Well this is a nice little milestone for my blog. 100th post! I feel like I should be toasting with champagne 😉 Who am I kidding I will take any excuse to pop some bubbly! Before life got in the way I thought I’d accomplish this a while ago, but it feels really good right now.
As a dear friend keeps reminding me to follow my passion and love what I do, I’m actually smiling writing this post.
I wish I could say I planned what the 100th post recipe would be. Oops. But regardless I loved this meal and I’m happy to share. PLUS following my recent trend it includes saffron. I promise I don’t purposely search saffron recipes. Truthfully I don’t. They just seem to find me. I should probably slow down since last night I opened my last package of saffron. Yes I know I can get saffron in Canada, I don’t need to go to Istanbul and the Grand Bazaar… (But…)
If you can’t tell I loved my experience at the Grand Bazaar. Lots of places don’t always live up to the expectation but the Grand Bazaar exceeded anything I imagined. The colours, the smells, the atmosphere it was vibrant, loud, overwhelming in the best possible way. You couldn’t help but think of all those who walked through the pathways and stalls thousands of years before. It was an amazing piece of living history.
Not everyone may love the bartering, the constant demands to come into a shop, but I embraced it. I love to
get my own way barter. My Dad bet me he could get a better deal on saffron, let’s just say he lost terribly and I managed to get 2 grams for the cost of his 1 gram. It was an afternoon I reflect fondly on every time I pick up the saffron to cook with.
Thanks to all the readers who have followed me and continue to check in on my culinary adventures! Looking forward to the next 100 posts.
Tunisian Meatballs with Pearl Couscous
Adapted from The Corner Kitchen Blog
The recipe originally used lamb, however since wild boar is common in Tunisia and I really enjoy this lean, flavourful meat I decided to use boar instead.
Don’t let the long list of ingredients put you off, most are in every home cupboard, it is easy and the results well worth it.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- large pinch of saffron, crumbled
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoons milk
- 1 lb. ground boar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chilies
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons parsley
- all-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup pearl couscous
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (stock not broth!)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, cinnamon and saffron. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly add the broth 1 cup at a time. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove the sauce from the heat. Once cooled I blended with a hand blender for a smoother sauce (aka did not do the best job chopping the onions)
- Add the breadcrumbs and meat in a large bowl. Mix with just enough milk so that they are slightly wet.
- Add the egg, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, turmeric, cumin, chili, cloves, coriander, nutmeg, and parsley. Mix well.
- Roll the meat mixture into small balls. Dust lightly with flour, shaking off any excess.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the meatballs, turning once, until barely browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce, bring to a simmer over medium heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the couscous and stir so it’s coated with the butter. Cook for 1-2 minutes to lightly toast the couscous.
- Add the stock, and cinnamon to the pan.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been absorbed about 20 minutes.
Spoon couscous into a deep bowl, top with meatballs & sauce, and garnish with fresh parsley.
To balance the spice of the dish I served this with a French Moulin A Vent (Beaujolais Cru) but if you like spice on spice I think you could also serve a California Zinfandel.