Moroccan Meatballs with Eggs

You may be seeing a lot of posts from a new Rachel Ray cookbook we bought.  Not because it is a gluten free cook book, because its NOT.  But because we have found a lot of these recipes are really good.

For a birthday a gave Amanda Rachel Ray's Week in a Day Cookbook.  We haven't really used it for its actual use, which is, take one day, cook all your meals for the week, and finish them off the day of.  But we did take advantage of some of these, cooking them the night prior knowing the meals will hold.

I'm half Moroccan.  I'm not sure if many of you know that about me.  Since my grandmother passed away way over 10 years ago, I haven't eaten much Moroccan food.  Especially now that I am in Edmonton, away from my family in Toronto.  Before my brother Dan passed away, he used to feed me some of the family recipes.  I only got a hold of so many.  Now I have to seek out recipe through aunts and uncles, but they only have some many.

Well, I came across this Moroccan meatball recipe in Rachel Ray's cookbook.  Not nearly as close to what my grandma used to make, but a similar flavour profile that I loved.

Here is the recipe with notes on my modification

1 pound ground lamb or beef (I used beef)
2 slices stale bread processed into bread crumbs (I used 1/2 cup of Kinnikinnick's panko style gluten free breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/4 onion chopped (I used the chopper)
2 garlic cloves minched
A small handfull of fresh mint leaves finely chopped
Pinch of ground cinnamon (a common Moroccan spice)
pinch of nutmeg
kosher salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle (EVOO)

1 tablespoon EVOO
3/4 medium onion chopped (I used the chopper)
2 garlic cloves minced
1 small zucchini chopped or sliced in an angle (I just chopped)
1 (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 tbsp of honey
1 tbsp ras el hanour (recipe for spice blend below)
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained

4 large eggs (optional for pouching after)

Ras el Hanout (these are all very common Moroccan spices)
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp tumeric
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cardamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp clove (we actually didn't use this)

Pre heat oven to 350 for meatballs

Make meatballs in a large bowl by combining all the meatball ingredients.  Roll into walnut size balls and place on cooling rack ontop of a cookie sheet.  Place in over and cook for 20 minutes or until cooked,

Meanwhile, make the sauce.  In a dutch oven, heat the EVOO, and add the onion, garlic, and zucchini.  Cook until onion softens, about 7 to 8 minutes.  Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, honey and ras el hanout spice blend and bring to a bubble.  Stir in chickpeas.  Remove the cooked meatballs from the oven and add to sauce.  

Now here's the great thing about this Rachel Ray cookbook.  From here.  You can continue on, or if you want to eat this meal later on in the week.  Refrigerate and when you are ready to make, return the meatballs and sauce to room temperature and add 1 cup of water to loosen up the sauce if needed.

To continue on, uncover the pot and make 4 wells in the sauce.  Crack n the eggs to pouch.  Cover the pot and summer to poach the egg to desired readyness.  

Serve into shallow bowls, with one egg per person.  Garnish with cilantro.  We served with rice!  Or if this were my family, get a gluten free baguette from the Kinnikinnick store to dip.