My Nana’s Ka-Kle-Tees (Lithuanian Hamburger)

Wow, did these bring back the memories of my Nana babysitting us when my parents went out. My parents would drop my brother and I off at Nana’s (right across the field) and she would make us her mother’s Lithuanian hamburger dish, “Ka-Kle-Tee’s, which she grew up eating. I have never made them before and had the idea last week to call Nana and ask if she could write some of her family recipes for me and put them in a zip lock out on her porch for me to pick up. I told her I wanted to try to make one every week, because to me anything that brings the memories of home-is so comforting right now. I stopped by Nana’s house and said hi from afar, ugh it was so hard not to go inside and sit at the kitchen table with her, eat the jelly beans when you walk, read a magazine and just chat. For now, Nana is keeping busy writing me recipes weekly and enjoying how much I love the recipes, did I mention she is 94! She is reading a book every week, getting up and getting dressed and enjoying her cherrios and coffee. Nana life is simple, loving and delicious. I hope this recipe brings you to a time of a more simple life & warms your heart with comfort.

Now let’s get into the recipe, it has minimal ingredients and you could easily substitute to what you have at home (I don’t think Nana had Banza pasta…but that is what we have!) The original recipe calls for egg noodles, so do use those if you have.


Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of lean ground chuck
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 slice of white bread (I used wheat, that was all we had)
  • 4 tablespoons of milk (I used half and half)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 can of Campbell’s golden mushroom gravy

Serve over egg noodles or whatever noodle you have at hand and a veggie (we cooked asparagus, but corn is also amazing!)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine ground chuck, 1 beaten egg, chopped onions, salt & pepper.
  2. In a shallow bowl, pour in your milk. Dip your bread into the milk on all sides and squeeze. Then crumble the bread into the bowl.
  3. Mix everything together until combined.
  4. Heat a sauce pan with olive oil on medium and start to form your patties, a little smaller than a regular hamburger, but bigger than a meatball.
  5. Cook the patties for four minutes on each side, until browned and cooked, pour out the excess fat.
  6. Return your saucepan with the patties to low heat and pour over the mushroom gravy. Cook on low for about 5 minutes until warmed.
  7. In the mean time, have your pasta ready and in your serving dishes. Place two Ka-Kle-Tee’s over the pasta and pour over the gravy! YUMMM. Add your side of veggies and you have the most comforting dinner.

I hope you enjoyed learning about Nana’s family recipe for Lithuanian hamburgers, wow are they delicious and brought back so many memories. Mark also voted this into my top 5 dinners I have made, he went back for seconds! This is a perfect easy weekday dinner that the kids and family will love. I hope you try it, if you do please tag me on instagram so I could see! Have a great week & stay safe.

xo Jamie

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