Dinner · Meat · Moroccan · Stew

Beef and Sweet Potato Harissa

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As the Beatles said “I get by with a little help from my friends”.  For this recipe, my “friend” was store bought Harissa Simmer sauce.  I keep reading about Harissa in magazines and have always wanted to try it.  However, this past weekend, I was in the mood for something delicious and fast.  So, I used the simmer sauce.  But I did doctor it up.  It turned out delicious! I mean, really delicious! MIND-BLOWING DELICIOUS!  Here is what you will need.

Ingredients:

1.5lbs stew beef

2 sweet potatoes, diced

1 large red onion, diced into large chunks

1 tomato, diced

1 can of red kidney beans

1 packet of Harissa simmer sauce ( I used Saffron Road)

2 tsp of cinnamon

2 tbsp of olive oil

salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste.

2 tbsp of chopped scallions

Lime wedges for serving (optional)

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Method:

Brown the meat in oil and set aside.

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Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, salt pepper and cinnamon and cook till vegetables soften.

Add the meat, beans and pour in the sauce.  I filled the pouch with water to rinse off every last bit of the sauce and poured it into the pot.

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Simmer on medium high heat for 30 40 mins, till meat and vegetables and fork tender. Add scallions at the very end and take off heat.

Serve hot with polenta or couscous.

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Middle Eastern · Moroccan · Poultry · Stew

Chicken Tagine

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A delicious Moroccan dish which is perfect on a cold day.  Traditionally cooked in a Tagine and made with lamb, the dish has evolved and now can be made with chicken and a variety of dried fruits and spices.  I read a bunch of recipes and picked the best parts and came up with my own concoction.

Ingredients:

1 large onion, 1 inch of ginger, 2 cloves of garlic- chopped together.

3 lbs of chicken cubed

1 tbsp of tomato paste

1 1/2tsp of coriander seeds

3/4 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp of red pepper flakes

1 1/4 cinnamon

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 ground ginger

1/2 turmeric

1/2 cup of chopped dates and apricots

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 tbsp of parsley

1tbsp of olive oil

2 cups or more (enough to cover the pot) water

1 pinch of saffron threads

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and sauté onions, garlic, ginger, tomato paste and all the spices till fragrant.

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Add the chicken and keep sautéing till the chicken is almost cooked through

Cover with water and add the saffron

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Simmer on medium low heat till water reduces

Add the dried fruits, nuts and parsley and continue simmer till the sauce comes together and is thick in consistency.

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Serve hot with couscous.

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Lunch · Moroccan

Coriander Eggplant Salad

Another new recipe I tried for eggplant.  It is originally from epicurious, I just adapted it to suit what I had in the pantry.  The recipe calls for fresh mint and coriander (or cilantro leaves) I did not have them so I did not use it. However it still turned out quite well.  I would suggest that this salad tastes best when its served warm.  Try this the next time you buy an eggplant–it is a perfect late summer lunch !

Here is the link:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Coriander-Eggplant-Salad-12480

Just an example of what the spices look like

Here is the final product–fresh tomatoes and garlicky oven roasted eggplants with a warm spicy dressing-so yummy !

Moroccan

Moroccan Zucchini and Chickpea squares

I think I sort of invented this recipe though I am sure there are versions of this out there/made by someone before.  The spice blend comes from a chicken recipe (I will put it up if I make it sometime) and I was craving Falafel (but did not have Tahini) and those Zucchini’s I got were not going to last any longer.  So here it is, spicy, vegetarian, filling and healthy.

Ingredients:

1 can of chickpeas

3 medium Zucchini

1 Tbsp of sundried tomatoes

1/4 cup whole flour.

Spice Blend:

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

1 tsp of ground coriander

1/2 tsp of ground turmeric

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp of ground cardamom

1/4 tsp of ground cumin

salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

1. Finely chop or grate the Zucchini, set aside.  Don’t worry about the water that weeps out.

2. Add the chickpeas, sundried tomatoes and all the spices in a food processor and blend till smooth.  If it gets too tight, add some of the water that was released by the Zucchini.  No need to add extra oil, the sundried tomatoes are already packed in oil.

3. Mix the chickpeas with the Zucchini and add the flour and mix till it has a thick batter-like consistency.

4. Pour into a pre-greased 9×9 baking pan and bake for 1hr (yes 1 hr) in  400F preheated oven.

5. Cut into four pieces, put on a cookie sheet and bake for another 30 min.

4. After the second baking they will be nice and golden brown.  Crunchy on the outside, smooth and creamy inside.

5.  Serve hot with wedges of lemon on the side.

Note: You could fry the batter like fritters but I really wanted to avoid the frying and keep it healthy.

Enjoy !