A Berbere vegetarian tajine

January 30th, 2013 § 4 comments § permalink

Berbere vegetarian tajine

So, cooking for Moroccan Quirky Friday was so much fun. Thanks to Christine and to those who joined in the fun and had a taste of my Moroccan cuisine! Special thanks too to my friend Sophie for being such a dedicated and talented sous-chef!

Many asked for the recipes of the tajines I cooked that evening…
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Sea, Sun and Spring veggies

April 2nd, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

For a blink, Petit Tom and I teleported ourselves in the middle of Moroccan Spring and It felt like heaven after all those long dark winter days inside…

What a joy to watch Petit Tom avidely laying out his eyes on the breaking waves of the Atlantic ocean for the 1st time,…

Or just to sit side by side, laughing anf babbling, on the terasse in the afternoon shade,…

Before finally pigging out on super fresh fish and all these delicious spring veggies and fruit that we will still have to long for a while back in NL: the first strawberries, tiny zucchini, tender green peas and mini artichokes…

Spring tajine with veal, artichokes and green peas

Until I blink again, here’s a taste of my Moroccan spring with this delicious spring tajine with veal, green peas and baby artichokes that I’ve been saving you since last spring… (and the delicious pea shell soup you can cook with all the pod shells you will end up with afterwards)

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On food extremism, tajine, preserved lemons and parsley roots

February 21st, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

I have a confession to make: I can turn into a heavy-duty food extremist when it comes to the food close to my heart…

20150923_2750_DSC_9966_ILFW001

Don’t get me wrong, I do not mind free interpretations (I wouldn’t be well placed complaining about that) as long as the essence of the original cuisine remains. What bothers me, in particular in restaurants who are representing a specific cuisine, is, too often, the lack of care, of taste and the prevalence of quantity over quality… Hence my efforts in avoiding eating out in restaurants claiming any remote connection to Moroccan or Arabic cuisine when in Europe. I’ve gone through to many disappointments.

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Fighting for the last bone…

November 14th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

If I tell you that the scene below was immortalised one couple of Sundays ago at my dinner table, you might wonder what on earth I serve my guests for dinner for them to fight over the last bone with such rage.

Hungry

Well I did too, because in less time I needed to have a bite myself that’s about all that was left of the generous pieces of full flavoured autumn lamb that won me over in the display of my beloved butcher…
Not less that one whole boned shoulder and four shanks that had been patiently simmering on my stove through the afternoon until falling of the bone, slowly but surely caramelised with the toffee like dates and delicately topped with shiny, deep pink drops of a ripe pomegranate.

Now if I tell you we were only four and there was enough for an army, this might convince you that there is something almost magic about the tajine like recipe I’m about to share with you. If not, take a look further down this post for a quick glimpse of what it looked like before landing on my dinner table or even better, check out the link to the original ‘grimoire’ from which I stole this mouth-watering spell, my favourite foodies magazine, the french ELLE a Table.

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More pumpkin… with an oriental touch

November 15th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

Pumpkins are still beautiful on the market stalls and as usual, I couldn’t resist… 
It was a long time since I reached out for my tajine far away on the upper kitchen shelf and pumpkin goes so well with the traditionnal spices for tajines like ginger and cinnamon.
I had to give it a try.

And it was all worth it: the fragrant and warm tajine with lamb and pumpkin that came out of the kitchen was gone in no time.

Pumpkin Tajine
A tajine with an automnal vibe

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When the mood is down…

December 11th, 2007 § 0 comments § permalink

Today was one of these days when everything goes wrong and I wish I had just stayed in bed dreaming of a better one: too much work, not enough time, not enough sleep, good friends in trouble… I guess It happens to everyone once in a while (I think). I have a whole batch of remedies ready: A good bath, a glass of red wine, a cooking magazine, a nice dinner and a cuddle would usually help me getting through it. Only, it’s been a week, a whole week… and I don’t know what’s coming next.

What do you do then?

… For a moment, in the tram, on the way home, I thought a portion of tajine with chicken, raisins and onions in the freezer would save me. My mum’s recipe, warm, spicy and sweet just like when I was a kid, with couscous steamed over a spicy bouillon. There’s nothing like mum’s cooking when the mood is down!

