Moroccan meatballs with harissa

I know that it's acceptable and positively encouraged to eat copious amounts of takeaway meals when you are moving house, and I was fully on board with this concept for girls night in. I'm just not very good at maintaining this. I crave home made healthy meals which don't rely on salt, fat and sugar to make them "tasty". I haven't had time to make bread and I couldn't face a quick eggs on toast for lunch with cheapo crappo sliced bread so decided to make some pancakes. Being a bit of a 'knit your own yoghurt' kitchen nerdy person, I have a flour mill so can quickly grind some fresh 'farine de ble noir' or buckwheat flour, which is perfect for savoury pancakes and has the added advantage of being gluten free if wheat or gluten is a problem. Think Breton crΓͺpes if you have been lucky enough to have been to Brittany. Well, so much for quick, we had run out of eggs so dashed out to the local butchers and bought eggs and bacon for lunch and lamb mince for dinner. The pancakes were made in double quick time while the bacon cooked, and then I assembled it with a super speedy cheese sauce, again made with buckwheat flour. It's amazing how fast you can go when your tummy is rumbling and you are on a mission! Sadly, the rush to consume this creperie delight meant that there are no photo's of the pancakes, although my appreciative family were most definitely happy with my mission accomplished.

Onto to the harissa and meatballs. Again, fed up with the takeaway/restaurant meals, I decided to make some lamb spicy meatballs. Why? Who know's what goes on in my head. So, with my googled bbc good food recipe I set to with the meatballs. Ok, so the first thing to do was to measure out the spices and grind them in with the pestle and mortar. What! It's packed? Ok....time for improvisation. I found my rolling pin and converted it into a pestle (or is that the mortar?) and bashed the spices. Now for the breadcrumbs. Hmmmm, we have a wholesome bread shortage, so decided upon oatmeal freshly ground from oat groats using the flour mill. Having made the meatballs I started cooking them. Half way through I was wondering why on earth I had thought that meatballs was a good idea. They had to be cooked in batches, it was taking ages and I was trying to make the harissa paste at the same time. Stressy or what. I persevered and got to the end. My harissa didn't look as red as the photo on the web pages, but then I had to use some green chilli's as well as red ones as that's it all I could find in the greenhouse. Anyway, it tasted lovely and we really enjoyed it at the end of another busy Saturday.

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 Improv pestle and mortar

Improv pestle and mortar

 Speedy oatmeal

Speedy oatmeal

 Add mint and  an egg to the spices, minced lamb and oatmeal

Add mint and  an egg to the spices, minced lamb and oatmeal

 Shape the meatballs

Shape the meatballs

 Sizzle sizzle

Sizzle sizzle

 Harissa time - Chop the chilli's, red onion  and pepper with herbs and ground spices

Harissa time - Chop the chilli's, red onion  and pepper with herbs and ground spices

 Fry the chopped veg gently until soft

Fry the chopped veg gently until soft

Serve the meatballs and harissa with couscous and corn chips and say Cheers with a glass of real ale. 

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