25 September 2010

Welcome to Morocco

مرحبا بكم في المغرب
Welcome to Morocco

Salam! Okay, so maybe we can't hop a plane and head
 to Morocco for a Blogger Vacation, but I can definitely
 give you a passport to Moroccan cuisine!

I really wanted to extend far beyond my own culinary capability and tackle
 an exotic meal from a Country 
that I knew little about. 

Situated in North Africa, Morocco is known for it's diverse cuisine, long-held traditions, and Mediterranean influence. 

Moroccans emphasize a diet abundant in fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and whole grains. A typical meal begins with a series of hot and cold salads, followed by the main course, a tagine.  

Tagines in Moroccan cuisine are slow-cooked stews braised at low temperatures, resulting in tender meat with aromatic vegetables and sauce. They are traditionally cooked in the tagine pot, whose cover has
 a knob-like handle at its top to facilitate removal. 

Moroccan tagines often combine lamb or chicken with a medley of ingredients or seasonings; olives, quinces, apples, pears, apricots, raisins, prunes, dates, buts, with fresh or preserved lemons, with or without complexity of spices. Traditional spices that are used to flavor tagines include cinnamon, saffron, ginger, turmeric, cumin, and paprika.

Moroccan Apricot Lamb Tagine

1 Tbsp olive oil
(+ one extra Tbsp)
1 lb. cubed lamb
1 med. diced onion
1 Tbsp grated garlic
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1/2 cup raisins
2 Tbsp harissa 
(hot chili pepper sauce)
1 Tbsp honey

Spice Blend2 tsp paprika1 tsp turmeric1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander1 tsp cinnamon1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp salt1/2 tsp cayenneand 1 pinch saffron.

1. Mix spices, lemon zest, and 1 Tbsp oil in a plastic bag
2. Add lamb, mix well, and marinate overnight in refrigerator 
3. Heat the other Tbsp oil in a large pan, then add the marinated lamb; cook until lightly browned
4. Remove meat, add onion, saute for 5 minutes until tender
5. Add garlic and ginger, and saute for 1 minute
6. Re-add lamb with tomato paste and cover with beef stock
7. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1-2 hours
8. Add apricots and raisins for the last 20 minutes of cooking
9. Before removing, mix in honey and harissa
10. Remove from heat and serve

Optional: Serve on a bed of couscous
garnished with pistachios, parsley, and yogurt

Serves  5


Monet said... [reply]

I'm so happy that I'm the first to comment...because I want to be the first to say, "What a lovely post!" I want to visit Morocco so badly and you transported me with these photographs and recipe. Thank you for sharing with me...I will be trying this soon!

Karen (Toronto Girl West) said... [reply]

What a fantastic post!!!

I love that you shared a bit of general knowledge about Morocco too! Well played friend! :)

I haven't had much Moroccan food although I did have one spectacular meal at the Paris Mosque. They have a restaurant on the premises and the food was just to die fo.

One of these days I'll have to purchase a tagine of my own. Perhaps on a trip to Casablanca! lol

Asha Raval said... [reply]

WOW Kelsey!! That looks amazing...a great new exotic dish for your (and our) foodie pleasure. I am very impressed and love spicy stews, especially in the fall. You presented it so beautifully as well, and the parsley looks so pretty and fresh.



lequan said... [reply]

Hey Kelsey,

What a great looking dish. My hubby would be drooling over this as he's a huge fan of lamb. Love the combination of flavors, and beautiful presentation too. By the way, I think you may have misspelled one of your words. I think you meant to spell nuts but accidentally spelled "buts". Just wanted to let you know. Hope you're having a great weekend.

sophia said... [reply]

Holy cow. That is one gorgeous dish. And huge. I like, I like!! Esp with the pistachios on top. They get me every time.

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said... [reply]

Mmmm, tagine. So good! Especially with lamb. I've been craving a hearty stew like dish, and this might just be it.

Jackie (Peaces of Earth) said... [reply]

Wow, this looks beautiful!!! Morocco is an awesome cuisine to choose. I want to go there so bad!!!

Anonymous said... [reply]

What a beautiful looking dish :) That's definitely a cuisine that doesn't get much publicity. I don't think I've ever eaten lamb.. but it looks nice and tender from the photo!

Good job with the challenge.. it's definitely not an easy feat!
<3 Tat

Anonymous said... [reply]

Hmmm, I just love oriental food - especially the combo of warm spices, cool yogurt with tart lemon and fresh greeen parsley - oh so lovely and super yumm!!!

Hope you´re having a great weekend darling <3<3<3

Ashlei said... [reply]

I love tagines, and the Moroccan spices.

Anonymous said... [reply]

Great post!! I was thisclose to doing a tagine, myself!! I tried my hand at a (vegetarian) tagine a while ago and just loved the cinnamony-sweet yet savory flavor of it. even though I didn't do it for my PFB post, it reminded me that I definitely need to make it soon, anyways! Yours looks like it came out great, and I love the informational tidbits, too :)

CaSaundraLeigh said... [reply]

I think it's so fun and interesting to learn about other country's cuisine. You did a great job of taking us on a virtual vaca!! I am looking forward to trying this dish sometime :-)

Anonymous said... [reply]

Wow! How creative! I am loving this!

Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen said... [reply]

Oh Kelsey, it looks beautiful! I love it! I love that you included so many other things related to your cuisine in this post!

