Moroccan Meatballs

Moroccan recipes are some of my favourites. In Paris there are lots of great Moroccan restaurants to choose from. Even the Parisian markets often have a tagine or a chicken bastilla for sale. A chicken bastilla is a delicious parcel of chicken, slivered almonds and other wonderful ingredients, it is wrapped in filo pastry. If you ever see these for sale you must buy some because you are in for a taste sensation that you will always remember. I bought a bastilla at a market near Hotel De Ville in the Marias. I fell in love with it straight away, so many textures and flavours in the one bite.  I will put the recipe up another time but it does require a lot of work. These meatballs are much easier, you can serve these meatballs with cous cous or quinoa if you prefer a bit more protein in your diet or want to keep it gluten free.



  • 500g lean minced lamb
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2cm chunk root ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp of chilli power
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 2 tsps of tumeric
  • good pinch of saffron threads
  • (If you prefer you can buy a packet of Herbies Tagine Spices and add a couple of tablespoons of this instead.)
  • olive oil
  • 2 pieces of preserved lemon (if you don’t have these just some lemon zest grated over the dish will do)
  • 2 x 400g tins of tomatoes
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • ½ bunch coriander, chopped
  • .If you would rather you can buy some Herbies Ras El Hanout and add these instead on individual spices, you will still need the garlic and ginger and fresh coriander.
  • I have added a tin of lentils to this sauce or you could add chickpeas or leave without.


  • 200g couscous or quinoa
  • two tablespoons of olive oil
  • 350ml chicken stock, boiling
  • ½ bunch coriander , chopped
  • ½ bunch parsley, chopped
  • Olive oil to drizzle over


    1. Put the lamb, onion, half the garlic, half the ginger and half the spices in a bowl and season well. Mix and form into little meatballs (you’ll make around 30).
    2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick pan and add the meatballs in batches, frying until browned all over. Scoop out, then add the rest of the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stock and season. Simmer for 10 minutes, then place the meatballs back in the sauce and cook for at least another 20 minutes until sauce is thickened. Stir in the coriander. Save some coriander for serving to sprinkle on. You can leave this simmering until dinner time.
    3. To make the couscous, put it in a bowl with the olive oil and some seasoning. Pour over the chicken stock and cover with glad wrap. Leave for 10 minutes. Add cooked and chopped sweet potato or peas or carrot. Stir the herbs through and serve with meatballs. If you choose quinoa, you must wash the quinoa first, thoroughly and then gently simmer win the chicken stock and olive oil until softened. Add herbs before serving

*Note in the photos I have sprinkled with pine nuts, this is not necessary just made the photography look better.

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Caramelised Onion and Feta Tart

IMG_9960First I need to tell you, DON’T BE AFRAID OF PASTRY! I have the best recipe for you today and even if you have never had any success with pastry, this recipe will work. It takes no time and will save you so much money. This recipe came from David Lebovitz. It was given to him by Paule Caillat. Please take the time to try it and you’ll never look back. The pastry is not as firm as the traditional pastry but it is lovely and buttery.

For Father’s Day we walked to Old Logan Road and sat amongst the throngs of other families taking their dads out for breakfast. I love this little section of road in Brisbane. It has an eclectic mix of shops, cafés and restaurants. This time we stopped at The Baker’s Arms,  I have often posted after visiting Pearl Cafe on the opposite side of the road, as they have a wonderful baker there.

The Baker’s Arms was great, lovely coffee and we ordered a spinach and feta tart that inspired me to bake these two tarts. I made a potato and leek tart and a caramelized onion and feta tart.

I hope you enjoyed celebrating Father’s day too.


Here is the recipe for you to try.


Caramelized Onion and Feta Tart


2 tbsp olive oil
4 red onions, sliced finely
1 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Pastry (recipe to follow)
1 cup crumbled feta
2 organic eggs
1 cup of cream
  1. Place olive oil and onions in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and caramelized. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Crumble the feta cheese into small pieces.
  4. Mix together eggs and cream with whisk until well combined.
  5. Place onions and feta cheese into the baked pastry shell. Reserve some onions for the top of tart after baking.
  6. Pour egg mixture over onions and feta and then place into the oven at 180C until golden brown on top.
  7. Place a heaped spoon of caramelize onions on top and serve with salad.

The other tart was potato and leek.

If you want to try this, simply boil two of three potatoes until cooked but firm, then slice when cool. In a fry pan, sauté leaks with olive oil and butter until soft and browned. Place the potato and leeks into the pastry and pour egg mixture over.


This recipe is from David Lebovitz and here is his post

French Pastry Dough

One 9 (23 cm) tart shell

Adapted from a recipe by Paule Caillat of Promenades Gourmandes

In France, I used type 65 organic flour, which is similar to American all-purpose flour. Paule says that her students report back, saying that the dough works beautifully with American butter, too. Small cracks in the dough are normal so I wouldn’t use this for a thin, custardy filling, although it works well filled with chocolate ganache and I would imagine it would be lovely filled with fresh berries resting on a base of pastry cream.

