Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Trip to Morocco!

This week's My Kitchen My World takes us to Morocco, right at the top of my travel wish-list! A little research on Moroccan cuisine tells us that Moroccan cuisine is some of the most diverse in the world, influenced by Arab, African, Jewish and Iberian culinary traditions.  Rich spices are used throughout this cuisine, including cinnamon, cumin, saffron, and ginger.


I chose to make a traditional Moroccan dish, a lamb tagine called Mrouzia. The word tagine refers to the recipe as well as the vessel it is traditionally cooked in, which is a shallow dish with a cone shaped top, great for slow cooking.  I don't have a tagine (the vessel) as I am holding out to buy mine in the markets of Marrakesh or Fez.  I used my crock pot instead, which allowed me to make this meal in the middle of the week.  I served it with couscous, a traditional grain, and roasted carrots.

Mrouzia
from Gourmet

Active time: 20 min Start to finish: 3 hr

Servings: Makes 6 to 8 servings.

ingredients

2 teaspoons ras-el-hanout*
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
3 cups water
3 lb boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, coarsely grated (1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups raisins
1 1/4 cups whole blanched almonds
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Accompaniment: couscous

preparation

Whisk together ras-el-hanout, salt, pepper, ginger, saffron, and 1 cup water in a 5-quart heavy pot. Stir in lamb, remaining 2 cups water, onion, garlic, cinnamon sticks, and butter and simmer, covered, until lamb is just tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Stir in raisins, almonds, honey, and ground cinnamon and simmer, covered, until meat is very tender, about 30 minutes more.

Uncover pot and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until stew is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes more.