Saturday, June 04, 2011

Mafroum, Mark One

Today, the Balabusta is trying her hand at mafroum.

Mafroum is a Jewish dish from North Africa, featuring ground seasoned meat stuffed into potatoes and then simmered to tenderness in a tomatoey sauce. It's one of those dishes that are descended from the grand Persian court cooking of the high Middle Ages, and that gradually evolved into a way for a woman to spend hours of her life stuffing things into vegetables and chopping other things into sauces. I discovered the recipe I'm using at Mimi's Israeli Kitchen, and I just had to try.

So far, so good. I am using ground turkey for the first attempt, mostly because it's cheaper. The meat blend is easy to put together, except for having to grate a potato.

Frying the potato is the more complicated part. You peel potatoes, cut them almost all the way through--well, in my case, all the way through most of the time, and then stuff them with the meat. Then you're meant to roll them in seasoned flour, then in beaten egg, and then fry them golden.

This is easier said than done. Let's just say that my potatoes got sort of fried, but beautiful like someone's grandma's from Tunisia they were not. Then you create the sauce, pour in some chicken broth, put the potatoes in, and let the whole thing simmer for a couple of hours.

The original recipe calls for cabbage, which I am leaving out because the Balabos hates cabbage. I am thinking that carrots or leeks might work for a future occasion.

Anway, the simmer is underway, and everything looks basically like the pictures, so we'll see how it goes. My kitchen smells nicely of baharat and onions.

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