moroccan tagine

Lean, Mean, Moroccan Tagine

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I recall?my first dinner party with new friends after moving from an?isolated mountain town in Colorado to the bustling urban city of Portland, Oregon.?Most wouldn’t think of Portland as a bustling city, but compared to the hermit lifestyle I?d been living post-college, mixing and mingling with sophisticated?people while sharing an ethnic and?thoughtfully prepared meal was practically?culture shock.

My hostess selected Moroccan food and designed her whole menu around the theme, with lamb tagine as the centerpiece. To say I was impressed would be putting it mildly. Up until that point, I don’t think I’d even tasted Moroccan food, much less cooked it. And when the complex combination of spices first hit my nose and then my tongue, I?was blown away by the array of smells and flavors. For the next few months, I kicked myself repeatedly for not?immediately asking for the recipe. And by the time I did finally ask for it, my hostess?couldn?t locate it, but thought it was in one of her magazines from the summer.

Armed with a list of her subscriptions, I visited my local library and scoured the shelves on?a quest for Moroccan Lamb Tagine. Amazingly, I found the recipe she’d used?in an issue of Sunset, and though I?ve modified the recipe to suit my personal taste, it has since become a staple meal. Especially in colder weather. The heat and the spices warm you to the core, both body and soul.

Some (definitely the ex-boyfriend) would be wagging a finger at me, saying how I ruined a perfectly classic dish by going?against the natural order of things. And maybe they’d be right; my additions might not be not traditional, but I think the changes are sound and create a better overall dish. The original recipe called for lamb (no potatoes, carrots, or currants), but?you’ll just have to trust me?on the improvements (or try both ways and judge for yourself). I think you could also use portobello mushrooms for a vegetarian/vegan alternative.

Enjoy your Moroccan Tagine?with a sweeter style white wine. I selected an Oregon Gruner Veltliner from Reustle Prayer Rock, but I think an off-dry Riesling would be exceptional as well. Alternatively, you could?serve this with?red wine (especially if you make it with lamb), try a young Zinfandel to complement the spice profile.

Lean, Mean, Moroccan Tagine
Print Recipe
    Servings
    6 people
    Servings
    6 people
    Lean, Mean, Moroccan Tagine
    Print Recipe
      Servings
      6 people
      Servings
      6 people
      Instructions
      1. Brown meat in 3 tablespoons of olive oil in large pot (cast iron dutch oven preferred), then remove from pan.
      2. Add onions and garlic, stir often until onions become limp (not browned).
      3. Add all spices and stir 30 seconds until fragrant.
      4. Add broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots, and potatoes and bring to a boil over high heat.
      5. Reduce heat, add olives, currants, salt and pepper, cover and simmer for one hour.
      6. Serve alone or over fluffy cous cous in large bowls, garnish with cilantro.
      7. Delicious served with warmed flatbread to soak up the broth. I buy ready-to-eat naan at New Seasons Market for ease.
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      Taking Your Chicken Strips to the Next Level

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      chicken1A chicken dish adults and children will beg for? You won’t believe it’s true.

      This crunchy chicken dish combines the heat from red peppers (left off of the kid’s serving), with?sweet honey and sour dill pickles for a tastebud tickling dish that everyone will enjoy. It’s like your sophisticated friend and the girl next store all wrapped up in the perfect package. Intriguing yet comforting at the same time.

      Serve it on skewers as finger food for Game Day parties or for your favorite Friday night dinner, since it’s easy to cook on a weeknight (I always make enough for leftovers).

      But fair warning, your friends and family will ask for this again. Enjoy!

      Taking Your Chicken Strips to the Next Level
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        Taking Your Chicken Strips to the Next Level
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          Ingredients
          Servings:
          Instructions
          1. Place 1/2 cup of spelt flour in a bowl.
          2. Mix remaining flour and the rest of the dry ingredients and place in a big plate.
          3. Dredge chicken in flour.
          4. Coat with egg.
          5. Cover well with flour/breadcrumb mixture.
          6. Heat oil in large pan and add chicken. Cook until golden on both sides (about 7 minutes).
          7. Drain on paper towels.
          8. Skewer or put directly onto plates, drizzle with honey, sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve with chopped pickles.
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          Candied Jalape?os – A Relish to Relish

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          jalapenos2As often is my experience dining out, I enjoy something so much in a restaurant, I can?t wait to go home and recreate it. So, after recently enjoying a a juicy rib eye steak topped with candied jalape?os at Laurelhurst Market, that?s exactly what I did.

          The plan was to make Bahn Mi sandwiches for lunch, which are typically topped with jalape?os. So taking that recipe?up another notch, I used this recipe for candying the jalape?os and discovered something so delicious, I now want to put them?on everything I make.

          Candied jalape?os(also known as Cowboy Candy) are?the icing on the cake for my Meatball Bahn Mi sandwiches?(recipe here), but they’re?are equally devourable atop cornbread, grilled steaks, as a relish on burgers or brats, will spice up any old turkey sandwich, makes Gouda grilled cheese all grown up, and make crackers with cream cheese a gourmet treat. I?ll also be trying them out in a martini, on vanilla ice cream (maybe just the syrup) and on some form of pizza, but will let you know more about those experiments later.

          You can store them in a jar in your fridge for about a month, and though they are great to eat right out of the pan, they do get spicier over time. So, make a big batch,?let them sit, and see how fun and versatile they are.

          I honestly wish I had discovered these morsels of goodness years ago, or at least before the holidays, as I would have made them for everyone I know. I guess all my friends know what they?ll be getting next year!

          Candied Jalape?os - A Relish to Relish
          Print Recipe
          Prep Time
          10 min
          Cook Time
          25 min
          Prep Time
          10 min
          Cook Time
          25 min
          Candied Jalape?os - A Relish to Relish
          Print Recipe
          Prep Time
          10 min
          Cook Time
          25 min
          Prep Time
          10 min
          Cook Time
          25 min
          Ingredients
          Servings:
          Instructions
          1. Wearing gloves, remove the stems from the peppers and slice into 1/4-in rounds (do not removed seeds).
          2. In a large pot, bring vinegar, sugar, lime juice and spices to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes, until mixture is syrupy and sugar is dissolved.
          3. Add the peppers, bring temperature back up to simmer, and cook about 5 minutes until jalape?os soften and darken.
          4. Using a slotted spoon, remove jalape?os from heat into one large or several smaller mason jars. (If you know how to can, and would like to store the peppers for months, prepare jars for canning prior to use).
          5. Return syrup to heat, bring up to a boil, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
          6. Remove from heat, stir in lime zest, and then ladle syrup over peppers.
          7. Seal and refrigerate for up to one month (if they last that long).
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