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Kefta & Pita Platter



Kefta (also called “Kofta”) is a family of meatball or meatloaf dishes common in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. This kefta recipe boasts deliciously spiced and tender ground beef and lamb, but you can certainly work with just one or the other - or even sub ground turkey. The mixture is flavored with ras el hanout (more on that below) and fresh herbs, then formed into sort of elongated meatball. Serve your kefta with a platter of fresh veggies, hummus, tzatziki and pita and make it a choose your own adventure! Another yummy option: Serve it with a side of couscous and grilled veggies.




What is Ras El Hanout?

Ras el hanout is a spice mix found in varying forms in Tunis

ia, Algeria, and Morocco. The name means "head of the shop" in Arabic and suggests a blend of the best spices the seller has to offer. Ras el hanout is used in many savory dishes, is sometimes rubbed on meat or fish, or stirred into couscous or rice. Common ingredients include cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, dry ginger, chili peppers, coriander seed, peppercorn, sweet and hot paprika, fenugreek, and dry turmeric. You can find it in some grocery stores, gourmet shops, on Amazon, or you can look up a recipe to make your own.


This recipe includes the traditional quantities of these spices and herbs, but you may adjust to your taste.



Kefta & Pita Platter


Recipe by Tanya Miller

Serves: 6-8

Recommended wine pairings: 2022 Franc Blanc or 2019 Kvasir


INGREDIENTS:


For Kefta:

  • 2 lbs ground meat - any combination of lamb/beef/turkey (we prefer 1 lb beef and 1 lb lamb)

  • 1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1/4-1/2 c fresh mint, chopped

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 1/2 tsp Ras El Hanout (available on Amazon)

  • 1 onion, grated or finely chopped

  • 2-4 cloves garlic, grated

  • 2 tsp kosher salt


For Pita Platter - We recommend any or all of the following:

  • Grilled or warmed naan or pita bread

  • Hummus (we used white bean)

  • Cucumber rounds

  • Tomatoes, fresh or grilled

  • Bell or baby peppers

  • Kalamata olives

  • Tzatziki (we used our own recipe but store bought works well too)

  • Feta, crumbled

  • Red onion, thinly sliced (we always pickle ours!)

  • Pine nuts, toasted



INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add onion and any juice to a large bowl. The liquid helps keep the meat moist.

  2. Add herbs, garlic, salt, spices, and meat. Combine gently. Be careful not to over-mix the meat so it doesn’t get tough.

  3. Make a “patty”, but more in the shape of a flattened log than a round patty. Grill to an internal temperature of 160-165, depending on your meat of choice.

  4. Serve with any or all of the above accompaniments.

  5. Enjoy with a chilled glass of Franc Blanc, our crisp, white Cabernet Franc! Or if you're feeling like red, we recommend Kvasir, a beautiful Mourvèdre blend.



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