Category Archives: Cooking and Reading

Lamb Tagine with Sweetened Onions and a Friend to Carry It to the River

 

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“Dish washing in the river would have been impossible without Krisha. Many of the items to be washed were heavy brass pots, iron pans, and clay tagines which weighed well over six kilos each. (To feed everyone in a big household like the farm’s, you needed large pots and pans.) Carrying them from the kitchens to the riverbank would have been impossible without the help of Krisha and his horse-drawn cart.” from Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood by Fatima Mernissi

More on washing your dishes at the river:  This seems like such a fun idea except when I remember all the times I had to lug a basin full of camping dishes around…

Lamb Tagine With Sweetened Onions

3 red onions, 1, finely chopped, the other 2 cut into rings

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 tbsp turmeric

1/2 tsp ginger, peeled and grated

2 tbsp olive oil

2 lb lamb stew meat on the bone

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Ovemedium heat, saute the 1 chopped onion (reserve the rings) in olive oil.  Add the fresh herbs, garlic, turmeric, and spices.  Saute until tender.  Spread the onions so that they form a layer over the bottom of the tagine.  Place the lamb pieces snugly together to form the second layer.  Place the sliced rings of onion over the meat to form the third layer.  Lastly, sprinkle the onions with the cinnamon and sugar to form the final layer.  Carefully drizzle 1/2 cup of water down the side of the tagine so as not to rinse away your cinnamon and sugar.  Cover and cook over medium heat for five minutes.  Reduce heat and simmer until the lamb and onions are tender, about 1/5 – 2 hours.  You may want to shift the lamb meat around occasionally when cooking so it doesn’t stick, but don’t actually stir anything.  Just before you are ready to serve, check the consistency of the sauce:  because I skimped and used stew meat, my sauce was a little oily.  I siphoned off most of it and had to reduce the sauce a bit. If you use a less fatty meat, like a leg of lamb cut into pieces, you may have to add more water as you cook.  

I served mine with couscous and roasted squash and red peppers.  It was delicious.

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Filed under Books, Cooking and Reading, Food, Moroccan Food, Recipes

Moroccan Crepes and a Flair for Rebellion

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“Mother especially disliked the idea of a fixed lunch hour. She always was the last to wake up, and liked to have a late, lavish breakfast which she prepared herself with a lot of flamboyant defiance, beneath the disapproving stare of Grandmother Lalla Mani. She would make herself scrambled eggs and baghrir, or fine crepes, topped with pure honey and fresh butter, and, of course, plenty of tea.”  from Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood by Fatima Mernissi

I have already posted this as part of a larger quotation when I made my Berber Omelette.  I am revisiting this again because baghrir are so delicious, it would be worth annoying your husband, or your mother-in-law, sister-in-law, uncle, or anyone in order to enjoy them in peace.

1.5 cups semolina flour

1.5 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 packet of yeast

4.5 cups warm water

1 egg

Butter and Honey

Blend all ingredients together and then run through a food processor or blender for about 30 seconds, or until smooth.  Cover the bowl with a towel and place somewhere warm for 30 minutes.  Heat a little butter on a flat skillet over medium heat.  Pour the batter as you would for regular pancakes, the difference being that you only cook the crepes on one side.  You will know they are done when the steam stops coming off them and the sides start to curl up a tiny bit.  Remove from heat, but keep warm.  In a skillet with high sides, melt together as much butter and honey as you think you will eat in one sitting (I used 2 tbsp of each for 2 people).  You can take each crepe and dredge it through the hot butter and honey before serving it up on the plate.

This recipe makes a lot of leftovers which I brought to work.  I just threw some butter and honey in a tupperware, heated it in the microwave, and let my coworkers spoon out what they wanted, which also worked just fine.

These crepes are lacy, delicate, and delicious.

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Filed under Books, Cooking and Reading, Food, Moroccan Food, Recipes