Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Suya" Meatballs

I tried another recipe from "Taste of Africa" the other day.  I was invited to a "tapas" party and decided these would be great to bring along with the "Harissa Chili Paste" as the recipe suggested. Although it seems like more of a sauce than a paste. The Harissa is also found in this cookbook. In many ways these meatballs are similar to most meatballs one is used to.  One major difference is though is the use of ground peanuts and there is no liquid involved. I had to use %93 percent lean ground beef because I could not find 80/20.  As a result they were a little on the dry side but still quite good. The recipe stated that these are typically cooked on the grill kabob style.  I chose to bake them in the oven at 400 degrees until browned.

Suya: popular in West Africa. Suya originated in northern Nigeria and Niger.
Courtesy: Justice Kamanga "Tastes of Africa"
1kg (2.2 lbs) minced (gr.) beef
1/2 c. roasted peauts, finely chopped
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 onion grated
salt and pepper
If grilling: 6 bamboo skewers
Preheat grill. In a bowl, combine the beef and other ingredients and shape into approximately 24 meatballs. Thread the meatballs onto the bamboo skewers.  Grill for about 10 min, then brush with the olive oil. Serve with Harissa Hot Chili Paste
If baking: Preheat oven to 400 and follow all other instructions except place meatballs on a cookie sheet and bake until browned.

Harissa Hot Chili Paste: popular in North Africa
Courtesy: Justice Kamanga "Tastes of Africa"

150 g. fresh red or green chilis, deseeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 green pepper, grilled, skinned and chopped
1 red pepper, grilled, skinned and chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2Tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1Tbsp gr. cumin
sea salt
Combine all ingredients and leave to stand for at least 30 min. before using, for the flavors to develop.

I made a few tweaks to this recipe some on purpose, and some not.  I used red jalapenos and green. I did not grill the bell peppers or take the skin off.  Instead I just used them raw.  To make that step of grilling easier I suppose that you could buy the jarred roasted peppers.  I'm sure my result was a different flavor but it was still very good.  I blended everything in the food processor.

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