Moroccan Meatballs

We had C’s family over on Sunday for Ma’s birthday. Ma is the kids’ name for grandma. We wanted to make something fairly easy. Crockpot meatballs sounded like a good idea, but I wanted something different than the standard barbecue/grape jelly thingies you usually find in a crockpot in these parts. Is that grape jelly meatball a regional thing?

I had made these Moroccan Meatballs a while back and we liked them quite a bit. So I doubled the recipe and after simmering them on the stove in two batches I threw them in the crockpot to stay warm. (The photo is a slightly foggy action shot, as they were in mid-simmer.) Parprika and cumin are the main spices here. The recipe came from Rick Bayless’ cookbook with his daughter, Rich and Lanie’s Excellent Adventure.  We served them over rice.

Thinking about Rick Bayless reminded me that I ate at his Frontera Grill in Chicago many, many years ago and he had come out of the kitchen and was sitting with some people a few tables away. I don’t think I had any idea who he was at that point. And I have no memory of what I ate.

Now, I’m also reminded that C and I once sat at a table next to Lynne Rosetto Kasper at the original Punch Pizza in St. Paul’s Highland Park. That was way more exciting than Rick Bayless. I assume I was eating the Salame E Funghi and Olivada, an olive tapenade on their wood-fired crust. I wish I could remember what Lynne was eating.

(If you’ll notice, the link I provided for the meatballs is posted at The Splendid Table’s web site. So these random thoughts totally make sense.)

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