Recipe Review: North African Meatballs (Boulettes), Couscous, Roasted Tomatoes


Many countries serve meatballs as comfort food, as David Tanis explains in the New York Times.  A couple weeks ago he published a French/North African version called boulettes that can be made with ground beef or lamb, chopped parsley and cilantro, and  an exotic mixture of spices: turmeric, cumin, cloves, nutmeg, ground ginger, paprika, and cayenne.  The meatballs are dusted with flour, browned in a saute pan, and then simmered in a tomato-saffron stock.  He pairs it with Israeli couscous and roasted tomatoes.

I am going to try a new format with my recipe review.  These are the factors I consider for the bottom line if a recipe is worth doing.  How delicious is it?  How long does it take?  How much does it cost?  There are so many recipes out there that I haven’t made yet – would I make this one again?  If readers have any other suggestions for what they would like to know, please let me know.

Total time: about 2 hours active time

Complexity: multiple steps for the boulettes, including making the tomato-saffron broth beforehand, but nothing too technical.  The roasted tomatoes and couscous are very easy.

Cost: about $10, but I already had all of the spices on hand.  Buying new spices for this dish would be expensive.

Deliciousness: good (3 of 5 stars).  The boulettes are soft, juicy, and aromatic with spices.  They go well with the roasted tomatoes and couscous.

Worth making once: yes, to try this flavor profile

Will I make again: no

Link to recipe here.

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