MOROCCAN - Cuisine of the Quarter, Fall 2017 (Oct-Dec)

This quarter’s voting was tough - so many interesting nominees! However, MOROCCAN was our clear winner for this fall’s Cuisine of the Quarter, so it’s time to delve into the world of spice! Looking forward to reading about everyone’s cooking and eating adventures. I enjoy Moroccan food but have never really cooked it myself, so I will be especially interested in your favorite cookbooks or online recipe sources. Thanks very much to everyone who voted!

Two cookbooks:

Arabesque, Claudia Roden - devotes a third of the book to Morocco (the other two thirds to Turkey and Lebanon)

The Moro Cookbook, Sam & Sam Clark. A blend of North African and Spanish dishes, along with a number of crossover dishes touching the “feel” of the cuisines, without excessive concern for authenticity.

My cooking tends to follow the tagine route, these days without recipe. Might be lamb, might be chicken, might be vegetarian (think squash and chickpeas) - it’s only a stew.

I’d start with onion and garlic, before browning the meat. Tin of tomatoes. Cumin. Coriander. Harissa - I use the Tunisian “Le Phare du Cap Bon” brand. A heaped teaspoon usually makes it hot enough for the two of us. Fruit is usually a good idea - dried apricots feature regularly. Veggie bouillon if more liquid is needed.

Couscous alongside. Lots of parsley. Maybe flaked almonds or pistachios. Maybe a few raisins or sultanas if I think more sweetness is needed on the plate.

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Two books I have on Moroccan cuisine. My favourite dish is couscous. A few years back, I had a vegetable soup that very good at somebody’s home, not sure if it was Chorba or Harira… I would like to make it again. Not that hot with the desserts, I found them usually too sweet, but I love the mint tea!

Edited: I also have the ebook Morocco - A culinary Journey with Recipes from the Spice-Scented Markets of Marrakech to the Date-Filled Oasis of Zagora by Jeff Koehler

I make what I call Ramadan soup regularly. It is officially called Harira Soup. Can’t remember when I discovered this soup. Probably looking for more ways to enjoy the harissa that I make from Ana Sortun’s SPICE cookbook.

While in Southern Spain just over a year ago, we ate a Moroccan restaurant. I was the only woman not coveredin the place and when I complimented the chef about this soup and told him how I make it in the USA, he began to cry with happiness. How much his grandmother would love that I enjoyed her recipe so much.

My first order will be to make some Harissa. Can’t wait. My kitchen always feels naked when there isn’t a jar waiting for me to use it.

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Make sense, as Harissa is the base of Maroccan cooking. Like Harter, I have the same tube of Harissa from Tunsia.

Is this the recipe from Sortun that you are using? How long can you keep them in the fridge?

I have compared several different recipes, and some recipes ask for smoked paprika, white wine vinegar, lemon juice and even rosewater.

I bought that tube of Harissa as well, and found it quite salty or something. I have kept the Sortun Harissa, always covered with olive oil in the fridge, for as much as 3 months. We do go through it fairly quickly.

Cookstr won’t give me access without me going them my email address, so I can’t compare.

There is a “close” button on the email pop up window, you need to look carefully though.

@smtucker

Here is the ingredient list from the above link.

47

That is Ana’s recipe, along with a recipe for making the Ras el Hannout. Love Urfa peppers.

there is a problem with that recipe though, which is what makes up that ras el hannout? Another one of those components that every family does it differently.

Anyone here made their own from individual spices? Any favorite recipes?

I need to update my bag of ras el hanout- its been years. Though it still smells pretty darn good,.

I use Ana Sortun’s formula which I like tremendously. And look, she has shared it with the world here.

This formula isn’t too bitter and has a lovely overall flavor. I use freshly ground cinnamon since I think it makes a tremendous difference.

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To be clear:
The subject is Moroccan cuisine. Please do not confuse it with Tunisian, which is a different and far inferior cuisine, IMHO.

Thanks.

I’ve re-read the thread and can’t see that there’s any mention of Tunisian cuisine (other, of course, than the mention of a Tunisian harissa which is what’s generally available here) That’s probably my own lack of knowledge about North African food so, to help me, could you point me towards the posts that concerned you. Thanks again.

Somehow @escargot3 replied to my post about Harissa. Is this sauce/seasoning/paste not Moroccan?

You know to go lightly on the harissa for Moroccan cookery; Tunisian and some Algerian cuisines are far more firey. Moroccans are very proud of their complex spicing and think their neighbours overuse harissa.

I live in Montréal where there are many Moroccans, whether of Muslim or Jewish backgrounds. My favourite butcher’s is a halal Moroccan (good for everything but pork, obviously, but the Jean-Talon market also has Porc meilleur).

Tagines are more typically consumed with bread, but do whatever you want!

I am very fortunate to have Moroccan friends both here and in Paris who are splendid cooks.

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Cross post with the “What’s for Dinner” thread:

Yesterday I made a Moroccan style lamb shank braise in the morning. After it cooled, I pulled the meat from the bones, leaving it in big chunks and defatted and reduce the sauce. Preserved lemons and olives stuffed with lemon were garnished at the table. Served with something called pastina, which wasn’t what I was expecting at all. It was miniature stars, clearly for soup.

No pictures since this was dinner with the grand-scallion and she was not being totally cooperative. Amazed that at 16 months old, she was popping pieces of preserved lemon in to her mouth like candy!

The flavor was quite subtle but the two adults really enjoyed it tremendously. Leftovers will be tomorrow night’s dinner. Will try to get a photo then.

Here is a link to the recipe.

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Tonight, I made Wohlfert’s Bulgur Pilaf with Toasted Noodles which became the base for the Moroccan Lamb Shank braise leftovers.

[Need to amend in order to double post.]

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Lamb merguez, the spicy Moroccan sausage, is a favorite of ours. D’Artagnan sells them in packages. Some time ago, they changed from 6 to a package to 5 and also reduced the spiciness quite a bit. I’m guessing people found them too spicy though we didn’t. I grill them (though they can be fried in a pan). Couscous is a perfect accompaniment.

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I am making some of these next week. They are almost my favorite sausage in the world. And since I make my own harissa, I can decide how spicy I want my sausages.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold