Sunday, October 5, 2008
Sunday night dinner
I brought out an old favorite for dinner tonight: a vegetarian version of Moroccan Kefta aux Oeufs, or meatballs with eggs. I fell in love with North African food while spending the summer of my 18th year in Paris. I had the most delicious and simple vegetable stew with cous cous at a restaurant in the Quartier Latin. There was just something so pleasing about the slow cooked veggies in sauce.
A few years later, I picked up one of my first vegetarian cookbooks: Kitty Morse's The Vegetarian Table: North Africa. It's a really nice book with a wide variety of good North African recipes adapted for vegetarians.
This kefta recipe became a quick favorite. It combines the most interesting flavors--a cinnamon infused tomato sauce, breadcrumb and egg 'meatballs' with cumin, mint, and herbs, and eggs that poach amidst the rest of the dish. It would look particularly impressive when cooked in a traditional Moroccan tajine, but I seem to have abandoned mine two moves ago. I like to credit this recipe with having won me a fellowship several years back. I don't think I've mentioned this here before, but I spent the year after college traveling the world to study spices. It was made possible by the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. For my application interview, I was allowed to make a brief presentation, so I thought I would do best to prepare some food that demonstrates my interest in spices and innovative flavor combinations. Apparently it worked! I did end up spending a couple months in Morocco that year, where I sampled the authentic kefta as well as many other delicious dishes.