Saturday, September 3, 2011

Zahlouk and Meatballs

Zahlouk and Meatballs by CaptainShen
Moroccan food is one of my top favorite cuisines in the whole world. It is almost level with Tunisian food for me-- they are both exotic and mysterious, yet warm, bright, and familiar enough to be comfort food. It is well varied, though almost every single recipe uses Olive Oil, Cumin, Paprika, Cilantro, and Parsley. It is beautiful, bright, and clean. I love it desperately and rarely get to eat it unless I make it myself.

Zahlouk (to me this is pronounced just like 'Salad,' except with different letters. What?! Um...) is a Moroccan stewed eggplant and tomato dish that really develops its flavor on the stove after almost exactly the 30 minute mark. I'm not sure how 'authentic' my recipe is, but I do something that I've never seen done with it before: I add meat. Sometimes I add it ground up like a middle-eastern ragout, but this time I added it in meatball form. So, I have Cinnamon Lemon Meatballs and Zahlouk.
3 Chinese eggplants*, peeled in stripes, then cubed
1 large grated onion
2 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
2 or 3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
1/2 TB paprika
1/2 TB cumin
Sea Salt
Course Black Pepper
1/2 TB white vinegar
Olive Oil 
Grass-fed ground beef, 1/2 lb
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
Sea Salt
Salt the eggplant and boil it for like half an hour. Drain it and press the water out of the pieces with a spoon, in a colander, until they're mostly wrung out. 
Roll the beef into loose meatballs and get a skillet really hot, with a bit of olive oil. Put the meatballs in and sprinkle them with salt, some cinnamon, and some lemon juice. After turning them a few times so that they're nicely browned (and have made a bit of grease) add the onions and garlic to get them going. After they've sauteed just a bit, add everything else (except vinegar and some lemon juice and salt). Let it cook on medium for another half hour, smashing the eggplant and tomatoes with a spoon but not smashing the meatballs. After that half hour, add the vinegar, the rest of the lemon, and some salt. One thing that I did differently was use one big fat vine tomato and a whole bunch of little grape tomatoes. Those popped and cooked beautifully!

Oh lets see, did I forget anything? I'm not sure. I served this with my standard spinach-- that is, spinach with wakame stirred in it after it cooked.

*Or, one giant American eggplant.
**Also, I'm showing off my new bowl. <3

1 comment:

Ke Keiki's Primal Adventure said...

Not only do I love the bowl, I love the way the photo turned out. The back ground made it look very authentic, and yes I do know that back ground. Now, if only I could taste it.