Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Visiting Marakesh

I like visiting countries through their cuisine. I don't need a passport and there is no jetlag. Also, I get to skip all that invasive body searching stuff nightmares are made of. I found this recipe in the book World Food Cafe.I checked this book out of the library, the best place to get cookbooks ever! It was free and I was able to try it out before deciding to buy it. I will get this one, it's THAT fabulous.

Off topic, this carton is what my mushrooms came in. It's made of very compostable paper. What a great alternative to styrofoam. If only, we had, more trees...

It is a vegetarian cookbook, very helpful when trying to decide what to do with veges, especially if you get tired of eating roasted veges in olive oil. As good as roasted veges are with olive oil, garlic and herbs, it can get tiresome 7 days a week. I have found vegetarian cookbooks great if you are in a cooking slump. Vegetarians need to use more fresh and inovative ingredients in order to liven up their meatless versions of food that is easily flavored with fat and meat. I turn to these books for recipes and inpiration, then usually, I add meat! It's great:)
I cooked a Tagine from Morocco, which is basically a stew. The ingredients are the same as american cooking, just a different combo than we are used to. I didn't have all the vege ingredients it called for so I substituted for what I had. That is the traditional Italian way and of many countries that do not have super-mega-ridiculous stores. Most people around the world eat locally and in season believe it or not!? Enough endless babble, here's your recipe.

5 T olive oil
2 onions sliced thin
1 lb of cubed beef or pork
1 T black pepper
1 T cumin
1 T turmeric
1 t cinnamon
1 potato
2 sweet potatoes
2 bell peppers
1 C fresh mushrooms, sliced
salt to taste
2 C cooked or canned beans of choice, either shelled or green
32 oz of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
water as needed
handfuls of fresh parsley, cilantro, raisins
1/4 pitted olives
Cooked grains such as rice, Quinoa, tabouleh, couscous or just plain crusty bread.

Harissa for serving, recipe follows.

Heat oil in stock pot, add cubed meat and sear. After meat is almost cooked thru, remove from pot and set aside. Add onions to pot, cook til tender but not brown, add spices, cook one more minute. Add veges, meat, tomato products, beans and water as needed to keep from drying out. It should have a stew consistency when finished. Cook until veges are tender around 30 minutes on low heat with cover on. Add parsley, cilantro, raisins, olives and cook 5 more minutes. Serve over grains or bread and a tablespoon of Harissa on the side.

Harissa is a traditional condiment served on the side in that region of the world. It's like their salsa. Mine did not come out hot but my peppers might have been mellowed. It was absolutely delicious! If you don't want the heat, use less or substitute for a sweeter bepper like bell or banana. I can see using Harissa spread on bread for toasting, toss with veges or pasta. I highly recommend making this for yourself even if you don't cook the above Tagine.

1/2 C diced hot chiles
2 T cumin seeds
3 T coriander seeds
4 garlic cloves diced
1 t salt
Olive oil

The cookbook said to process this in a food proccessor, i didn't think it would work so I used a mortor and pestel. If you have neither, just chop chiles and garlic really fine and stir. I put in enough olive oil for it to be watery but you could make it thicker by using less. Keep in fridge in a glass jar with tight lid. Enjoy!


Julie said...

Yum! Have you tried a food chopper? The little 1 cup food processor things? I like them for processing small amounts.

Tina said...

No I haven't. Do you think IKEA has any?