Thursday, August 2, 2012

East Coast Moroccan

We are on East Coast radio (  this morning talking about Moroccan Cuisine and also about travelling to Morocco on holidays with our very own Travel Doctor – Mark Supple..

Weve been chatting about holidays and the food we love to eat while in Morocco, so here’s a flavour of the dishes we’ve spoken about, and if you don’t get to travel when not add a bit of life and spice to some of your summer bbq’s or even later in Autumn try the lamb tagine recipe… they will all still be here on the blog!



Harissa is one of those condiments that is used extensively in Morocco.  Basically it is a fiery blend of red chillies, onions, garlic and spices that adds life to dishes.  Moroccans use it when preparing food to add spice and it also sits as a condiment in small bowls on the table at meal times. 

2 red peppers, roasted and skinned
1 red onion roughly chopped
2 fresh red chillies, chopped with seeds – or to your taste!
2 Garlic cloves crushed
½ teaspoon coriander seeds toasted
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
olive oil (extra virgin)

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor, adding enough oil to make a thick paste.  This will keep in a clean jar topped with olive oil and covered for weeks in the fridge.

Harissa is also great to add to casseroles or tagines you simply add a spoon at the beginning and allow the flavours to develop.  You can also use it as a marinate on lamb or chicken leave to marinate for about 4 hours and then pop on the bbq or oven… its also great to have to have with some toasted pitta bread as a little nibble before dinner…

Coriander, Flat leaf parsley and mint are the traditional herbs used in Moroccan cooking and combined with spices, coriander, garlic and chillies they can be used to form the basis of chermoula.  Chermoula, can be a marinade or a sauce and probably was used in ancient times as a method of preserving the food for longer as no refrigeration was available.  There are many different varieties of chermoula and in Morocco each cook has their own way of preparing it and adding their own flavours.  . 

Basic Recipe

3 Garlic Cloves
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
Small bunch of coriander chopped
150ml olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and slowly stir in the olive oil and juice of lemon to make a smooth or coarse paste, whichever your preference.

Prawn Kebabs with Chermoula & mixed leaf salad

20 Tiger Prawns
Lemon Wedges (garnish)
Chermoula recipe above.

Marinade the Prawns in the chermoula mixture for about half and hour.  Thread prawns onto skewers and grill for about 3 minutes on each side.

Chermoula is particulary good with all kinds of fish or chicken use as a marinade or a sauce..

Grilled harissa marinated lamb with couscous & Moroccan yoghurt sauce

1 leg of lamb butterflied
3 tablespoons of harissa

Rub the marinade all over the leg of lamb and leave to marinade for about 3 hours in the fridge.  Place on the bbq for about 30 to 40 minutes depending on the thickeness of the lamb and how pink you would like it.. 

Moroccan Couscous Salad

Serves 4 as a side dish
200g couscous
1 tbls of olive oil 
1 veggie stock cube
1 teasp of ground coriander
½ teasp of chilli
1 teasp of cumin
Sat & Pepper
Handful of flat-leaf parsley
Handful of coriander

Handful of fresh mint
200ml of boiling water
1.    Pop the couscous in a large bowl.
2.    Combine the water with stock cube, oil, cumin, chilli & ground coriander.
3.    Pour over enough hot water to just cover the couscous.  Cover over with a clean cloth, leave for 15 minutes, separating the grains from time to time with a fork..
4.    Chop the herbs, toss through the couscous until well combined with a little extra olive oil.

Moroccan Yoghurt Sauce

1 cup of natural youghurt
1 cut of finely chopped cucumber
¼ cup of freshly chopped mint
1 tablespoon of preserved lemons          
salt & freshly cracked black pepper

Combine all of the ingredients together & pop into a bowl for serving with the lamb & couscous..

Preserved Lemons

Unwaxed lemons x 10
1 cup of sea salt
1 cup of lemon juice
sterlized jar

Place 2 tbsp of salt in the bottom of a sterilized jar.  Slice the lemons in quarters, sprinkle salt all over the lemons.  Pack the lemons in the jar pushing them down so that the juice is extracted.  Add the lemon juice and fill with water.  Seal up the jar and let it sit at room temperature for a couple of days turning it upside down now and again.  Pop in the fridge after 1 week and leave for at least 3 weeks shaking them now and again..  

To use remove a lemon from the jar and rinse thouroughly in water to remove salt. Discard the seeds  and the pulp if you like (I ususally add the pulp to tagines)

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