Monday, September 15, 2008

Kefta - Moroccan Meatballs

Classic quick and easy, meatballs are european, asian, african, or moroccan! For the moroccan version, you can use ground beef, lamb, or veal, or a combination (my preference).


1 pound (500 gm) ground beef(lamb, or veal)
2 tsp ground cumin seed
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 onion, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely minced cilantro or fresh parsley, or a combination

3tbsp olive oil, for pan

Mix all but the oil together, using your hands, as gently as possible. Too much handling will make them tough. Form into 1" balls, and lightly brown in the olive oil over medium low heat. Then add

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 onion sliced
2tomatoes, sliced
2 cloves peeled garlic
one green or red pepper, sliced
one jalapeno pepper, in thin slices (optional)

Turn heat to medium high for 3 or 4 minutes, watching carefully, to draw the moisture out from the vegetables. Add

8 or 9 kalamata olives, and 1/4 cup water.

and turn heat to low. Let simmer for 10 minutes, for the flavors to meld.

Serve with bread to absorb the sauce, or with rice on the side.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Serving a Moroccan Dinner

Traditionally a moroccan dinner is several courses in succession - salads, then a chicken tagine, followed by a vegetable tagine, and if it is Friday, an enormous couscous. Other days it would be a meat or fish dish. In modern Morocco, it is more likely to be salads, a variety of two or three, served with a single large tagine.
Bread is very important, and served with every meal. The traditional is a round flat loaf, served in wedges, to absorb the fabulous sauce from the tagine.
Dessert is usually fresh fruit, the best of what is in season - after a full moroccan dinner, nothing else could be managed!
Tea with fresh mint is the completion of the meal.

Recipes for simple single rise moroccan bread, and authentic mint tea, in the next post!