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Meatballs w/Swiss Chard (Boundigaz aux Blettes) (M, TNT)
Source: "The Scent of Orange Blossoms: Sephardic Cooking from Morocco," by Kitty Morse and Danielle Mamane
Serves: 6-8

2 12-oz bunches white chard
2 12-oz bunches red chard
2 cups beef or chicken stock
1 tsp. turmeric
6 threads of saffron, toasted and crushed (I just soaked in hot water)
1 tsp. salt
3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground chicken
1 onion, grated (I chopped into small chunks)
30 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp. water
3 slices crustless white bread, soaked in warm water, squeezed dry (I used left-over challah from the previous week)
1-1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 cups semolina flour
3-4 tbsp. olive oil
2 14-oz cans of artichoke bottoms, drained (never found these locally)
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lemon wedges for serving

Make Chard:
Chop stems down the middle and then into 1" pieces. I chopped all the leaves too. In a large skillet, combine chard and two leaves, stock, turmeric, saffron, salt, and garlic. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender. The books recommends 12-15 minutes, but it can simmer longer while preparing the rest of the recipe. Or, if you prefer, set aside.

Make Meatballs:
To prepare meatballs, combine beef, chicken, onion, parsley, 1 of the eggs, one tbsp. of water, bread, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly and make rounded "blass" about 1-1/4" in diameter.

Roll each in semolina flour, dip in egg mixture, and roll again. It helps to have a plate with a paper towel to put the meatballs on as you finish each.

Fry the meatballs in 3 tbsp. of oil over medium-high heat until browned. It will probably take at least two batches to fry all. Transfer to a plate with a paper towel to drain. Meatballs don't have to be completely cooked through since they'll be cooked further in the chard.

Bring the chard mixture to a simmer again and nestle the meatballs in the chard. Cover and cook until meatballs are no longer pink inside, about 25-30 minutes. Toss the artichoke bottoms with lemon juice. (I just added the lemon juice to the chard and meatball mix.) Heat through.

To serve, arrange the meatballs on the artichoke bottoms and heap the chard mixture around them on the platter. Baste with pan juices and serve with lemon slices.

Poster's Notes:
The recipe says to trim the leaves from the chard and use only two leaves (use others for some other time). I used all the leaves.

Delicious, but takes a long, long time to prepare both right before Shabbat.

Posted by Muriel Harris

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A