But sometimes a bad week is really a bad week and there’s not much to do about it: there was no tajine in the freezer, we finished it a few weeks ago already. Good thing I saved you a picture!

tajine de poulet aux raisins

Going for a bath now… and who knows, tomorrow the christmas spirit might finally kick in.

 

Tajine with chicken, onions and raisins just like mum
Tajine de poulet aux oignons et aux raisins comme maman

serves 4 to 5 pers.
prep: 20 min. cook: 1 hr

Ingredients:
1 farm chicken (~1.5 kg) cleaned and cut in parts,
200g raisins,
1 bowl of warm tea,
800g oignons, peeled,
50g butter,
1 garlic clove,
1tsp ginger powder,
1tsp cinnamon,
1 pinch saffron,
1 pinch coriander powder,
2 cloves,
a few parsley sprigs
2 Tsp honey

sea salt and pepper to taste,

chicken

Rince the raisins and put them to marinate in a bowl of warm tea. Brown the chicken on all sides in a cocotte (or in a large a thick bottom pan) with the butter, on high heat. If you want to use a real tajine, first brown the chicken in a large pan and then transfer into the tajine. Add two of the onions, quartered, the garlic clove, the parsley, the cloves, ginger, saffron, coriander and half of the tsp cinnamon. Season with sea salt and pepper. Pour the tea used to marinate the raisins to cover the meat (you can add a bit of extra water if there’s not enough tea). Lower the heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes. In the mean time, slice the rest of the oignons in thin slices. Add them to the cocotte, toss and leave to simmer covered for 20 more minutes. add the raisins and remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon toss and simmer covered for 10 more minutes.  Remove the chicken and reserve on a serving dish covered with aluminum foil, add 2 Tsp of honey and reduce the sauce on medium to high fire for 5 to 10 min. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve hot with couscous steamed over a spicy bouillon or rice.

Bon appétit!

Missing mum's magical cooking

October 6th, 2007 § 1 comment § permalink

I might not have told you yet: I am blessed with a morrocan mother and a wonderful cook. She can cook about anything and always makes it magical. I still remember when my bro’ and I would go to a fancy restaurant with my parents when I was little. We would of course always try the dishes from one another and comment passionately on our favourite… A couple of weeks later it would usually come out of our own kitchen right into our plates, more delicious than ever. Our favourite game back then was to make her guess the secret ingredient of the chef and observe his surprised look. She hardly ever failed! I wish one day I can do that too.

When it comes to her specialty dishes and in particular morrocan ones, I always have an hesitation before I decide to cook it.  Could I stand the comparison? Couscous, tajines and pastillas hardly ever come out of my kitchen, partly because of that. Last weekend, I realised that it was at least a year since I took out my tajine from the top shelf. I missed it (plus I remembered the little of envelope full of saffron that one of my girlfriend’s mom brought me back from morroco). So, I gave it a try thinking of my mom and her magical fingers. The empty tajine and my guest satisfied looks after the prunes and veal tajine I cooked that evening left me with the dreamy thought that maybe one day, I could be a magical cook too.

tajine_pruneaux1
No way I’ll be a magical photograph though
It was impossible to find any correct picture of my cooking…
Caught in the action, I forgot to adjust the manual settings of the camera!

Tajine de veau aux pruneaux
Prunes and veal tajine

main dish
serves 5 to 6. cook: 1h15

Ingredients:
1.5 kg of veal (lower leg or pieces to stew),
600 g oignons,
500 g prunes (with or without pit, it’s your pick),
3 shallots,
50 g butter,

1 tsp ginger pouder,
1 tsp cinnamon,
a couple of coriander seeds,
1 tsp of peppercorns
1 Tsp sea salt
1 generous pinch of saffron
1 large bowl of warm tea.
1 cocotte or a large tajine (keep the decorated ones for serving, they don’t handle the fire well. Mine is one for cooking but it was slightly too small, so I only used it to serve)

tajine_pruneaux2tajine_pruneaux3

In a bowl, pour the warm tea over the prunes, and set aside. Clean the meat an cut it in large pieces (~6×6 cm). Peel and chop the oignons and shallots. In a pestle, pour all the spices, salt and pepper and grind them thinly. Put 2/3rds of the butter to melt in the cocotte on high fire. Season the meat with 2/3rds of the spices and brown it on all sides (it’s better to proceed in two times). Reserve and pour the remaining butter, the oignons and shallots and the remaining spices.

tajine_pruneaux4

When the oignons get transparent pour back the meat and cover with the tea in which you marinated the prunes and if necessary a little bit of water, just enough to cover the meat. Lower the fire, cover the cocotte and leave to simmer for 1 hour. Have a look from time to time to check the fire isn’t to high. After one hour, add the prunes and a tablespoon of honey and leave to simmer for 15 more minutes. You’re done. You can serve write away or warm up later.

