Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Doing Dinner Moroccan Style - 3-16-10

After a brief break in weekly dinners while I recovered from a business trip and the ensuing madness, I decided to do a Moroccan-themed dinner last week.

It went over extremely well. Yum. I will definitely be visiting these recipes again.

from my friend Adrian
-1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinzed and drained
-1/2 c. plain fat-free yogurt
-2 T lemon juice
-3 garlic cloves, crushed (or 1 t jarred minced garlic)
-2 t olive oil
-1 T water
-1/2 t salt
-1/2 t. cumin
-1/8 t pepper

Purée in food processor until blended but still slightly chunky.

Okay... so this didn't seem to have much flavor in my opinion. I think I added too many chickpeas because I was confusing the amount of chickpeas in the hummus with the amount in the chekcen stew. So I ended up adding more liquid, and it wasn't very flavorful. Lesson: read the instructions while making the dish. Don't rely on memory.

Moroccan Chicken Stew
-8 chicken thighs, skinned
-1 T vegetable oil
-1 large onion, chopped
-2 large garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 t turmeric
-1/4 t cinnamon
-1/8 t red pepper (I used 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
-4 whole cloves (I omitted, just because I thought I had them in my pantry and didn't realize I was wrong until it was too late to go buy them)
-2 bay leaves
-4 c chicken stock
-16 oz. canned whole tomatoes, quartered, with juices
-1 medium green pepper, sliced into 1-inch pieces (I did about 1/2-inch dice)
-2 carrots, sliced (thinly!)
-1/2 t. salt
-19 oz chickpeas, drained
-4 cups cooked couscous
-1/4 cup raisins
-1/4 cup sliced almonds

1. Pour the oil into a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook about 2 minutes until onion is soft but not brown.
2. Add turmeric, cinnamon, red pepper, cloves,and bay leaves. (At this point your kitchen will smell amazing!)
3. Immediately add chicken and stock. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid boils.
4. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 25 minutes.
5. Add tomatoes, green peppers, carrots, chickpeas, and salt. Cook for another 10 minutes or until the chicken and vegetables are tender.
6.Ladle stew over 1/2 cup cooked couscous. Sprinkle with raising and sliced almonds.

Soooooo good. One thing I would change, though, is to do something to add more flavor and color to the chicken. Maybe browning the chicken for a few minuteswith some garlic, onion, salt, and red pepper flakes before transferring it into the pot with everything else... it was cooked through, but just didn't have as much flavor as everything else.

Moroccan Lemon Cake
I don't really know what about this is Morocco-specific, but it was yummy, so I'm sure I'll make it again.

-4 eggs
-1.5 c sugar
-1/2 c vegetable oil
-2 c flour
-4 t baking powder
-1/2 t. salt
-1/2 c milk
-2 T fresh lemon juice (I would double this)
-zest from 1 or 2 lemons (definitely 2)
-1 t vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
2. Grease and flour a small bundt or tube pan (I used a fluted tube pan).
3. Zest and juice your 2 lemons.
4. With electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs until thick. Gradually mix in the oil.
5. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt, then milk.
6. Beat until smooth, then stir in lemon juice, zest, and vanilla.
7. Bake for 40 minutes until tests done.
8. Let cool for 7-10 minutes. Loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a spatula, turn onto a rack to cool. Serve.

The flavor of this cake was very subtle, so I would double the lemon juice and zest next time I made it. It was still tasty, but I want a stronger flavor.

1 comment:

Erin said...

I have been wanting a hummus recipe...I'll have to give this a try!