A Tagine, that is. The dish is called a Tajine or a Tagine, depending on which Moroccan or Tunisian…Algerian you speak to, but this was cooked in one of my ubiquitous cazuelas which serve nearly as well.

IMG_0863.JPGI love my wife…truly I do, but tonight she is out in the city with old friends having drinks and dinner and I? I have a rare home alone which is something I savor rarely. A friend at work suggested I go out to dinner, but…seriously?

It’s an opportunity to cook…for myself, and using all the forbidden (or less preferred) ingredients that my wife can’t have…or doesn’t care for: spicy pepper flakes, cumin, and such. Ha!

I enjoy one-pot meals, particularly if simply cooking for myself as I am tonight, so I figured that a Kefta Tagine would work handily for tonight. I popped open a bottle of a young Rioja (Rio Madre Graciano 2012) and it is smooth on my palate.

I started with a blend of unsalted butter and olive oil, and sautéed some yellow onion and garlic, and then added a spice blend of a fresh bay leaf, ginger, saffron, chili flakes, and a bit of salt and pepper.

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After this cooked down a bit, I added the crushed tomatoes and cooked them as well till it all reduced.

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Penultimately, I added the ‘kefta’, lamb meatballs spiced with cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper for another ten minutes.

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Meanwhile, I continued to sip my wine, and rubbed my eyes a bit from the earlier oniony-air my eyes had been exposed to; ordinarily I cook while wearing my contact lenses which…remarkably, prevents the scorching cut onions from making my eyes water like crazy. Alas, I had taken out my contacts as one of them had been mildly bothering my right eye and they needed a rest. Whew!

The final component were a couple of eggs cracked onto the morass of onion and tomato mixture, as well as kalamata olives. A sprinkling of parsley would finish this off, and dinner would soon be had.

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So now…I’m going to simply continue to drink a second glass of this very relaxing red and wait for this to cool so I can serve myself a portion–at least half, I figure. Do to the magic of delayed gratification, I will even tell you how it succeeded or not…in the space between paragraphs.

Oh, and here’s a shot of it plated…bowled…however you want.

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Wow, great! The lamb meatballs, the kalamata olives, the mild heat from the pepper flakes, and the bevy of middle eastern spices works well, and when mixed with the soft cooked eggs, wow; great recipe.

Wifey probably won’t touch it, so more for me.

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