MarocMama

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Moroccan Fried Chicken for #SundaySupper

This weekend is considered the start of summer in the United States.  So, it makes sense that the theme for this weeks’ Sunday Supper is Picnics. It seems like we missed spring and are jumping right into summer considering we’ve only been without snow on the ground the last three weeks. I however, am not sad about this.  I love summer and am welcoming it with open arms. One of my favorite picnic foods is fried chicken.  It’s great when served fresh and hot but it’s equally good when it’s just room temperature eaten with your fingers while spread out on a giant blanket.  For my recipe this week, I decided to put a twist on traditional American fried chicken.  I made mine gluten-free by using a gluten-free breading mix but if gluten isn’t an issue for you, traditional breading such as bread or panko crumbs is just fine.

Marinading Moroccan Chicken

This isn’t a dish you’re likely to find served in a Moroccan home but the flavors remind me of djej m’hammar, a tajine that’s cooked and then the meat is quickly fried to crisp up the outside before serving.  I will have to share that recipe soon, it’s a favorite in our house and judging by my family’s response to this fried chicken it will also be joining our regular line up!

Moroccan Fried Chicken for #SundaySupper

Ingredients

  • 4 bone-in chicken breasts (any cuts are fine)
  • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • breading mix (purchased or bread/panko crumbs)
  • vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  • Wash and trim chicken of excess fat. Leave some skin on the meat and place in a large bowl.
  • In a smaller bowl combine garlic, onion powder, turmeric, cumin, ginger, and lemon zest.
  • Slowly add olive oil and mix the spices until a thin paste has been created.
  • Pour the marinade on top of the chicken and rub each piece of meat with the marinade. Make sure to place marinade under the skin.
  • Refrigerate for up to 24 hours, but at least 1 hour.
  • When you are ready to cook the chicken, add enough vegetable oil to a pot so that the chicken pieces will be covered completely.
  • Heat the oil to medium-high.
  • While the oil is heating, bread the pieces of chicken by removing from the bowl and coating with breading.
  • Once the oil is heated, cook the chicken 1-2 pieces at a time. Do not crowd the pan.
  • It will take between 15-20 minutes for the chicken to cook through.
  • When it is cooked, remove from the oil and place onto a towel to remove any excess oil.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2013/05/moroccan-fried-chicken-for-sundaysupper.html

Moroccan Fried Chicken

 

If you’re looking for ideas for your next picnic, or a great side dish to serve with this chicken, make sure to check out some of the posts my fellow #SundaySupper friends are sharing.  Special thanks this week goes to Katy of Happy Baking Days.

Salads and Slaws:

Sandwiches and Mains:

Desserts:

Drinks:

Don’t forget we’ll also be chatting on Twitter throughout the day and share all of our picnic recipes. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. To join in, just follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets. You can also check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and photos.

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Yucatan Pollo Pibil and Corn Tortillas for #SundaySupper

If it’s even possible to believe, it snowed this week. Not just a little dusting either but 7″ of the white, yucky stuff. The weatherman says that it’s supposed to melt right away but I can’t help feeling depressed. But, today in a celebration of Cinco de Mayo, I’m teaming up with the rest of the #SundaySupper team to share some of our favorite Mexican inspired recipes. The inspiration for my recipe was this;

Cozumel Mexico Beach

Hello Cozumel! As much as I adore Morocco, I have to say our trip to Mexico made me a gigantic fan of the people, scenery, and if it was possible made me love the food even more!  Our day in Cozumel was honestly, one of the best days of my life lately.  We had such a fun time snorkeling, driving mopeds around the island, and eating real Yucatan food beach side.  So, when I found out today’s theme was Cinco de Mayo, I of course wanted to make a Yucatan dish. Not sure where the Yucatan Peninsula is?

Cozumel is a an island off the eastern coast of the peninsula. The food of the region is heavily influenced by traditional Mayan cooking styles and ingredients, with an infusion of Spanish and other tribal cuisines. I decided to try my hand at pollo pibil, a tangy chicken filling, and homemade corn tortillas. I wouldn’t say this recipe  is traditional because I had to use what I had on hand and make substitutions to try and replicate the flavors but overall we were really happy with how it turned out! It’s important to note this has a strong undertone.  It’s got a lot of citrus and may even be sour to some.  It was perfect to me but MarocBaba thought cutting back on the citrus would be better. Boils down to personal taste!

