Today I’m welcoming guest blogger, and fellow Wisconsinite Sarah of Curious Cuisiniere, who cooks, photographs, and writes the recipes that appear on her blog, while her husband (like mine!) gets to weigh in on taste. This was their first time trying Moroccan food and I’m so happy to find out they loved it! Truly, one of the greatest joys that has come from blogging is introducing the food I love to new people. I hope you enjoy their experience and recipe!
I’m so excited to be here guest posting for Amanda today!
Now, I have to be honest here, Moroccan food isn’t a realm we’ve ventured into before. I owe a lot of thanks to Amanda for giving us this opportunity to try something very new and for her support as we were putting together the recipe for today. We really enjoyed leaning about Moroccan food in the process. And, now that we have had a taste, we will definitely be trying more Moroccan dishes in the future!
I will admit that I was a bit intrigued by the prospect of combining the acidity of tomatoes with the sweetness of honey and raisins, but the tomatoes mellowed out beautifully and their sweetness really came through.
Just to round things out, we made some of Amanda’s Khobz to eat with the meal. The chewy flatbread and the deeply spiced flavors of the tajine really made us wonder why we hadn’t discovered Moroccan food sooner!
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 lb chicken thighs, bone in, with skin removed
- 1 Tbsp parsley
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ginger
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1/3 c raisins
- 2 c cooked chickpeas
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until soft.
- Push onions to the side and add meat, searing on all sides.
- Add spices and remaining ingredients in the order listed.
- Cover and cook over low heat for 40 min.
- Remove lid and check to be sure there is enough, but not too much liquid. There should be just enough liquid to keep the ingredients moist, but not so much that you find yourself with a soup.
- For too much liquid, simmer 10-20 min uncovered.
- For not enough liquid, add water ¼ c at a time and simmer, covered, for an additional 10-20 min.
- Remove from heat and serve hot.
You can follow Curious Cuisiniere on her website, Facebook, Pinterest and on Twitter too. Keep watching as I share more great guest posts. Today we’re likely to be settling into our new home in Morocco and if we don’t have an internet connection yet, you can rest assured I’m running around Marrakech trying to get things hooked up!
The blogging community is really amazing. Over the past five years I have met so many wonderful people through our mutual shared interests. When I began to prepare for our relocation, I knew that I had to make plans for my blog too, as I’m not sure how long it will be until we have an internet connection nor when our boxes (with all my kitchen things!) will arrive. Thankfully several bloggers have come to my rescue to provide some guest posts until I am able to get back into the swing of things. Today I am excited to welcome Pam of Blueberries and Blessings. This was her first taste of Moroccan food and it’s one of our very favorite dishes!
A big hello from northeast Florida today! I’m Pam, from Blueberries And Blessings. I am thrilled to be posting on Maroc Mama today. Amanda and I met through our mutual love for #SundaySupper, and I love all of the delicious dishes she presents on her blog, and what a great chance to expand my culinary horizons by trying a new cuisine!
- (16 oz) ground beef or lamb
- salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- black pepper to taste
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- handful of green pitted olives, coarsely chopped or sliced
- 4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (OR 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
- 6 large eggs
- Mix the ground meat with the salt, cumin, cinnamon and pepper. Shape this kefta mixture into small meatballs the size of large cherries, and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to caramelize. Add the olives, and cook for several minutes more.
- Add the tomatoes and seasoning and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing the tomatoes as you go, until a chunky tomato sauce has formed.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring several times to turn the meatballs, until the meat is cooked through. Break a meatball to test if it's done before proceeding.
- Pour the eggs directly over the tomato sauce and meatballs.
- Cover the eggs and allow them to poach until done.
- Dust the top of the cooked eggs with cumin and salt to taste, garnish with a little chopped parsley, and serve.
Thank you Pam for sharing this guest post with everyone! If you’re following our moving journey – we’re set to arrive in Marrakech today! Watch for updates soon here and on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Today, I’ve got another wonderful guest post from a #SundaySupper blogging friend. Heather of girlichef has graciously offered this delicious recipe! I am so thrilled that my blogging friends have stepped forward to help me out as we go through this big move. I am even more excited that many of them are cooking Moroccan and Middle Eastern food for the first time (and loving it!). THAT really makes me smile! I can’t wait to make this dish soon – you’ll want to make it tonight too! Find more of Heather’s great recipes on her blog, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest too.
I’m thrilled to be sharing space here at MarocMama while Amanda and her family are in the middle of embarking on such a huge adventure! Now, Amanda and I are alike in that we both married men from other (than our own) countries. We both have bicultural households, and we both have a deep love for the food of those cultures. Food really is the universal language, isn’t it!?
However, I’m gonna go ahead and put this out there…shout it from the hilltops… I AM SO ENVIOUS OF AMANDA! I can only imagine the mad butterflies racing around in her stomach right now. She is moving to Morocco! She is immersing herself and her children in their heritage in the most hands-on way possible. What an absolutely exhilarating and frightening chapter of life!
I almost hate to admit that I don’t really know anything about Morocco. I mean, the extent of my “knowledge” of Morocco stems from Casablanca, Babel, and Hideous Kinky. Mmmm hmmm, movies. In other words, I am looking forward to learning a bit more about things like raising a family…daily life…and especially eating there…from Amanda. Once she settles in.
So, with all this jabbering about Morocco and my ignorance, you’d think I’d have chosen a Moroccan recipe to share today. Uh, yeah. That would’ve taken a moment of lucidity on my end. And under the sweltering heat weighing me down this summer, and the clock that has been speeding by faster than a speeding bullet, I didn’t. But tackling a few dishes of North African cuisine is on my culinary bucket list!
