Daily Archives: January 14, 2010

North African-style Kefta Kebab with Vegetable Couscous

Local, pastured lamb is ground with cinnamon, coriander, cumin and mint before being skewered, seared and flash-roasted with fiery harissa..

Kefta Kebab with Vegetable Couscous

For the Harissa

8-10 dried red chili peppers such as arbol (hot) or ancho (mild)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
rose water

Split the chilies and remove the stems and seeds.  Toast briefly in a dry skillet then set aside to cool.  Toast the whole spices until fragrant, then pour into the bowl of a food processor.  Add chilies, garlic and oil and pulse into a thick paste.  Adjust consistency with water and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.

(the following are adapted from recipes by Claudia Roden)

For the Couscous

Pour 1 cup couscous into an oven dish.  Gradually pour in 1 cup warm salted water and allow to stand 10 minutes.  Mix in 1 tablespoon olive oil, then rub the grains between your hands to break up any lumps.  Place the dish into a 400 degree oven until steaming hot (about 15-20 minutes).  Stir in 1/2 cup hot vegetable stock, then toss with additional olive oil, chopped parsley and mint.  Add a little salt if you think it needs it.

For the Lamb

1/2 pound freshly-ground lamb, about 75% lean
1/3 small onion, grated
1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
small handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Roll seasoned lamb into large balls, then thread onto skewers.  Press lamb into something resembling a short, thick cigar.  Allow to stand 20 minutes, then sear over medium-high heat until well-browned and a crispy outer crust has formed.  Paint the kebabs with harissa, then flash in a 400 degree oven until pink on the inside, about 10 minutes.

To serve family-style, place a bowl of vegetable broth in the center of a serving dish and spoon couscous around the perimeter.  Drizzle the couscous with a little oil and/or broth to keep it moist, then arrange lamb kebabs over the top.  Offer a pinch pot of ground cumin on the side.

This post is part of the Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday!

Real Food Face-Off, Week One

Our savvy & gracious friend Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship has organized a Real Food Face-Off, wherein two dozen+ bloggers answer a series of questions such as “name the top food scoring highest on both the nutritional and budget scale” and “what was the hardest transition to make to real food”.

Be sure to catch Katie’s interview on Blog Talk Radio then read what Jo-Lynne and I have to say about some of your real food questions!

Jo-Lynne making Katie's granola bars (click for video)

“We are men and women, parents and grandparents, human beings trying to do the best with our food.. and willing to share our thoughts with the world…”