Mexican pollo pibil

Ingredients for Pollo  Pibil

  • 1 .5 lbs of chicken (a mix of boneless breasts and thighs works great)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp achiote paste
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 – 1 whole onion sliced into strips (your preference for amount)
  • 1 large tomato roughly chopped

Directions

The best part of this recipe?  It’s so easy to make!  Clean the chicken and add to a slow cooker along with all of the other ingredients.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours until the chicken is falling apart. Then transfer to a large pot, shred the chicken with a fork and reduce the liquid. If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can make this is a large, heavy bottomed pan.  Just cook on low and pay close attention to the liquid levels and add some water or chicken broth if it begins to get too low.  The cooking time should only take about 2 hours if cooking this way.

Pollo Pibil

Homemade Corn Tortillas

Ingredients

  • 2 cups masa harina 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • warm water

Directions

In a large bowl add the the masa harina and salt.  Slowly begin to add the warm water until the dough comes together.  It should be pliable, and a little crumbly but stick together.  You can make the tortillas using a tortilla press or simply flatten them with your hands on a cutting board.  Cook in a hot skillet until each side browns.  These must be served hot or they simply don’t taste very good!

Stop by and check out what the rest of the #SundaySupper team is making – you won’t have to look any further for your Mexican feast! Jen from Juanita’s Cocina is the gracious host this month.  The rest of the lineup includes;

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday, May 5th to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

[tbpquotable]Need a Mexican inspired, easy slow-cooker, meal tonight? Pollo pibil is it! [/tbpquotable]

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Leftover Remix: Not Your Mama’s Chicken Salad Wraps

 

Leftover Chicken Wraps

 

Most of you know that I am big on meal planning.  It’s important for me to manage shopping and actually getting a meal on the table.  Eating meals together is a really big priority for me. Just last week I was at Sam’s Club, stocking up on some produce and household products.  I normally bypass the frozen section of any store I’m shopping in, unless I’m grabbing frozen vegetables.  Well, we happened to walk past the coolers that had frozen appetizers in them. MarocBaba pointed out some taquito things and M promptly responded, “but why dad?  Mom can make them better!” There’s no going back now!  It makes me really happy that they would rather eat what I make then something out of a box.  Don’t get me wrong I think there is a place for frozen convenience foods but I’m very careful about those I do select.

Where this entire conversation was going is to the nights I don’t really want to make something, we run out of time or I’ve got a fridge overflowing with leftovers that no one is interested in heating up and eating again.  You’ve been there.  I know you have. Instead of trying to push the food onto my family and telling them they’ve got no choice, I’ve begun to remake the leftovers into other things.  Works brilliantly!

These chicken salad wraps are a perfect example. I made them with bits and pieces of leftovers I had in the fridge and in the cupboards. The end result is a wrap that’s delicious and no one will know you were using up other food items!  This is a great lunch or dinner but as I was making it I started to think about drop in visitors or even a Superbowl party.  You don’t have to go and buy sandwiches or spend all day cooking – these are easy to whip up and there’s a million combinations, depending on what you’ve got on hand!

Chicken Wrap Dressing

 

In a traditional chicken salad sandwich mayonnaise is used to hold everything together. I decided to lighten it up.  This creamy mixture is a mix of 1 Tbsp of mayonnaise and 2 Tbsp of plain Greek yogurt, dry dill weed, chopped basil, salt and pepper and just a little drizzle of grapeseed oil.  I think my favorite part of this sandwich is the dressing – play with it!  If you keep the mayo/yogurt base there are tons of combinations you can add to it for a different taste and flavor. Try adding some lemon juice and black pepper or diced pickles.  What about mixing in a little honey and mustard?

Now it’s time for your homework:

  1. Open your fridge. What’s lurking in there that needs to go? Have some vegetables that need to be used up? Leftover pieces of meat from dinner? Rice? Couscous?
  2. Open your cupboard and pantry. Have a few nuts left in a bag? Toasted chickpeas? Chow Mein noodles?
  3. Gather up 4-5 items for your wraps

Here’s what I mixed up

Crunchy Chicken Salad

 

What I included;

  • Shredded cabbage
  • leftover roasted chicken
  • diced cucumbers
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas (Falafel flav0r)
  • Lundberg Farms Roasted Herb Rice Couscous
  • mayo/yogurt dressing

Guess what – it didn’t taste like leftovers! I mixed everything together and wrapped it up in a flour tortilla. You could add another dipping sauce to it or serve it as is with some kettle chips or veggies on the side.

