Make this Moroccan meatball casserole

/ Source: TODAY

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Phil Lempert

PhilLempert

TODAY Food Editor

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In this special weekly feature, TODAY food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.

THIS WEEK: Kefta Tagine (Beef Kefta with Green Peas & Artichokes) from Babouche Restaurant & Lounge in New York City

Tired of the same old meatballs? Here's a new twist that you'll love! Keftas are meatballs, in this case Moroccan style, and a tagine is a casserole-like dish used in north African cooking which consists of two pieces: a plate-like bottom (it doubles as a serving dish) and a conical-shaped lid. If you don't have a tagine, you can cook this recipe in a deep non-stick pan and serve it in two plates. Traditionally North African nomads used tagines to cook dishes with low, indirect heat which would let the food simmer for hours but if you're as pressed for time as we are but still want that delicious flavor, this recipe is for you. This subtle stew is often served over couscous or rice. Or you can eat it with bread and soak up the sauce. Either way you choose, this dish is delish!

About the chef: Executive Chef Lahcen Ksiyer is a native of Morocco. His career began at Gulf Royale hotel and resort in Casablanca. Then he went to Baghad in 1985 to open a hotel there before coming to New York. In New York, he cooked French food at Le Perigord, Jean Lafitte, and La Cité. When he took the helm at Cal’s Restaurant, he created his own menu, bringing together French influences and Moroccan flavors. Most recently, he was chef at Café Noir. Babouche Restaurant & Lounge features modern cuisine that combines authentic flavors and techniques with contemporary styles and ingredients to create Moroccan food with upscale French flair. Ksiyer’s menu is an intriguing combination of traditional Moroccan dishes and haute cuisine prepared with Moroccan spices.

Kefta Tagine is served at Babouche Restaurant & Lounge for $20. The recipe is for a restaurant-sized serving size of two.

Babouche Restaurant & Lounge

92 Prince Street

New York, New York 10012

212-219-8155

www.babouchenyc.com

Want to nominate your favorite restaurant dish for a "Steal This Recipe" feature? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.