Friday, February 11, 2011

Moroccan Lamb Tagine --Country #49

Lamb Tagine with Sauteed Spinach and Beans.


The kitchen was filled with the aroma of slow roasted lamb and dried fruits.  I could hardly wait to have a taste, but I first had to make our side dish of sauteed spinach and white beans and Basbousa cake.  Tonight was all about the rich sun baked flavors of Morocco.  (We would have to ignore the 4 feet of snow outside our door.)









Moroccan Lamb Tagine

2 1/2 lbs lamb cut into chunks
Lamb in olive oil and spices.
1/2 onion chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp paprika
10 saffron threads crushed
1 tsp salt
pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
15 prunes
15 apricots
1 1/2 T butter
5 cloves garlic chopped
1 c chicken broth
4 c water
11/2 cinnamon sticks
Cilantro chopped

Put lamb chunks in medium bowl. Mix ginger, turmeric, paprika, saffron, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.  Pour spice mix over lamb and mix well. Add olive oil to coat lamb.  Cover and let sit for about an hour in the fridge.  Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium high heat.   Brown lamb in pan.  Add onions and cook until they start to soften.  Add water, chicken broth, garlic, and cinnamon stick. (Next time I think I would put in the cinnamon stick half way through the cooking.) Bring to boil.  At this point, I poured it into a crock pot and let it cook on high until I got home from work which was about 7 hours.  Instead of using a crock pot you could simmer for 2 hours.  Add cinnamon stick, and simmer 1 or 2 more hours or until lamb is melt in your mouth tender.
While lamb is cooking, put prunes and apricots in a saucepan.  Pour hot water over them until they are just covered, add 1/2 a cinnamon stick.  Simmer over low heat until fruits have absorbed most of the water.  Remove cinnamon stick.  When lamb is finished, pour fruits into stew and stir gently. Add butter and cook for about 10 more minutes.  Add chopped cilantro and serve over couscous.


Sauteed Spinach with White Beans

2-3 cups baby spinach washed and chopped into ribbons
3 cloves garlic
1 can white beans drained (Cannelini or Great Northern)
1/2 lemon juiced
1/4 cup kalamata olives sliced
1/4 cup red onion sliced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup  fresh parsley chopped
2 T chicken broth
olive oil
salt and pepper

Over medium heat, saute onion in pan until it starts to soften.  Add cumin and chicken broth.  Turn down heat to medium low and toss in spinach.  When spinach begins to wilt, add garlic, lemon juice, and beans.  When most of the broth is evaporated add olives and parsley.  Stir until olives are warm and parsley has wilted.  Add salt and pepper to your liking.  Don't overcook spinach or it will lose it's vibrant color.  (I turned away to help the kids with something and returned to find it a little darker than I would have liked--still was yummy though.)


Basbousa    

1 cup semolina
Basbousa before cooking
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup demerara cane sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 1/2 T melted butter
1/2 cup French vanilla yogurt
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk

Syrup

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 tsp orange zest
thinly sliced oranges and yogurt (optional)
* I recommend doubling these amounts.  I ended up making a second batch of this syrup because the cake was not moist enough with just one batch.  I might also add 1/4 cup white sugar as I felt the cake needed just a tiny bit more sweetness.

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter a 9X9 pan and set aside.  Mix semolina, flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Add egg and incorporate.  Stir in yogurt and buttermilk.  Pour batter into pan.  Cook for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden.  Prepare syrup.  Put honey and water into small sauce pan and bring to boil.  Simmer a few minutes.  When cake is finished, poke holes all over with a toothpick and pour warm syrup over the top.  Let syrup soak in for about 15 minutes, top with orange slices and yogurt if using and serve.

Basbousa with yogurt and oranges.
We served ours with orange zest and mint tea.

Kathy





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