What do you think of this leftover remix? Want to see more recipes that incorporate leftovers?

 

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Chicken Stuffed with Almonds and Matzo

One of my first “homemade” Moroccan meals (before that time I had eaten in Moroccan tourist restaurants that were bad!) was a roast chicken stuffed with spices and vermicelli noodles.  To this day it still is one of my favorite things.  Unlike many Middle Eastern cultures Moroccans don’t have a big tradition of stuffing things. Things like stuffed grape leaves, kibbeh, and other stuffed vegetables that are common in the Levant are just not part of the repatoire in Morocco.  What was interesting as I began this exploration of Moroccan Jewish food is that stuffing food is more common than with the Arab dishes. This might be part of historical culture or just what was passed on.  I don’t really know.  As you’ll see later this week with dafina, the idea of stuffing exists with that recipe as well.

I cooked this dish on Sunday when we were being blanketed with nearly a foot of snow.  Everyone was stuck inside and it made perfect sense to me to turn the oven on for a roast chicken. I found this idea in the cookbook I mentioned in my introductory post but strayed from some of the steps and ingredients to fit what I had on hand.  The one thing I did discover in creating this recipe was my love for tarragon.  Seriously where have you been all my life?!?!  I’m so excited to experiment with this herb.  One other note, I made this gluten free.  The original recipe calls for matzo and bread crumbs – you can of course use either or both. I however used Glutino gluten-free table crackers for the stuffing. They resembled the taste of matzo very closely even though I was expecting something closer to a saltine when I bought the package.

Chicken Stuffed with Almonds and Matzo

Chicken Stuffed with Almonds and Matzo

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sprigs tarragon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 3-4 springs basil
  • 1 1/2 cups ground matzo
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c chicken broth

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Wash and clean the chicken very well, taking extra care to clean out the cavity. Do not remove the skin!
  • Peel the carrots, garlic, onion, and apple, and egg and roughly chop all of them.
  • In a food processor add all of the above plus the almonds, tarragon, salt and basil and pulse until broken down. You can blend them until they are completely broken apart or leave in larger chunks.
  • Pour the ground matzo into a large bowl.
  • Combine the mixture from the food processor to the matzo and stir to incorporate.
  • Break the egg and mix it into the stuffing.
  • Cut the 1/2 stick of butter into small cubes and gently mix with the stuffing.
  • To Stuff the Chicken
  • Place the chicken into a roasting pan. If you don't have a roasting pan, I found that using a large oven proof pot works just as well.
  • Gently separate the skin of the chicken from the flesh.
  • Begin stuffing by adding a layer of stuffing between the skin and flesh. Smooth out as much as possible.
  • Do this in as many places as possible.
  • Add the remaining stuffing to the interior cavity of the chicken.
  • Pour the 3/4 cup of chicken broth into the pot/pan.
  • Slide the pot/pan into the preheated oven and bake for 60-90 minutes. The baking time is going to depend on how large your chicken is. You want the juice to run clear and for there to be no pinkness in the meat.
  • The outside of the skin should be brown and crisp and the interior juicy.
  • Serve hot with a side salad and/or potatoes.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2012/12/chicken-stuffed-with-almonds-and-matzo.html

chicken with almond stuffing

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Slow Cooker Chicken Shwarma

I’ve been using my slow cooker a lot lately.  So much so that MarocBaba finally said to me at the end of last week, “Ok enough with that machine now!”  It makes my life so much easier, and I am rarely disapointed.  Not to mention the kids have not rejected a single meal.  When I have combed the internet for new freezer and slow cooker meal ideas I found a few things that were troubling;

  • There’s a lot of slow cooker soup recipes.  If I served soup as a meal I’d get a lot of sad faces.
  • Lots of freezer meals include pasta, something we eat very little of.
  • Pork, lots and lots of pork.

There are some Moroccan tajines that I’ve tried in the slow cooker and while the taste is ok, the sauce doesn’t reduce and have the same flavor. I’ve always wanted to take Middle Eastern and Moroccan recipes and make them even easier. A few weeks ago, I received a copy of Faith Gorsky’s An Edible Mosaic as a part of a program I’m working on with 5 other food bloggers and Kitchen PLAY. Over the next two months we’ll be doing a lot of fun things and hope you’ll join us by:

  • trying the recipes with us;
  • commenting on posts;
  • posing questions to the author during our Facebook forum later in December;
  • take part in our Cook, Tweet and Eat in January (details to be announced);
  • tell your readers, fans and followers about An Edible Mosaic and this Kitchen PLAY program;
  • Add An Edible Mosaic to your wish list (or heck, just go out and buy it!)

