Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rockin' Moroccan Meatballs

Hey, this is Olivia again, and I just wanted to tell you about these ladies...
The Real Housewives of New York
They took a trip recently to Morocco and that inspired me to cook a meal from Morocco for my World of Food Series.  I chose meatballs because they're my favorite thing to make!

Because Mom says recipes from some websites sometimes don't work out so well, I decided to try a recipe from Rachael Ray. She has a TV cooking show. You might have heard of her ;-)  Because I don't really like eggs, I changed her recipe a little (sorry Rachael!).


  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (we just used the nutmeg that has been in our drawer for years)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef (We do cow. Can't stand idea of eating a lamb.)
  • 2 slices of good quality stale bread, crusts removed, processed into fresh bread crumbs (or use box bread crumbs)
  • 5 eggs (1 for meatballs, 4 for poaching and serving, optional -- We DON'T do this. I DON'T like eggs)
  • 1 medium onion (1/4 grated and juiced and 3/4 chopped)
  • 4 large cloves of garlic (2 minced or pasted, 2 sliced -- We use garlic out of a jar in the refrigerator)
  • 1 small handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (We skip this. Dad hates mint.)
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • Few grates of nutmeg
  • kosher salt & ground pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced on an angle or chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon spice blend (Don't worry... we're making the spice blend. Remember all those spices I listed above?!?)
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas
  • a handful of chopped cilantro (We skip this, sort of. We use cilantro paste out of a tube in the refrigerator)
  • couscous or bread (We like Naan) to serve with it


First, make the spice blend. Combine the cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, cayenne pepper and ground cloves. Store in a tight container for up to several months.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. And get a couple of things ready too. You need a wire cooling rack (the kind you cool cookies on) over a large baking sheet.  Put a large mixing bowl next to it and a smaller bowl of warm water. The water helps your hands from getting all sticky.

In the big bowl, combine the meat, bread crumbs, 1 egg lightly beaten, 2-3 tbsp of grated onion and juice (be careful grating it... I hurt my fingers doing this!), 2 cloves minced garlic, mint, pinch of cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Get your hands wet and roll little meatballs (about the size of a big bubble gum ball) and set them on the wire rack.  Roast the meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes.

Heat more oil in a pan (dutch oven, if you've got one) to medium-high. Add the chopped onions, sliced garlic and zucchini. Cook for 7 or 8 minutes, then add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, honey and spice blend. Let it bubble.  Drain the chickpeas and stir them into the sauce.

Remove the meatballs from the oven when they're done cooking and put them in the sauce in the pan.  Serve! (or, if you like eggs - YUCK! - and want to do the rest of the recipe - the egg part - you need to make four dents in the sauce and drop in four cracked eggs. Cover the pot and cook it until the eggs are "poached"... sort of cooked all soft and mushy - again, YUCK!)

SO GOOD! (without the eggs!)


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