When Dan started receiving halibut burger meat in his shares, he immediately thought of the fish kefta from his travels in Morocco. This version awarded him 2018 Member Recipe Contest Champion.
These kefta balls are loose by design. If you prefer a tighter kefta, add 1 egg and ¼ cup breadcrumbs to the mixture.
1½ pounds halibut burger meat (or 1½ pounds minced halibut)
2 cups cold cooked rice
½ cup cilantro, chopped and divided
½ cup parsley, chopped and divided
7 cloves garlic, minced and divided
½ teaspoon cumin powder
1 lemon, juiced and divided
½ tablespoon capers
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound tomatoes (or a 28-ounce canned whole tomatoes), skins & seeds removed, and diced
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 pinch saffron
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
Press the moisture out of the halibut burger with a clean towel and break down any large halibut chunks.
Combine halibut with the rice, 3 tbsp cilantro, 3 tbsp parsley, ½ tsp salt, cumin powder, 3 cloves minced garlic, capers, and lemon juice. Form into balls 1-1½ inch around. Place on a lightly oiled surface and refrigerate while sauce cooks.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add 4 cloves minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Then add cumin seeds and cook for an additional 10 seconds. Add in paprika and tomato paste, and stir to combine.
Add chopped tomatoes, saffron, bay leaf, 3 tablespoons cilantro, and 3 tablespoons parsley to the aromatics. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Carefully add the kefta balls to the tomato sauce, arranging in a single layer. Spoon some sauce over each kefta ball. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 8 minutes.
Garnish at the last minute with chopped parsley and cilantro, and drizzle olive oil over the top as a finishing touch.
B’saha! Good health and enjoy!