Bring the flavors of Morocco into your home with this wonderful dish of Moroccan Meatballs with Polenta and Green Beans.
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Can I tell you how excited I am about this recipe?? SUPER EXCITED. I have to be honest, this was not my idea – although the recipe is 100% mine. I had Moroccan Spiced Meatballs over Polenta with a side of greens at a restaurant in Jersey City the night of my surprise baby shower, and I could not stop thinking about those meatballs since then!
They’ve been on my list to make since MAY, and finally all the stars aligned for me to make this dish: I had time, ground beef was on sale, and I finally remembered to buy coriander seeds. (Side note: where I live ‘coriander’ is the dried seed of the cilantro plant, though I know that ‘coriander’ is ‘cilantro’ – as in the leaves – in a lot of countries)
Let’s talk about the coriander and other spices that make this recipe magnificent. If you have time, buy whole dried coriander seeds and grind them yourself. The coriander will taste SO MUCH FRESHER. This is obviously the case for every spice, but I think coriander is the one that makes all the difference in this recipe and gives it that something special that you can’t quite put your finger on but know that it tastes GOOD. And yea, you’ll pretty much have to take out your whole spice cabinet for this recipe but it’s so worth it!
If you like this recipe, I would recommend making this spice mix ahead of time and making 4-5x the amount, so you have it on hand for a while. But even if you don’t make it ahead of time it is still pretty easy once you make sure you have all the ingredients. Pro tip: The amounts don’t have to be super exact, so you can use the same teaspoon for most of these and just measure out the spices into the teaspoon over a bowl. This way you don’t have to wish 50 different spoons after making the spice mix.
Another pro tip: Don’t skip the fresh mint for this recipe, it really gives the meatballs a fresh taste. Don’t worry, they won’t taste minty, but the mint is essential. Trust me.
These little Moroccan meatballs with polenta are SO GOOD. My favorite part about this recipe is that it has a lot of flavor, but it is not spicy. And for those folks who are hesitant about trying new foods (ahem, kids) – think of it as just meatballs in tomato sauce – it is not too exotic to try! This makes it super family friendly.
Lately I’ve really been into polenta and grits (see my last recipe of Roasted Pork Loin Filet with Cheesy Grits and Sauteed Greens) because I’ve kind of gotten tired of the pasta-rice-quinoa-couscous rut that we’ve been in. I’m loving how versatile polenta – it goes with everything!! – and how easy it is to cook. There is no way to mess it up or overcook it (within reason… I’m sure if you forget about it for an hour it will burn).