Anonymous said... [reply]

i wish i could go to morocco! i think i prob told you about my moroccan lamb spiced stuff peppers? well, i think your dish looks just (if not more!) tasty! what was the verdict? ;)

Chelsea said... [reply]

I am so impressed with this! I love that you chose such a unique dish to make. It looks amazing!

I don't know much about Moroccan cuisine, but this post makes me want to explore it more! :D

Tori said... [reply]

I've never had or tried Moroccan food. But that looks good :) I don't know where I'd find any here so maybe I should make some too!

That seriously looks like something off of a menu in a restaurant!

Alex @ I Eat Asphalt said... [reply]

This is so beautiful! I've never tried a tagine before but Moroccan food always smells so amazing.

Heather (Where's the Beach) said... [reply]

Thanks for the history lesson as well as the recipe! Wonder how it'd work for vegetarian meat subs like seitan...

Anonymous said... [reply]

GIRL you are so adventurous with your food- LOVE IT!! Gahh!! this looks awesome!

Emily said... [reply]

Morocco looks like a beautiful place with delicious food! I think I would fit well into their eating lifestyle. :-) I've never had a tagine before, but your version looks delicious!

Ameena said... [reply]

This post is quite timely because I had Moroccan food yesterday after such a long time! And it was amazing - from start to finish. I can't wait to visit there one of these days. Until then I am just going to made your awesome recipe.

Anonymous said... [reply]

You know you've done something right when you make a meat dish that looks tasty to a non meat eater. Seriously, that looks really good! I loved seeing pictures of Morocco thrown in, it looks gorgeous there. Yet another place to add to my already long list of places to see.

Unknown said... [reply]

my husband is going to LOVE this. can't wait to make for our dinner.

Madeline - Greens and Jeans said... [reply]

This looks so amazing! I've always wanted to go to Morocco

Lele said... [reply]

What a stunner! I ate lamb last night and already want to get more to make this! I love love love anything Moroccan. Their flavors are sooooo complex and awesome.

Emmie said... [reply]

looks like an amazing complex and satisfying meal! the pistachios are definitely icing on the cake (or lamb) ;) morocco looks like an awesome place to visit!

Simply Life said... [reply]

what a great post! This looks amazing!

Jess @ MTL Veggie said... [reply]

Very colourful post! Loved the spice blend you used, I imagine this would be great on many different dishes to give them that Moroccan flare!

Kath (Eating for Living) said... [reply]

Whee, Marocco! I've dreamed of travelling to Marocco since I was a child! How exciting you've chosen Marocco for your ethnic food origin! And the food looks incredibly good!

Alisa said... [reply]

Wow Kelsey, this post is amazing! I need some of your food styling skills. Love the Moroccan photos and the recipe! I had no idea you were in Project Food Blog - I missed you on round 1, but you have my vote on round 2!

Jess said... [reply]

Morocco sounds and looks LOVELY! Love the food, too! OH MY!!

elk said... [reply]

Congrats on round two!
Mmmm...Morocco. This reminded me of being there a few years ago - I lived off their vegetable tagines when we ate in wee restaurants. There's a lot of meat over there, but also a lot of veggie tagines :) And their olives!!! You can buy a pretty decent amount of olives for about 20p! And their dates...nom nom nom.... and the tea! We got invited into this wee tea-shop stall and the owner brewed up some of (what I think is called) royal tea. I forget the blend, but it probably had things like star anise and cardamon. He also asked me to marry him and I agreed so long as we could have goats and live in the mountains... tee hee.
ps. I'm totally making your muffins soon.

Anonymous said... [reply]

Thanks for the mini adventure. I have never had Moroccan food. That looks so good!

Candice @ ChiaSeedMe said... [reply]

Love these pictures! Thanks for introducing me to Morocco. I have a slight obsession with learning about other countries. I especially love the camels:)

What a creative post!

Anonymous said... [reply]

Oh my goodness, Kelsey! This looks sooooo tasty, divine, and beautiful! I love Moroccan food so much. I made a stew for a Christmas dinner last year, and it was incredibly aromatic.

Thanks for sharing those pictures as well!! It really gave me a feel for a place I'd love to visit :D


Lee said... [reply]

good post kelsey

Anonymous said... [reply]

I love this recipe and all the pictures and insight into Morocco. Thank you for sharing :)

We Are Not Martha said... [reply]

Oooh I totally feel like I'm IN Morocco... Now if I could only smell it :) Really though, this looks awesome!


Anonymous said... [reply]

Thanks for the quick vacay ;)

I was just talking about how I got my Dad hooked on tagines..so yum!

Anonymous said... [reply]

Delicious.... I love Moroccan food and tagines are outta this world. Beeeautiful pics! x

Lori said... [reply]

My sole goal for the next week or so is to make this dish! Wow! I love love love any "ethnic" foods, traditional flare foods- this looks amazing!

Missy said... [reply]

I loved this! It was so cool how you went into the culture a bit and explained things. AND it looks delish....and I don't even eat red meat.


Heidi - Apples Under My Bed said... [reply]

Oh how I heart Morocco! I was there last August. The food is amazing, incredible - I cannot wait to go back! The spices....I have no words.
This recipe looks delicious, thanks for resparking my tagine love! It has been a little while :)
Heidi xo

Krista said... [reply]

I love Moroccan food! They use so many unique flavour combos...

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said... [reply]

That dish sounds fabulous! I really like Moroccan food, it has so much flavour.

lamb recipes said... [reply]

Well done to you, hope more achievement to you. If you are actually conscious about your health and want to keep yourself fit and healthy than keep in mind that good health absolutely begins from a healthy mouth.

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