The weather today is just gorgeous. Early this morning, I went for a six mile hike with the pup. We were trudging through mud and snow about 7:30am, then as the morning progressed, the sun continued to magnify, and it warmed up significantly.
Days like this are perfect for “transitional foods.” This is the exciting time of year where it is still cold enough to keep making those crock-style dishes, yet is warm enough to add a little spring flare to it. Edible flowers and “weeds” are starting to bloom, and gardens are ripe for the pickin’ of spring greens around here.
My Egyptian Walking Onions are at a nice tender age right now, and would be perfect seared in butter and smashed into some red-skinned potatoes.
This is one of my favorite meatball and sauce recipes. I adapted it from an old cooking magazine, that I am not even sure exits anymore. It is so fragrant and spicy, with a hint of fresh squeezed lemon and orange juices, fresh herbs, and garden vegetables; that you really get the flavor of a Mediterranean summer. I serve it over Israeli cous cous and basmati rice which is also peppered with fresh herbs and citrus.
Mediterranean Meatballs in a Fragrant Spiced SauceMeatballs:
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground chuck
1/4 C onion, grated
1T olive oil
1/2t each kosher salt, cracked pepper, fresh ground coriander seeds, fresh ground cumin seeds
1/4t each red pepper flakes, allspice
3T olive oil for sauteingSauce:
1C diced onion
1/2C carrot, shredded
1T tomato paste
2t smoked Spanish paprika
1t each dried thyme, fresh ground cumin, ground ginger
1- 14.5oz can San Marzano tomatoes
1/2C chicken stock
1C zucchini, shredded
3T fresh squeezed orange juice
1t saltCous cous & Basmati:
1C dry Israeli cous cous, cooked
1C dry basmati, cooked
3T extra virgin olive oil
1T lemon juice
1T lemon zest
1t orange zest
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3C fresh chopped parsley
salt and pepper1. Meatball: Combine all ingredients in to a ball.
Shape in to 24 meatballs
* Heat remaining 3T of olive oil in large pan over medium heat.
*Brown meatballs on all sides, remove from skillet with a slotted spoon.
2. Sauce: Using the same skillet, over medium heat, saute
the onion and carrot until soft.
*Stir in the tomato paste,paprika, thyme, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon.
* Add the tomatoes, with their juice, zucchini, the meatballs, and the chicken stock.
*Cover pan, simmer for 10 minutes.
*Stir in orange juice and salt.
3. Cous cous and basmati: Cook cous cous and basmati, separately,
according to manufacturers directions.
* Toss both grains together in a pot, add the rest of the ingredients.