Sunday, October 3, 2010

Meat Balls in Tomato Sauce

Were you beginning to worry that I'd abandoned this endeavor? I've had a hard time getting myself to cook since I've returned from San Francisco. The food there was amazing and for the first time, I wasn't at all happy to be returning to Montreal. I spent the first three days back sulking and trying to remember what I loved about this chilly, grey city. Then I spent three days begrudgingly remembering all of the things that I adore here. Finally, I'd come around, but the urge to cook was still missing ... and it was the weekend with too much to do!

This is an easy first step back from a cookbook I bought shortly before leaving and haven't had a chance to use yet. I only used 360g of beef (I wanted to use some of the ground beef, lamb, and veal combo packs I'd seen at the Metro previously, but sadly there was none available today!), but kept all of the other ingredient levels the same (well with only 1 onion). I thought the spice level worked well, so you may want to double or triple the spices when you make it. I wasn't entirely sure what were meant by fiery peppers and didn't feel like buying peppers, so I just used some dried peppers I had in my cabinet.

According to the book, this is the Moroccan version and should be served with rice.

Meat Balls in Tomato Sauce (from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food)

Meat Balls
1 kg ground beef or lamb (I only used 360g)
2 medium onions, finely chopped (I reduced to 1 with the reduced meat)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger (I grated fresh and may have used slightly more)
salt and pepper
1 large can whole tomatoes
2 tbsp oil
3 small fiery peppers, chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne

1. Pull all ingredients for the meat balls together in a bowl and work to a smooth paste. Roll into small balls the size of large marbles.
2. To make the sauce, heat the tomatoes in oil and break up with a spoon. Add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Drop in the meat balls and if necessary add enough water to cover.
4. Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until they are done and water has reduced.

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