I love a good meatball. And that’s exactly what a boulette is in French. So I cached away David Tanis’ recipe for a North African version that appeared in the NY Times almost a year ago. You only have to look at the most recent posts here to realize it’s been a seafood summer. We’ve been cooking and enjoying fish and shellfish every chance we get. But last week, we decided to break our pescatorian diet and out came the City Kitchen article and recipe. Now Chef Tanis allowed as how he had created his recipe from many. But at their core, this is a meatball with its roots in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. All of these are former French colonies and if you’ve been adventurous in Paris and gone into Tunisian or Moroccan restaurants there, you’ve undoubtedly seem them in several guises on menus there. They’re often an appetizer, or a side dish but they reach their full glory in a fragrant main course ‘tagine’ accompanied by couscous. You can make these with beef or lamb and Mr. Tanis has even made them with ground turkey. I went with lamb because Lord knows we may have had a lot of fish this summer but we’ve also indulged in a hamburger or twelve. With our tagine, I served a simple red leaf lettuce salad with a dressing laced with cumin and pomegranate that was a perfect complement to the North African flavors of the boulettes and there’s a story there too.
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