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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Thyme Taters

This is the second recipe my dad sent. Hope you all enjoy.

1.5 pounds new red and yellow small potatoes
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 chopped medium onion
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 cup chicken broth (add more if needed during cooking)
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
½ tsp pepper

Wash potatoes and peel a strip of skin around middle of each potato. Place potatoes in cold water and set aside. Heat a large enough skillet ( so potatoes will remain in one even layer for the fastest cooking) over medium-high heat, add oil. Sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until they become tender, but not browned. Add the broth and dried thyme mix well, and bring to a boil. Place potatoes in a single layer in skillet. Return to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer covered until potatoes are tender. Keep close eye for fluid drying up. Add more broth if necessary. Remove potatoes with slotted spoon to a serving bowl. Add pepper to skillet and stir. Pour sauce over potatoes. Sprinkle with the fresh thyme.

North African Meatballs

My dad made two recipes these past couple of days and he said they were excellent and wanted me to share them with all of you. This is the first one.

For the North African Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, zested
1/2 cup pitted and chopped briny olives
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock or broth
1 (14-ounce) can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
Pinch ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Meatballs:

1 egg
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch ground cinnamon
3/4 pound ground beef
1/3 cup finely ground rolled oats or fine bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, for cooking
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Couscous with Dried Dates, recipe follows

To make the North African Sauce: In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and olives and cook for 1 more minute. Add the white wine, deglaze the pan, and let it reduce for a 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, canned tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon, and simmer to blend flavors, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

To make the Meatballs: In a medium bowl, add the egg and tomato paste and stir until smooth. Add the cilantro, ginger, cumin, and cinnamon and mix until well blended. Stir in the ground beef and oats, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and combine gently after each addition. Do not overmix. Rolling with your hands, make about 32 meatballs, about 1-inch in diameter.

In a large sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat, and brown the meatballs in batches until golden on all sides. Add more oil, as needed. Transfer the meatballs to the pan with the sauce and let simmer for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley