Psst....I have a huge confession to make...I kinda love Rachel Ray. So you're going to notice a pattern forming- I'm probably going to be doing quite a few of her recipes. So, as warned- today's dinner is Rachel Ray's Moroccan-Style Mini Meatballs in Tomato Sauce with Eggs & Flatbread. Now if you're really really good, you will have noticed in the title, I left out that whole egg thing- its because I veto'd it. The original recipe called for a soft-cooked egg on top of the meatball goodness, but that didn't exactly jive with me. But feel free to give it a try if you want- I give you props for being braver than me. Also, this dish involves a protein I've never prepared before- ground lamb. I thought it was a) going to be incredibly difficult to find and b) incredibly expensive. I was wrong on both accounts. The ground lamb was right next to the ground beef/pork in the meat section of the grocery store and I bought it for $4/lb. Yes, its a little pricier than other meats, but not ridiculous and worth the cost to try out something new.
And before I get started, don't let the title or the ingredient list freak you out. This is actually VERY easy (totally weeknight dinner fare). So, onto our venture into Moroccan meatballs!! :)
How Long Is This Gonna Take:30-45 minutes. If you're a fast meatball maker, this dish is a non-issue. If touching raw meat gives you the heebie-jeebies, I suggest calling on some help
What You'll Need:2 lbs ground lamb (I only used 1 lb and it made roughly 35 mini meatballs)
1/2 cup fresh parsley (approx 3 tbsp dried)
6 cloves garlic
1 tbsp lemon zest (I left this out because I didn't want to buy a lemon just for a little zest, probably should've added a little lemon juice, but didn't)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp EVOO
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup chicken stock (I used broth)
1- 28oz can fire roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
A pinch ground cloves
A pinch ground cinnamon
4 eggs (like I said, this was a no-go for me)
Warm flatbreads for dunking (I bought mine from the store- they were in the deli area near pita pockets)
What To Do:
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine lamb, "liberal amounts of S&P", parsley, 4 cloves of the garlic, lemon peel, chili powder, paprika, and cumin. Form into 1 1/4-in mini meatballs (2 lbs should make about 65). I actually made the meatballs the night before, covered them with plastic wrap, and kept them in the fridge until the following night. Once their ready to go into the oven, drizzle with EVOO (I used EVOO cooking spray) and bake for 10 minutes. (Note: Keep the oven on after the meatballs come out)
2. While the meatballs bake, heat 1 tbsp EVOO in a skillet with high sides over medium-high heat. Add onion and remaining garlic and cook until onions soften. Season with S&P, add in chicken stock and tomatoes, bring to a boil. Season with clove and cinnamon. Cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add in meatballs and simmer for 5 minutes. During this time, warm flatbreads in oven for 2-5 minutes.
3. Immediately pour meatballs and sauce into bowls and crack in eggs, if using. Cover tightly with plate and let stand 3 minutes to cook the eggs. Serve with warm flatbreads.