Monday, November 21, 2011

Tagine Machine: Part II

With just a few days until I head to San Francisco for Thanksgiving (the most wonderful day of the year!), I should be posting about a Turkey Day treat. But I've been meaning to write about the recipe that inspired my tagine tangent, the Moroccan meatball kefta tagine that I saw on Rachael's show a few weeks ago.

I'm always skeptical of Rachael's recipes, but I occasionally stumble upon one that becomes a favorite (like this awesome steakhouse chili). And I'm on a major poached egg kick right now, so anything with yummy, runny egg yolks sounds delicious to me. So with some minor trepidation, I moved forward with this Moroccan marvel.

And I'm glad I did! I wouldn't rank it right up there with the chili, but this was super delicious. I, of course, made a number of substitutions, including replacing Rachael's beef with turkey, omiting chickpeas at Bill's request, and shaking up my own spice blend. I especially liked the little bit smokey, little bit spicey kick from the blend I concocted (note that I didn't provide actual measurements because I truly did just dump enough for a single serving into a bowl and shake to combine ... you can find the recipe for Rachael's original large batch here). The eggs really did add a richness that would have been otherwise absent from the sauce, and I could have gobbled up all of those turkey meatballs straight from the oven. (Consider that my tribute to Thanksgiving this week!)

Moroccan Meatballs with Eggs
For Spice Blend
Pinch cumin
Pinch paprika
Pinch nutmegPinch cinnamon
Pinch cardamom
Pinch allspice
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch ground cloves

For the Kefta
3/4 lb. ground turkey
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
3 eggs (1 for meatballs, 2 for poaching)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
2 small zucchini, chopped
2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon spice blend

To make the spice blend, combine spices in a small bowl. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange a wire rack over a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine turkey, bread crumbs, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roll turkey mixture into small balls and arrange on wire rack. Bake until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add remaining onion and garlic, and zucchini. Cook 7 to 8 minutes, then add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, honey, and spice blend. Bring to a simmer. Remove meatballs from oven and place in sauce.

Make 2 wells in the sauce and drop in eggs (I found it helpful to crack each egg into a ramekin, then slide them into the sauce). Cover pot and simmer to poach, about 4 to 5 minutes. Serve over rice.

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