Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Kitchen My World - Morocco

Judy of Judy's Gross Eats has chosen Morocco for this week's tour for My Kitchen My World. In Morocco, the main meal is eaten at midday, and is comprised of several courses - hot and cold salads, then stews called tagines, followed by a main course of lamb or chicken, then heaping plates of couscous with meats and vegetables. Lastly, meals are finished with sweet mint tea, which is like a dessert in itself. Bread is served at every meal, and is used, along with the fingers, as an eating utensil.

Being on a budget, as we are, I chose not to do a full Moroccan meal! Instead, I found a delicious tagine recipe that was hearty enough to fill us even without all the additional courses. I forgot about using bread with the meal until the meal was over, or I would have included a special Moroccan bread. As it is, here is the tagine upon which we feasted!

Moroccan Tagine
1 tablespoon olive oil (I used vegetable oil)
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into chunks
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced (I used bottled)
1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped (I substituted 2 yams)
1 (15.5 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (I cooked mine from dried *see note*)
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 (14 ounce) can vegetable broth (I used water and bouillon)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander (don't have any - substituted curry powder)
1 dash cayenne pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook the chicken, onion, and garlic about 15 minutes, until browned.

Mix the squash, garbanzo beans, carrot, tomatoes with juice, broth, sugar, and lemon juice into the skillet. Season with salt, coriander, and cayenne pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, and continue cooking 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Serve over couscous.

1 1/4 cups water
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup couscous

Combine water, butter, and salt in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir in couscous, reduce heat, cover, and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until all water is dissolved. Fluff and serve.

*Note* I often cook up one pound of dried beans at a time. Once they are cooked, I separate them into 2-cup servings and freeze them in freezer bags. One pound makes 3 or 4 bags. Once thawed, they are as convenient to use as canned, but are cheaper and less mushy, and you have the satisfaction of knowing you cooked them yourself!

The Moroccan tea that usually follows a meal is a special green tea that is laced with sugar and spearmint after being steeped. We don't drink real tea in our family, but the occasional cup of herbal tea is okay
. So we just bought some packets of mint tea from WinCo (9 cents per packet!) and served it with plenty of sugar! :-)

I am really enjoying this My Kitchen My World experience. I love to experiment with new recipes and new cuisines. I am finding that I love the exotic flavors and ingredient combinations that are eaten in other parts of the world. I have been adding cinnamon and other spices to my food a lot more often, now that I know how delicious it is! If you've gotten into a cooking rut, and want to break out, just look up recipes from other countries, and have a ball trying them! I think you'll enjoy it - I know I do!

Check out what the other members of My Kitchen My World made this week.


Natashya said...

Great minds think alike!
I love a tajine, so hearty and comforting. Great for fall.

Elra said...

Simply delicious Stephanie! This vegetarian version is indeed perfect for autumn, especially with that butter nut squash.

I also like your idea of cooing the large amount of dried bean, then freeze half of them for the next use. That is one clever idea! Cheers.

Meg said...

That looks absolutely delcious. I love Moroccan flavors.

HoneyB said...

It looks delicious! I can't believe a week has gotten by on me in no time! Grumpy hasn't been home for dinner all week until last night and then I wasn't sure he would be here so I never made a dish for MKMW this week!

Jenny said...

How fun! What a great looking dish!