You can follow along here, on each of the bloggers participating; HeatherJenniferLanaLauraStephanie and of course me! You can slso follow our hashtag on Twitter  #AnEdibleMosaic.

So all that being said, Faith’s recipe for shwarma encouraged me to take on a slow-cooker version. Traditionally the chicken is spit roasted and shaved to fill a sandwich.  I have neither a spit nor the patience to slow roast and shave it.  Shwarma in the slow cooker is delicious and won’t make you sweat all day tending the meat.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2  Tbsp cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped finely
  • 1 Tbsp ginger
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • chili pepper (to taste, add more if you like heat, omit if you don’t)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • water

Directions

1. Trim chicken breasts of any excess fat.  Place in a bowl and add the sumac, salt and pepper garlic, turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, cardamom and chili pepper (optional).

2. In the bottom of your slow cooker add the vegetable oil and add the chicken.

3. Pour the lemon juice on top and add enough water to almost cover the chicken.

4. Cook on low heat for 4 hours, until the chicken is falling apart, keep on warm until just before serving

5. A few minutes before eating, transfer the chicken and liquid to a large pan.  Shred the chicken with forks, and turn the heat to high.

6. Watch the chicken as the liquid reduces.  You will want all of the liquid to be reduced, and the chicken to just slightly begin drying up.  At this point it’s done.

Serve the shwarma in warm pita bread (you can also try this fantastic recipe for gluten free wrap bread I found!) Condiments you may want to also include are Arabic garlic mayonaise, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and other mezze style dips.

I hope you’ll love this recipe as much as my family did!

Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma

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Chicken and Walnut Tajine with Quince Paste

MarocBaba and I always come to a head when I start “playing” with a tajine.  To him there’s no messing with an original.  When I started to put this tajine together he thought it was another attempt on my part to make something new. But, I first saw this tajine in Paula Wolfert’s Food of Morocco.  The original calls for cut up quinces. I’ve never seen a quince in our markets and am sure they simply are not in demand here.  I did however have some quince paste from another recipe I had made.  The quince paste really worked beautifully.

I prepared this tajine in an unglazed clay tajine and think that it truly made the flavor that much deeper.  I’m not saying you couldn’t try this in a glazed tajine or even in a heavy pot but I just don’t think it will taste the same.  Be sure to cook this over low heat and watch a little more closely than other tajines.  The quince paste can dry up quickly.

Chicken and Walnut Tajine

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of chicken pieces
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of crumbled saffron threads
  • small handful chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp butter cubed
  • 1/4 c water
  • 3 tsp quince paste
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Instructions

  • In the bottom of an unglazed clay tajine add the vegetable oil and turn heat to medium.
  • Finely chop the onion and crush 2 teaspoons of garlic (2-3 cloves). Add these to the tajine.
  • In a bowl mix together the salt, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, saffron threads, parsley and quince paste with enough water to create a paste.
  • Rinse the chicken and place in the spice paste, taking care that the chicken is coated.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the tajine along with any remaining marinade.
  • Pour in 1/4 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of cubed butter.
  • Cover the tajine and reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Allow to cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Check at the 1 hour, 1.5 hour and 2 hour mark and add a little more water if necessary.
  • The tajine is ready when the chicken is tender to the touch. There should still be liquid in the tajine.
  • Toasting Walnuts
  • In a skillet, add the walnuts and turn heat to medium-high.
  • When the walnuts begin to toast you will be able to smell the oils being released.
  • Stir the walnuts to make sure they don't burn.
  • Remove from the heat as soon as the walnuts begin to brown.
  • Top the tajine with toasted walnuts and serve immediately. This dish is traditionally eaten with crusty bread but could also be served on top of rice, barley or couscous.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2012/11/chicken-quince-and-walnut-tajine.html

 

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Chicken B’stila Soup

The first time I went to Morocco, our tour somehow left off the best Moroccan foods.  We ate the same chicken and olive tajine day after day after day.  When we left Morocco I didn’t think much of the food at all. To this day my dad refuses to eat Moroccan food. When I went back and stayed with my husband’s family my outlook changed completely.  I was showered with the REAL food of Morocco. The flavors were amazing, the dishes complex and delicious.  I had no idea it could be so good. To this day, there remains one dish that I consistently say is my favorite – chicken b’stila. I had never tasted something so good before.

