Kefta Shakshuka

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  • 1 lb ground beef chuck
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 4 ½ teaspoons Villa Jerada Kefta Rub, divided
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus additional to taste
  • 1 small onion, grated on the large holes of box grater or finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large ripe tomato, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Villa Jerada Harissa
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • Whole cilantro leaves, to serve
  • Crusty bread or pita, to serve (optional)

First, make the kefta (meatballs): combine the beef, ¼ cup of the chopped cilantro, 2 ½ teaspoons of the kefta rub, 1 teaspoon salt and the onion in a medium bowl. Mix well to combine. (I think it’s easiest to mix with your hands.) Using your hands or a small scoop, shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan and chill for at least 20 minutes. While the kefta are chilling, heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the tomato, tomato paste, remaining ¼ cup chopped cilantro, harissa, the remaining 2 teaspoons kefta rub, a generous pinch of salt and pepper and the water. Cook until the tomato has broken down and the mixture has thickened to a sauce-like consistency. Add the kefta. Cover and cook until the meatballs are almost cooked through, about 10 minutes. Use a spoon to make an egg-sized hole in the shakshuka. Crack one of the eggs into the hole. Repeat with the remaining 3 eggs. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the eggs reach desired doneness, about 10 minutes for medium-soft. Sprinkle the eggs with a little salt. Scatter the whole cilantro leaves over the shakshuka and serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

Ras El Hanout Yogurt

  • 1 ½ cups full-fat greek yogurt or labneh
  • 2 teaspoons Res el Hanout spice blend
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Best quality extra virgin olive oil, to serve
  • Raw sliced vegetables, to serve

Whisk the yogurt, Res el Hanout and honey together in a medium bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Serve with vegetables and topped with best quality olive oil. (I used Les Terroirs de Marrakech extra-virgin olive oil.)

Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

moroccan vegetable tagine
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 large tomato, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1-2 Anaheim peppers, seeded and sliced lengthwise ¼ inch thick
  • 1 clove garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 3-4 tablespoons best quality olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons harissa
  • 1 teaspoon kefta rub
  • 15 saffron threads
  • Sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
  • About 8 small sprigs cilantro, plus additional to garnish

Scatter the onions over the bottom of a large sauté pan or tagine and salt lightly. Tile the sliced potatoes over the onions. Arrange the sliced tomatoes, peppers and garlic over the potatoes. Pour the water into the bottom of the pan. The precise amount will vary slightly based on the size of your pan, but you want enough to form a thin layer over the bottom of the pan, just covering the onions. Pour the olive oil over the vegetables. (Don’t skimp on the olive oil, it’s part of what makes the potatoes silky and soft when they’re done cooking.) Dot the harissa over the vegetables. Season generously with salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Sprinkle with the kefta rub and saffron then arrange the cilantro sprigs over the top. Bring the water to a gentle simmer over medium heat then cover and cook until most of the water has evaporated, the potatoes are cooked through and the tomatoes are starting to fall apart, about 20 minutes. You may need to reduce the heat a little. If there’s still a little water in the bottom of the pan when the vegetables are done, remove the lid and cook off the excess. Sprinkle with additional cilantro to garnish, if desired, and serve in the pan. Makes 3-4 servings.