Cooking with Petit Tom: Moroccan meatballs

June 14th, 2013 § 2 comments

Cooking with kids -  Moroccan meatballs

Since Petit Tom has been around, I have secretly been longing for that day where he and I would share the kitchen and cook a meal together (Yes I know… I am a crazy foodie).

Last week friday was bliss. We cooked together for real for the first time. Not just like pricking the dough with a fork… A real dish. Moroccan meatballs. One of my favorite as a kid too.

Petit Tom was the cutest sous-chef i ever had (of course): he helped me season the meat, mix it with a spatula, roll the meatballs.. and kept a keen eye on the cooking from begining to end.
So cute.

You should have seen the proud smile on his face (and mine) when he took his daddy to the table for dinner. I’ve never seen him eat so well either!

And it was good too. I could have licked my plate if he was not around!

Tips for stressless cooking with kids

1. Don’t be in a rush! Definitely plan more time than if you are cooking alone to be zen and available to your kids, especially the first times!
2. Prepare all ingredients before you start to cook: When cooking with younger kids, peel and chop the vegetables ahead as much as possible: our little ones have a short span of attention and get bored pretty quickly!
3. Dressing the table and the plates are also great activities for kids… You’d be surprised to see the enthusiasm of my son when I let him help emptying the dishwasher! ( I know, it will probably not last for so long)
4. Gently introduce the first notions of hygiene and safety in the kitchen… Wash your hands together, wear aprons, tie long hair. Make sure the younger kids are in a safe and stable position away from knives and heat sources!
5. As much as possible, tickle their senses… Have your kids smell, touch and taste (not the raw meat/egg obviously!) during the various steps of the cooking process,
6. Watch the salt and spices: kids don’t need as much salt and heat as we usually like to use.

This recipe is perfect to cook together with kids/toddlers and will make a tasty and healthy weeknight dinner for the whole family.
The youngest might, like petit Tom, give a hand with mixing the meat and spices, maybe rolling the meatballs too, while the older ones might be able to give a hand with handling the food processor the chopping and cooking (under adequate adult supervision of course!).

Feel free to adjust the amount of spices with regard to the age and taste of your children – you can adjust for yourself later, in your own plate-. Petit Tom handles paprika and ginger just fine. I still skip the pepper for now and keep it low on salt.

Moroccan meatballs

Boulette de boeuf a la Marocaine

Serves 4 to 6
Prep 30 min cook 30 min

For the meatballs:
. 600 g minced beef (preferebly not too lean),
. 1 small onion, peeled and puréed* or grated,
. 1 slice of slightly stale bread, reduced in fine crumbs*,
. 1 small handfull (flat) parsley, finely chopped**,
. 1 small handful coriander, finely chopped**,
. 1 ts paprika powder,
. 1 ts ginger powder,
. 1 Ts olive oil,
. Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste,

For the sauce:
. 3 Ts olive oil,
. 1 onion, washed, peeled, finely diced,
. 1 shallot, washed, peeled, finely diced,
. 1 red bell pepper, washed, seeds removed and finely diced,
. 1 small zucchini, washed and finely diced,
. 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes halved,
. 1/2 ts paprika powder,
. 1 pinch ginger powder,
. 1 pinch cinammon,
. 1 small handfull parsley and coriander finely chopped (plus a little extra to dress),
. 1 can of tomatoes (400g),
. Sea salt and pepper to taste,
. 1 Ts tomato paste,
. 1 ts honey,
. Water as needed,
. 1 Ts vegetable oil.

Prepare the meat :
[great for kids from 2 years old and more. Just make sure the little ones don’t get a taste of the raw meat]
. Mix and squish all the ingredients for the meatballs together in a large bowl with your clean hands, until the spices and herbs are incorporated.
. Roll the spiced meat into walnut-sized balls and place them on a large dish.
. Leave to marinate, covered with plastic foil, in the fridge until the sauce is ready.

Prepare the sauce :
[older kids – 6+ – comfortable with cooking and handling heat might want too help under your supervision]:
. Heat up a pan on medium to high heat.
. Add the olive oil, onion, shallot and finely diced red pepper into the pan. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes until soft.
. Add the zucchini and cherry tomatoes (save a couple tomatoes for service) and stir fry for a couple more minutes.
. Add the fresh herbs and season to taste with paprika, ginger, cinammon, salt and pepper
. Finaly, add the canned tomatoes and their juice, the tomato paste and honey.
. Toss well,
. Simmer the sauce on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until thick and fragrant.

Cook the meatballs :
[beware of oil splatters… that job is for the grown ups. Kids will love giving a hand to dress the plates!]
. Heat up a large frying pan on medium to high heat,
. Working in two or three batches, brown the meatballs on all sides in 1 Ts vegetable oil.
. Then pop them into the simmering sauce and simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes until just cooked through.
. Remove from the heat and adjust seasoning before dressing the plates.

Serve with steamed rice or italian style with spaghetti!

Dress the plates wih the meatballs and sauce on top of the rice/spaghetti. Top with a cherry tomato, and sprinkle with a bit of chopped parsley and coriander

Cooking with kids.. Moroccan meatballs

*Petit Tom and I use our hand held mixer for that.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Tagged , , , , ,

§ 2 Responses to Cooking with Petit Tom: Moroccan meatballs"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

What's this?

You are currently reading Cooking with Petit Tom: Moroccan meatballs at My Kitchen Diaries.


  • A taste of Morocco on Zonder Meer Magazine
    The best potato salad
    Beet and carrot soup
    Moroccan meatballs
    Farm chicken with asparagus, chervil and lemon
    Rhubarb and strawberry clafoutis
    Chocolate and almond truffles
    Spring vegetable terrine
    turnip tops & egg sunny side up
    Rhubarb and hazelnut tart
    Droolworthy - Balkan food
    Passion fruit Hearts
    Chicken Teriyaki
    Berbere vegetarian tajine
    Favorite Moroccan food drools and reads
    Crunchy hazelnut cookies
    Guinea fowl 'au pot'
    Christmas log with Lemon beldi and Hazelnut
    Wild mushrooms crostinis
    Apple Pear Crumble [Dairy Free]
    Spring tajine with veal, artichokes and green peas
    Smoked trout, papaya and cucumber salad
    Clementine and vanilla curd
    White Nectarine and Rosemary Clafoutis by MKD for Margriet
    Fresh pasta with fresh fava beans and farm egg
    Messing with Eton
    Sunny afternoon in Maastricht
    Rhubarb and almond Tartlet

    Leeks, butter and lemon
    Sunny side up, parsley pesto and wild mushroom sandwich
    Moroccan almond cookies

    Chocolate and cranberry cake [3]
    Celery and potato gratin
    Harira [1]

    Mango and Lime Clafoutis

    Slow cooked red cabbage and apple stew
    Winter Cake with candied fennel and orange zest
    Ombres et lumiere couleur Majorelle
    Monkfish wrapped in prosciutto on a bed of red wine risotto
    Charlotte aux poires et marrons
    Chocolate addiction
    Osso Bucco
    Pumpkin soup ‘façon Lapsang’
    Poached pear and cocolate fondant
    Slow-cooked lamb, dates and pomegranate
    Blueberry pancakes
    Garden pasta
    Mini raspberry/almond bites
    Vitamine shots
    Caramelised belgian endive and goat cheese tatin
    Ewrtensoep (2)