Let’s Cook! Beef Kefta Pocket
November 24, 2010
One of Miss Bonnie’s favorite dishes from this year’s Epcot Food & Wine Festival was the Kefta served at the Morocco booth…
She wanted the recipe, and fortunately it was in this year’s festival cookbook, so what Miss Bonnie wants, Miss Bonnie gets…
Here’s the recipe (pretty much) as presented in the cookbook, with my comments to follow (and a few interspersed as well)…
Kefta (Grilled Beef and Hummus in a Pita Pocket)
For the Kefta:
1 1/4 lb Ground Beef
1/4 cup finely chopped Onion
1/2 tbl finely chopped Cilantro
1/2 tbl finely chopped Parsley
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
2 tsp Olive Oil
!. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow flavors to combine (or you can refrigerate overnight).
3. Form the meat into walnut-sized balls, then flatten. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. Place about half the patties into the pan, making sure not to overlap, and cook about 3 minutes per side until browned and cooked through.
Transfer cooked patties to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while cooking the rest of the meat.
For the hummus:
2 cups canned Chickpeas
2 tbl Water
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and quartered
3 tbl Lemon Juice
2 tbl Tahini (Sesame Paste)
1 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Put all items except the oil into the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, about 2 minutes.
2. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and blend until very smooth. The hummus may be made up to three days in advance and kept covered and refrigerated.
1 medium Tomato, seeded and diced
1 cup finely shredded Lettuce
1 tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Vinegar
2 to 4 Pita Bread rounds (depending on size), halved
1. Combine the tomato, lettuce, oil and vinegar in a bowl and mix well.
2. Open the pita pocket and spread a few tablespoons of the hummus on the inside. Put a few of the meat patties inside and top with the lettuce mixture and serve immediately.
Eat and enjoy – and you will enjoy!
The patties will tend to fall apart unless the onion is very fine, so unless you have mad knife skills, I’d grate the onion.
I actually doubled the meat seasonings (except for the salt) and it turned out well.
You can also cook the meat “loose” instead of making patties. It works well, but will be a bit greasier than making the patties and allowing them to drain a bit.
Any ground meat should work well – turkey or chicken if you want to cut the fat some, while lamb would be real nice…
Of course you can use a good-quality prepared hummus (like Sabras brand) if you like.
Even though the seasonings seem simple, when you combine the meat with the tang of the hummus along with the dressed salad you get a much more complex flavor than you’d expect. This really is delicious… and fairly straight-forward to make and really fairly not-too-unhealthy… it’s a recipe you should try!
Back to the kitchen…