LAMB MEATBALLS OVER CHICKPEAS WITH KALE + COUS COUS

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With its North African flavors, this dish proves that one pot doesn’t have to mean boring, and it’s open for your own spin on it.  For an Ethiopian take, try it with Berbere spices, for a Tunisian influence, replace the spices with Harissa.

LAMB MEATBALLS OVER CHICKPEAS WITH KALE + COUS COUS

LAMB MEATBALLS OVER CHICKPEAS WITH KALE + COUS COUS

INGREDIENTS

For 2-3

1/2 cup dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans (or 1 cup canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained)

2 garlic cloves

1 fresh rosemary sprig

1 1/4 pound ground lamb

1 recipe spices (recipe below)

1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped

1/2 red onion, finely sliced

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 bunch kale, ribs removed and chopped into 1 inch wide pieces

1/2 cup red wine

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 cup regular cous cous

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

SPICE INGREDIENTS

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch cayenne

DIRECTIONS

Cook the dried chickpeas in 2 cups of boiling water with 1 garlic clove, 1 rosemary sprig and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  Cover and boil for 15-20 minutes, then turn off the heat, and let them soak for two hours. They should be tender. If using canned chickpeas, just drain and rinse them and set aside.

To the ground the lamb add: the spices, 1 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, cilantro, red onion, 1 minced garlic clove, and oregano.  Mix together and form into 1 1/2 inch meatballs (about 10), careful not to pack them too compactly.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then add the meatballs. Cook, turning frequently, until brown and cooked through (about 12 minutes).  Put the meatballs aside and drain off the fat.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the kale, along with a minced garlic clove and a pinch of salt.  Sauté until bright green and slightly wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pan (this means picking up all of the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan).  Cook for about 30 seconds then add the butter, the water from cooking the chickpeas (about 1/2 a cup) and the broth. Bring to a boil.

Sprinkle the couscous over the pan, stirring to coat.  Add the chickpeas and meatballs, cover with a lid, and remove from heat, letting it stand for about 5 minutes, or until the couscous is cooked and fluffy.

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