Tagine of spicy kefta with lemon; salad of baby lettuces – 7 June 2012

I had this sudden realization of what I could do with the remaining cilantro, left over from the zucchini and feta pizza. I made this tagine once before, and we all loved it. It’s from “Tagine – Spicy stews from Morocco” by  Ghillie Basan, and I got it at The Spanish Table in Berkeley.

The kefta (meatballs) are ground lamb with finely chopped onion and parsley, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper. They’re poached in a broth made from onion and crushed garlic sauteed in butter and olive oil, ginger, a red chile (I used a dried one from my former student V), turmeric, and chopped cilantro and mint. Ten minutes before the end of cooking, a lemon and juice are added – that’s the juice of a whole lemon, plus another cut into segments. Previously I used a largeish lemon cut into 10 segments; this time I could find only small ones in the organic section of the Bowl, so I used 1 1/2, cut into a total of 12 segments. D thought they tasted like preserved lemons!

I served this over couscous, as recommended, though I cooked it per Patricia Wells: 1 cup couscous, mixed with 3/4 tsp salt in a flattish, microwave-safe bowl; add 3 Tbsp olive oil and fluff with a fork; add 1 1/4 cups water and fluff again, then continue to do so periodically till the water is absorbed. Cover the bowl with plastic warp and microwave 3 minutes (rcp says 2 mins but I prefer 3).

I bought some baby lettuce at the Bowl, fortunately, and just washed it and tossed it with a dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. D commented that it was good.

D also made a new no-knead bread today, and it was cool-looking.

We had a bottle of Bear Boat Riesling 2008, from Grocery Outlet, which we had the first time I made this tagine. It was excellent with it this time, too.

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