Monday, June 10, 2013

Kofta b'siniyah

The book Jerusalem: A Cookbook is stunning and the recipes are fantastic.  I didn't change a thing but I did want to share so you'd all be tempted to get the book!

Printable Recipe

Prep time:15-20 minutes  (the kofta can be prepared a day ahead!)
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Makes 18 koftas (serves 6)

Tahini sauce:
2/3 cup light tahini paste
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (I did add more as I like my tahini sauce tangy)
1/2 cup water
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
14oz/400g ground lamb
14oz/400g ground veal or beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
7 tbsp/50g toated pine nuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 large medium hot red chili, seeded & finely chopped (I used a small one)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
3/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt

2 tbsp sunflower oil for frying kofta (I used canola)
2 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee (optional - just before serving)
toasted pine nuts
finely chopped parsley
sweet paprika

1. Place all the kofta ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to mix well.  Shape into  long, torpedo-like fingers (about 2oz/60g each).  Press each kofta to compress and ensure each kofta is tight and keeps its shape.   Arrange on a plate and chill until you are ready to cook.  They will keep for 24 hours.  (perfect to prepare the day before for those busy days).

2. Preheat the oven to 425F/220C and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment.

3. Prepare the tahini sauce:  whisk together tahini paste, lemon juice, water, garlic and salt.  The sauce should be runnier than honey.  NOTE:  the chefs suggest adding 1-2 tbsp water if needed, but since I like my sauce tangy, I used lemon juice.  Set aside.

4. Prepare garnishes - toast pine nuts & chop the parsley and set aside.

5. Cook the kofta.  Heat the sunflower oil in a large skillet over high heat and sear the kofta on all sides.  Do this in batches if need be so they are not cramped together.  Each batch should take about 5-6 minutes until they are golden brown.   Using a slotted spatula, transfer the kofta to the baking sheet and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes.

6. Serving: Use a heat resistant/oven proof serving platter.  Spoon some tahini as a base on the platter and place the kofta over the sauce. Drizzle just a bit of the sauce over the kofta, but leave most of the meat exposed.  Turn off the oven, and place the platter in the oven for a couple of minutes just to warm the sauce.

7. Optional: If you plan on using butter or ghee, melt in a small saucepan and allow to brown a little without burning.  Spoon over kofta as soon as it comes out of the oven.

8. Scatter with pine nuts and parsley and sprinkle with a  little sweet paprika.

Great with pita and a side of cucumber and tomato salad.

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