When I was talking to my mother in law a few weeks ago and asking for soup recipes she rattled off the ingredients for this soup.  I don’t know if there’s a name for it (I’m guessing they call it chicken soup with almonds!) but I’ve dubbed it chicken b’stila soup because it has the same base flavors, minus the sweetness. I wouldn’t have thought to add almonds to soup but they add a really nice texture and are certainly unique. The almonds do need to have their skins removed, but with the help of my new videographer (M has taken over taping duties) I’ve made a quick video to show you how.

That’s all there is to it! I’ve changed up the original recipe by using chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken and Saffron Road’s Traditional Chicken Broth so that this soup can be a quick weeknight meal instead of an all day process.

Chicken B’stila Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped finely
  • 1/4 c vermicelli noodles or rice
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 cup almonds with skins removed
  • 1 container Saffron Road Traditional Chicken Broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Instructions

  • In a large pot, add the vegetable oil and butter and heat on medium high.
  • Once the butter has melted add the onions, ginger, salt, pepper, and ginger.
  • Allow to cook for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken either whole or cut into smaller pieces (smaller pieces will cook faster) and brown on all sides.
  • Add the chicken broth, water, cinnamon stick to the pan and simmer on low to medium heat for 30-45 minutes until the chicken is tender.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick and discard.
  • Remove the chicken and chop into small pieces.
  • Return the chicken to the pot and pour in the rice or noodles and almonds.
  • Simmer 10-15 minutes until noodles or rice are cooked through.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2012/10/chicken-bstila-soup.html

What are some of your favorite soup recipes?

 

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Date Ketchup and Chicken Bites

Homemade Date Ketchup

“You’re making what?” was the question I was asked by MarocBaba and American Grandma after I told them I was making ketchup. MarocBaba added quizically “why would you want to do that? – there’s a bottle in the fridge.” Truthfully I wanted to see if I could do it. Ketchup goes quick in our house. K is a ketchup addict, he eats it on everything. The kid eats ketchup sandwiches (ketchup + bread = sandwich). Lots of conventional ketchups are loaded with artificial ingredients and a lot of sugar. I really wanted to make a good, natural ketchup to pair with our favorite chicken bites from Saffron Road.

It’s not hard – I swear and while this doesn’t taste exactly like what you would squeeze out of a bottle of nottobenamed ketchup it’s close and it’s really much better for you.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 8-10 pitted dates (I used medjool)
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 heaping Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 c vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 c water

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While waiting, score the three tomatoes across the top or bottom, making sure not to cut too deep. Remove pits from dates. When the water is boiling add the tomatoes and cook until the skin starts to pull away from the flesh of the tomato. Drain the boiling water and cover tomatoes with cold water until they can be handled. Drain water again and pull away the skin of the tomato. Place on a plate.

Tomatoes and Dates

In the same large pot, add the olive oil and onions, cooking 5-8 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the pot along with the dates and 1 cup of water. Set heat to medium. Mix in the ginger, garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes and dates are soft. Stir in the vinegar.

Ketchup Simmering

Using a stand blender, immersion blender or food processor, pulse the mixture until smooth. At this point it will have a thin consistency. Return to the pot and continue cooking until it reduces to a thick consistency. Check the flavor and adjust seasoning. You may need to add more vinegar (this depends on how acidic your tomatoes were to start with), or salt to balance out the sweetness of the dates. Watch the ketchup as it reduces and once it is at a consistency you associate with ketchup remove from heat. Pour into a container and allow to cool at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

If you would like to preserve this for more than a few days follow canning procedures. I doubt this ketchup is going to last more than a few days here!

Chicken Tenders with Date Ketchup

I’m sure that you will find 100 uses for this ketchup. My boys loved dipping their Saffron Road Chicken Bites for a tasty lunch. I think that this combination for upcoming Eid parties is also a great idea.

This experiment has me wanting to give mayo and mustard a try too! Have you made your own condiments?

Disclaimer: This post is one in a series of posts MarocMama is doing with Saffron Road Foods. I was provided complimentary products however my opinions are my own.

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