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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Moroccan Tour for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy

Last night I had the pleasure of presenting the following recipes for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy.  Jenny Steusser, Education Coordinator for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, presented on the country and history of Morocco and Jody Twomey, Product Consultant for the MLCC, provided excellent beverage pairings. 
These recipes are from Paula Wolfert's, The Food of Morocco.  It is a wonderful cookbook and an essential part of any kitchen.
Reception Beverage:  Moroccan Cider (Moroccan beer with Pomegranate liquor)

1. Moroccan Butternut Squash Soup
Paired with La Patisserie Chard Muscat, $13.99 and Nobel House Riesling, $12.84

1 yellow onion, chopped
pinch coarse salt
1 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs butternut, kabocha, or calabaza squash halved, peeled and seeded and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks (about 6 cups)
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp La Kama Spice Mixture (1 tsp each of ground ginger, turmeric and white pepper, good pinch of grated nutmeg, 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon and optional cubeb pepper)
1/2 cup heavy cream or creme fraiche
1/2 lb crumbled chevre
1 tsp or more to taste Harissa paste (available at Halal Meats and Specialty Foods or Dino's Grocery Mart)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cook onion in heavy bottomed pot or casserole dish (tajine) on medium low heat with the olive oil until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes
2. Add the squash, cover with parchment paper and/lid and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Add tomato paste, spices and 4 cups of hot water and bring to a boil. Then simmer until the squash is tender, about 20+ minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Blend in batches or with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the cream and 3.4 or the cheese and the harissa at the end. Puree until velvety.
5. Bring up to heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve into warmed bowls and top each portion with a light sprinkling of the remaining cheese.

enjoy!

2. Eggplant Salad, Rabat Style
Paired with Jacob's Creek Cool Harvest Pinot Gris, $13.59

1 eggplant
1 clove garlic, peeled and slivered
2 tbs chopped parsley
2 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbs olive oil (or less)
1-2 tbs lemon juice
pinch salt

Stud the eggplant with garlic slivers, using a pairing knife to cut slits into the eggplant. Bake at 400ºF until very soft. Remove from oven to cool when darkened and "collapsed".

When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the flesh of the eggplant into a sieve. Discard liquid and skin of eggplant.

Mash or push the eggplant and garlic through a food mill (avoid a blender as it won't give you the desired effect).

Add the chopped herbs and spices and mix well. Fry in the olive oil over moderate heat, turning often until all of the liquid has evaporated and the eggplant has been reduced to a thick black jam, about 15 - 20 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt. Serve warm or slightly cooled.

Try with grape tomatoes and good toasted pita bread.

Enjoy!

3. Chicken Tajine with prunes and almonds
Paired with Innis & Gunn Rum Cask, $3.60

1 chicken – (3 1/2 lbs)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup prunes
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cup whole blanched almonds
vegetable oil for frying

Rub all the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and cumin. Let stand for one hour.

Soak prunes if very dry.

Place onions in a wide shallow casserole with turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 cup water, cover and steam for 15 minutes.

Brown the almonds in 4-5 tbs oil in a large skillet and drain on paper towels. Brown the chicken evenly on all sides in the oil and transfer to the steamed onions. Cover with parchment paper and cook in tajine on the lowest heat for about 1 1/4 hours.

Discard the parchment paper. Add the prunes and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat. Serve with almonds sprinkled on top.

4. Moroccan Lamb Stew
Paired with House of Mandela Cab Sauv, $12.15

1 lb lamb leg, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbs ras el hanout
1-2 tbs olive oil
1-2 tbs butter
good pinch saffron
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 green peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 - 1 cup prunes
2-3 tbs honey
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup red wine
salt, to taste

Slowly sauté onions on medium-low heat with olive oil until they begin to caramelize. Stir in Ras el Hanout spice blend. Turn up heat to medium-high and add butter and saffron. Brown meat well on all sides and add tomatoes and other vegetables. Add broth, prunes and honey. Add red wine and salt and let simmer for 1-2 hours, depending on using the tajine and toughness of the meat. Meat should melt in your mouth when done.

Serve with flat breads, rice, couscous or bulgur.

Enjoy!

3 comments:

Doreen Pendgracs said...

I'm sure that chicken dish is amazing, Karen. We had a similar dish at a Moroccan resto in Amsterdam and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the prunes paired with the chicken. I believe they used walnuts or cashews rather than almonds. Can't quite remember!

Holli Moncrieff said...

Okay, I'm curious…why an elk roast in the lamb stew? :)

Karen Food aka Bistro Arkadash said...

The recipe can be used for lamb, beef, elk or goat.