Do be careful with the hot bowl of butter. Not only will the butter spatter a bit when you add the flour, but it’s uncommon to have a very hot bowl on the counter and easy to simply give in the urge to grab it with your bare hands.

  • 90 g (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 150 g (5oz, or 1 slightly-rounded cup) flour

Preheat the oven to 410º F (210º C).

1. In a medium-sized ovenproof bowl, such as a Pyrex bowl, combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt.

2. Place the bowl in the oven for 15 minutes, until the butter is bubbling and starts to brown just around the edges.

3. When done, remove the bowl from oven (and be careful, since the bowl will be hot and the mixture might sputter a bit), dump in the flour and stir it in quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

4. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch (23 cm) tart mold with a removable bottom and spread it a bit with a spatula.

5. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, pat it into the shell with the heel of your and, and use your fingers to press it up the sides of the tart mold. Reserve a small piece of dough, about the size of a raspberry, for patching any cracks.

(Paule takes a fork and reinforces the dough to the sides, which I didn’t find necessary.)

6. Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork about ten times, then bake the tart shell in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.

7. Remove from the oven and if there are any sizable cracks, use the bits of reserved dough to fill in and patch them.

I find it best to pinch off a small amount of the reserved dough, roll it gently between your fingers to soften it, then wedge it into the cracks, smoothing it gently with your pinky.

8. Let the shell cool before filling.




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Orange-brined chicken with black rice, blood orange and hazelnut salad

IMG_9898This recipe is not for the faint hearted or the time poor! It comes from this months Gourmet Traveller Magazine. I have changed the salad as I wanted to make the dish gluten free and I has some black rice in my pantry and I’ve been wanting to try and make a salad using black rice for a while. If you can find the time to put the preparation into this recipe, you will be rewarded with a very succulent tasty chicken and a great salad.

One of the joys of being a food blogger is that you are sent samples of wonderful produce to cook with. I received a big box of Red Belly Citrus blood oranges from Griffith last month. I worked my way through that box of delicious red oranges and enjoyed making marmalade, and baking with them and this is the red belly citrus orange and almond cake I baked.  IMG_9716

Then just when the last blood orange was devoured, my Gourmet Traveller arrived and in it a whole section with recipes using blood oranges! It’s strange how these things happen.

I really liked the look of the Orange-brined Chicken recipe. As I didn’t have everything I needed to follow the recipe exactly, I improvised a little. You can always substitute ingredients that you don’t have and don’t be afraid to change things a little.


Ingredients – for the chicken

3 blood oranges, 1 quartered, 2 segmented

1 head of garlic halved plus 1 clove extra finely chopped

Olive oil for rubbing

Ingredients – for the rice salad

1 blood orange cut into segments

200 grams of black rice

1/2 spanish onion diced

1 tbsp of red orange juice and 1 tbsp lemon juice.

11/2 tbsp Sherry vinegar

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 cup of roasted hazelnuts chopped coarsely

2 cups of baby spinach

A punnet of baby tomatoes

Chopped parsely

Diced garlic

Salt and pepper


Orange brine

160gm of sea salt flakes

1/4 cup of brown sugar

55ml of Cherry vinegar

2 blood oranges halved

1 lemon halved

1 head of garlic halved

2 tsp chilli flakes

2 cinnamon quills

and of course 1 large organic free range chicken.

Image 2


For orange brine, stir salt, sugar, vinegar and 1 litre of water in a saucepan over a medium heat to dissolve sugar and salt. Squeeze in juice from the blood orange and lemon halves then squeeze the fruit into the liquid with garlic and spices and bring the pot to a simmer.

Transfer to a large container that will fit the chicken snuggly and add 2.5 litres of cold water and refrigerate. When chilled add the chicken and push until submerged. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Turn occasionally.

To Roast

The next day heat the oven to 220C. Drain chicken and rinse under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels and then stuff with quartered blood oranges and halved garlic head. Tuck wings under and loosely truss the legs. Place in a roasting pan lined with baking paper and rub with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for around 45 minutes to an hour. I also sprinkled a few hazelnuts on top of the chicken.

For the Black Rice Salad

Wash your black rice several times and then leave standing in water overnight. Rinse off next morning and then boil in salted water until tender. Leave in a a colander until cool.

Combine chopped spanish onion, chopped garlic and blood orange juice in a bowl and season to taste. Let stand for 3-4 minutes until onion softens then add vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Add the zest of two blood oranges.

Place black rice, roasted hazelnuts, chopped baby tomatoes and baby spinach in a bowl with small segments of blood orange and toss with dressing.



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