In morroco, we usually eat tajines all together from the same dish, with our hands and a lot of fresh morrocan bread, and salads on the side. However I usually choose for a more european version as my dutchie cannot part from his cudlery. If you recognise yourself or your guests in him, serve the tajine with fragrant basmati or thai rice. It’s a perfect match.

Bon appétit!

Missing mum’s magical cooking

October 6th, 2007 § 1 comment § permalink

I might not have told you yet: I am blessed with a morrocan mother and a wonderful cook. She can cook about anything and always makes it magical. I still remember when my bro’ and I would go to a fancy restaurant with my parents when I was little. We would of course always try the dishes from one another and comment passionately on our favourite… A couple of weeks later it would usually come out of our own kitchen right into our plates, more delicious than ever. Our favourite game back then was to make her guess the secret ingredient of the chef and observe his surprised look. She hardly ever failed! I wish one day I can do that too.

When it comes to her specialty dishes and in particular morrocan ones, I always have an hesitation before I decide to cook it.  Could I stand the comparison? Couscous, tajines and pastillas hardly ever come out of my kitchen, partly because of that. Last weekend, I realised that it was at least a year since I took out my tajine from the top shelf. I missed it (plus I remembered the little of envelope full of saffron that one of my girlfriend’s mom brought me back from morroco). So, I gave it a try thinking of my mom and her magical fingers. The empty tajine and my guest satisfied looks after the prunes and veal tajine I cooked that evening left me with the dreamy thought that maybe one day, I could be a magical cook too.

tajine_pruneaux1
No way I’ll be a magical photograph though
It was impossible to find any correct picture of my cooking…
Caught in the action, I forgot to adjust the manual settings of the camera!

Tajine de veau aux pruneaux
Prunes and veal tajine

main dish
serves 5 to 6. cook: 1h15

Ingredients:
1.5 kg of veal (lower leg or pieces to stew),
600 g oignons,
500 g prunes (with or without pit, it’s your pick),
3 shallots,
50 g butter,

1 tsp ginger pouder,
1 tsp cinnamon,
a couple of coriander seeds,
1 tsp of peppercorns
1 Tsp sea salt
1 generous pinch of saffron
1 large bowl of warm tea.
1 cocotte or a large tajine (keep the decorated ones for serving, they don’t handle the fire well. Mine is one for cooking but it was slightly too small, so I only used it to serve)

tajine_pruneaux2tajine_pruneaux3

In a bowl, pour the warm tea over the prunes, and set aside. Clean the meat an cut it in large pieces (~6×6 cm). Peel and chop the oignons and shallots. In a pestle, pour all the spices, salt and pepper and grind them thinly. Put 2/3rds of the butter to melt in the cocotte on high fire. Season the meat with 2/3rds of the spices and brown it on all sides (it’s better to proceed in two times). Reserve and pour the remaining butter, the oignons and shallots and the remaining spices.

tajine_pruneaux4

When the oignons get transparent pour back the meat and cover with the tea in which you marinated the prunes and if necessary a little bit of water, just enough to cover the meat. Lower the fire, cover the cocotte and leave to simmer for 1 hour. Have a look from time to time to check the fire isn’t to high. After one hour, add the prunes and a tablespoon of honey and leave to simmer for 15 more minutes. You’re done. You can serve write away or warm up later.

In morroco, we usually eat tajines all together from the same dish, with our hands and a lot of fresh morrocan bread, and salads on the side. However I usually choose for a more european version as my dutchie cannot part from his cudlery. If you recognise yourself or your guests in him, serve the tajine with fragrant basmati or thai rice. It’s a perfect match.

Bon appétit!

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