Eight Bells

If you enjoy this blog please leave a comment, if there is something you would like to see feel free to make a request and don't forget to use the search function.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Spiced Meatballs and Israeli Couscous Salad

If you asked me to make a list of my top ten favourite meals this dish would definitely be on there somewhere. The flavours in this meal are so deliciously different from the food that we normally eat in New Zealand, I am almost magically transported back to the Middle East. A little bonus with this recipe is that I finally get to crack open one of my jars of pickled chillis that I made in January. This recipe is taken straight from Issue 121 March 2007 of 'Cuisine' magazine. The Cuisine recipe calls for the egg plant and meatballs to be fried in oil whereas we grilled the meatballs and oven roasted the eggplant for a tastier and healthier finished dish. You may prefer to try this recipe in summer when eggplants are not $8 each! Serves four.

250g of lamb mince
2-3 teaspoons of harissa
3 tablespoons of coarsley chopped fresh coriander leaves
2 tablespoons of coarsley chopped fresh Italian flat leafed parsley
A pinch of ground cinnamon
A pinch of ground cardamom
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons of fresh breadcrumbs

Mix all the ingredients except for one teaspoon of the harissa. Fry a little piece of the mixture and taste, adjust by adding a little salt, pepper or harissa if needed, the flavour should be quite strong with a bit of a kick to it. Roll the mince into approximately 16-20 meatballs and refrigerate until needed (you can do this a day ahead of time to give the flavours a chance to develop but it is not necessary). Grill the meatballs until golden brown, turning once.

Israeli Couscous Salad
1 large eggplant cut into 3 cm pieces
1 cup of Israeli couscous, boiled in salted water until al dente, drained and cooled
1/4 of a cup of extra virgin olive oil (I think this is a little too much oil, we used 2 tablespoons at most)
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of baby spinach leaves
1/2 a cup each of coarsley chopped mint, coriander and flat leafed parsley.
1/2 a cup of labneh (we used plain unsweetened Greek yoghurt)
Pickled chillis (optional)

Toss the pieces of eggplant in a little oil and oven roast at 180C for around 20 minutes, they should be turning golden brown but still soft when you take them out.
Toss together the couscous, eggplant, olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper, baby spinach leaves and most of the herbs (keep a little of the herbs aside to garnish the dish once you have plated up).
Fold the meatballs through the salad, sprinkle on the remaining herbs and serve with a decent dollop of labneh (yoghurt). Place a couple of pickled chillis on the side of the plate for a little extra ooomph. Heaven.


Post a Comment

<< Home