Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lamb and Dried Fruit Kefta with White Beans and Harissa

     I posted a similar recipe a few months ago for Algerian style kefta, chickpeas and a dried paprika harissa.  I used pre-made harissa sauce from a jar to make today's recipe.  The harissa color is much brighter than a dried paprika harissa sauce version.
     Beans of any kind are commonly called hummis in most parts of the middle east and North Africa.  It does not matter if the beans are whole or mashed into a hummis paste.  Beans are also referred to by their specific names in this region.  This can put recipe translators to the test.
     White beans are known as cannellini or white kidney beans.  White beans are available in most grocery stores.  Many different brands of harissa are available at Persian and Arabic markets.  Harissa paste can thinned to a sauce consistency.  Harissa sauce is ready to be used as is.
     Lamb and Dried Fruit Kefta:  
     This recipe makes enough for 4 or 5 meatballs.
     Soak 1/2 cup of basmati rice in water for 1 hour.
     Rinse the rice with cold water, till the water runs off clear in color.
     Heat a sauce pot over high heat.
     Add 3/4 cup of water.
     Add the soaked rice.
     Bring the water to a boil.
     Reduce the temperature to medium low/low heat.
     Simmer the rice for 10 minutes, so the rice becomes only halfway cooked.
     Drain the water off of the rice with a fine mesh strainer.
     Cool the rice under cold running water.
     Drain the water off of the rice.
     Place the half cooked rice into a mixing bowl.
     Add about 6 ounces of ground lamb.
     Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
     Add 3 pats of unsalted butter.
     Add 2 tablespoons of minced onion.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced celery.
     Add 4 minced garlic cloves.
     Saute till the onions begin to caramelize.
     Set the vegetables aside to cool.
     Add the sauteed vegetables to the stuffing in the mixing bowl.
     Add 5 dried apricot halves that are diced into small pieces.
     Add 1/4 cup of chopped golden raisons.
     Add 2 pinches of cinnamon.
     Add 2 pinches of cumin.
     Add 3 pinches of coriander.
     Add 1 pinch of ground cardamom.
     Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Add 2 pinches of dried mint leaves.
     Add 1 pinch of nutmeg.
     Add 2 pinches of turmeric.
     Add 1 pinch of saffron.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Thoroughly mix the stuffing ingredients together.
     Use a scoop to portion 4 or 5 medium size meatballs.
     Use your hands to roll the meaball portions into smooth round ball shapes.
     Brush a baking pan with oil.
     Set the meatball on the baking pan.
     Bake in a 325ยบ oven, till the meatballs become fully cooked and till they become a light brown color.  (About 20 minutes.)
     Be sure to turn the meatballs as the bake, so they cook evenly.    
     While the meatballs are baking, the sauce can be made.
     Harissa Sauce:
     Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
     Add 5 pats of unsalted butter.
     Add 3 minced garlic cloves.
     Add 1/3 cup of minced onion.
     Saute till the onions just begin to caramelize.
     Add 1/3 cup of harissa sauce or 3 tablespoons of harissa paste.
     Add 2 pinches of black pepper.
     Add 3 pinches of coriander.
     Add 2 pinches of mild paprika.
     Add 2 cups of light chicken broth.
     Stir the sauce.
     Simmer and reduce the harissa sauce, till it becomes medium thin sauce consistency.
     Keep the harissa sauce warm over very low heat.
     Lamb and Dried Fruit Kefta with White Beans and Harissa:
     When the meatballs finish baking, add the meatballs to the harissa sauce.
     Add 1 cup of rinsed cooked white beans or rinsed canned white beans.
     Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
     Simmer till the ingredients become hot and till the sauce reduces enough to cling to the white beans.
     Place the ingredients in a shallow casserole dish.
     Place the casserole dish on a serving plate.
     Garnish with a parsley sprig.

     This is a nice tasting plate of North African style food!

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