy.
* When preparing the jalapenos, keep in mind that the more of seeds you keep, the spicier the outcome will be. Discard all the seeds if you only want the taste and not the heat.