Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lamb Kefta

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
I helped open a Moroccan restaurant when I lived in London. It was called Yasmina’s and it was in North London. I learned so much from Yasmina. I learned she loved to cook in her bare feet, I learned she thought it was okay to put the food on the floor to cool. I learned good things too. She was the only one allowed to make the cous-cous because it needed to be rubbed in a very particular way. She also made the best Harrisa soup I have ever had, and she never let me see the recipe. But mostly I developed a love for the complex flavors of Moroccan cuisine. We made so many great dishes — some of which you can’t do here. We used to grill lamb liver on rosemary skewers as an app, we used to also grill fresh sardines and serve them with a spicy Chile sauce, they were divine. We also used to make lamb kefta which is like flattened spicy meatballs. This recipe, though not totally traditional, has those flavorings.

Ingredients for meatballs
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup currants
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspon Harissa (red chile paste)
1 1/2 pounds ground beef or lamb
1 egg white

Ingredients for sauce
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 28 ounce can coarsely chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
cilantro to garnish

Combine all ingredients in meatball list in a bowl. Shape mixture into 30 meatballs. Heat a large skillet over medium heat; add a little olive oil and cook 1/2 the meat balls at once till they brown nicely shake the pan often. Take out of the pan set aside and cook the rest of the meatballs. Now prepare the sauce, sauté the onion in a saucepan with a little olive oil. Next add the fennel, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Once that sautés and smells yummy add the tomato products and the orange zest. Bring to a boil add the meatballs, cover and simmer about 2o minutes till meatballs are cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning. If you want heat add some harissa to the pot. Serve over cous cous and some roast vegetables. Garnish with cilantro