Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Tajine-el-Khoukh (Algerian Stuffed Peaches)


Partly cloudy with a chance of Meatballs! We are, clearly, huge fans of meatballs. Just glance at the the long list of meatballs that we have made: The Great Disappearing Chinese MeatballsSoutzoukakia (Greek Meatballs in Tomato Sauce), Albóndigas de Pavo con Salsa de Guayaba (Columbian Turkey Meatballs in Guava Sauce), Bitokes (Russian Meatballs), Spicy Meatball Bánh MìPolpette al Forno, and so many more!


But this week I was thinking about summery meatballs and that got me thinking about peaches and meatballs. I considered making some peach preserve-glazed meatballs, but then I was reminded of Tajine-el-Khoukh, Algerian Stuffed Peaches. 


Contrary to what you would think, there are no peaches in this recipe; these are meatballs, covered in mashed potatoes, rolled in batter, and cooked till the outside is golden and "fuzzy," hence the name. 

This recipe has multiple steps but the resulting flavors are definitely worth it. And it helps that I have an Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf to lend a hand. Traditionally, this recipe is made with a white sauce made with garbanzo beans. However the Elf developed an allergy to garbanzo beans a few years ago. So, I went with a red sauce.

Ingredients

Meatballs-Peaches
  • 1 pound organic, grass-fed ground beef
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons garam masala (our blend: here)
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons freshly minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon hemp hearts (this is totally unnecessary, but I found them in the cabinet and used them in this dish)
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 to 4 large potatoes, cubed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • Also needed: baking sheet, 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter for cooking, olive oil for cooking
Sauce
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup organic heavy cream
  • 1 pinch coarse salt
Procedure

Meatballs
In a large bowl, using your hands, mix together all of the ingredients - except the potatoes, egg, and flour - until well-combined. Roll walnut-sized balls and place them on a silicone-lined baking sheet. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 35 minutes until well-browned. While the meatballs are cooking, boil the potatoes until tender. Mash well.

Sauce
Whisk together the sauce ingredients. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. You're just looking to meld the flavors together.

Peaches
Wrap a layer of mashed potatoes around each meatball.  


Beat together 1 egg and 1 Tablespoon flour to form a batter. 


Heat 1/2 C butter with a splash of olive oil in a flat pan. Roll each "peach" in the egg batter and pan-fry until golden brown. 


Drain on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.


Serving
Roll the peaches in the sauce and serve warm.

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