Instead, I chose to make something Middle Eastern. It’s a fish and rice dish that may seem daunting at first glance due to the mile-long ingredient list. But I promise, if you take away the ingredients that can be found in your spice cupboard, you’re only left with five or six ingredients. It’s a simple dish with huge flavors. A dish that I could put on my menu a couple of times a month. And the really crazy thing is, even my “I don’t like fish”-proclaiming husband LOVES it!
Hopefully once Amanda settles in and has a change to hit the spice market a few times, she can easily make it for her family, as well.
Sayadieh Bil Samek (Fish Pilaf w/ Caramelized Onions)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes (mostly unattended)
Ingredients (serves 4)
note: Don’t let the long ingredient list scare you away. It’s mostly a matter of raiding your spice cabinet!
- 4 tablespoons sunflower oil (or other)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
for the fish:
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground roasted coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 pound Cod (or other firm white fish), rinsed & patted dry
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1-1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice, soaked for 10 minutes & drained
- 1 teaspoon Nine Spice Mix (recipe follows)
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon ground roasted coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil (or other)
- 2 – 2-1/2 cups fish or vegetable stock, simmering
- lemon wedges
Start with the pine nuts:
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and toast until golden brown, 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the pine nuts from the pan and into a small bowl, leaving the oil in the pan.
Next, the fish:
Whisk together the flour and spices in a shallow dish. Dredge the fish in the mixture and shake off the excess.
Turn the heat under the skillet to medium-high, and add the fish, frying until golden on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer the fish to a plate or bowl, and when cool enough to handle, flake into large chunks. Set aside.
Now, caramelize the onions:
Okay, you should still have oil in the bottom of your skillet…and by now it should be nice and flavorful. To that oil, add your onions. Saute the onions over medium to medium-high heat, until they have gotten a good caramelization on them, 15 minutes or so. If the onions start to get too dark and dry too quickly, add a little splash of water. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
Putting it all together. Finally…
Combine the soaked and drained rice with the spices in a large bowl; toss to combine.
Drizzle the oil in the bottom of a medium heavy-bottomed, deep-sided skillet or pan (with a lid). Scatter half of the rice across the bottom of the pan, then scatter 1/3 of the caramelized onion over it. Arrange the fish on next, in an even layer. Add another 1/3 of the caramelized onion, and finish with the remaining rice. Set the final 1/3 of the onions aside for garnish.
Carefully pour the simmering stock over the rice, so that it is just covered. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover the pot, then reduce the heat to low. Allow to simmer until rice is tender, about 12-15 minutes. If it looks like the rice is getting too dry, drizzle in a bit more hot stock or hot water. Turn the heat off, and allow to sit (still covered), for 15 minutes.
Fluffy gently with a fork, and transfer to a serving dish. Scatter the reserved caramelized onion and the reserved pine nuts over the top. Serve with lemon wedges.
Nine Spice Mix:
Combine 1 tablespoon ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon ground allspice, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom in a small bowl or baggie and stir/shake to combine. Store in an airtight container at room temperature (yield: heaping 1/4 cup).
Thank you so much for having me, Amanda. Wishing you and your family safe travels…and I absolutely cannot wait to hear all about your adventures in a new land! ☺
Thank YOU Heather – can’t wait to share our adventures with everyone!
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I’m so happy to welcome Paula of Vintage Kitchen Notes as a guest blogger today. Paula is one of the uber-talented bloggers I’ve gotten to know through #SundaySupper and a fellow international blogger. Her pictures alone make me want to climb through the screen and into her kitchen. Also, she’s located in Argentina, one of the South American destinations I’m dying to visit, so I guess crawling through the screen might not be such a bad idea? To find more of her great recipes you can connect with Paula on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Hello from the southern part of the world! I blog from Buenos Aires, the city where I live.
Being here today is exciting because the idea of learning more about different cuisines is very motivating. Moroccan always rings a good bell in my mind, and after meeting Amanda through Sunday Supper and snooping around her recipes, I realized that the mix of dried fruit, the tagines, preserved lemons and spices like cumin are what makes me love this type of food. Titles like lamb and eggplant tajine, zaatar flat bread and sesame honey cookies make me swoon, and just shows what a talented cook this girl is.
I like to explore different food cultures. What foodie doesn’t right? In my case my heritage is a lot of Italian and regional, so growing up there were a lot of empanadas, grilled meats with chimichurri and dulce de leche.
When Amanda asked for guest posts, specifying that she needed Moroccan dishes, I jumped at the opportunity. Spices and dried fruits are my middle name, and this carrot, chickpea and dried fruit salad fit the bill perfectly.
It´s the middle of winter here, but most of you who read this blog are under scorching temps, so a salad with pungent flavors was the perfect recipe for today. And anyway, the years have brought us milder winters, making salads a common appearance year round, not just during the warmer seasons. Salad is good for you, and this one is packed with healthy ingredients, it´s nutritious and colorful, the perfect lunch really.
Ever since I made this zucchini mint salad, ribbons are my favorite way to cut some vegetables when I use them raw in salads. Carrots are one of them, and they are not only visually attractive, but they give volume to the plate and I love that. Food is, after all, very visual. Not just for a blog picture, but in real life.
Most salads in general are very easy to adjust to personal taste. My choice here is a marked spice flavor, especially cumin which I love when it´s toasted and ground with a mortar and pestle. And then sliced, toasted almonds clearly change the final result. That crunch and nutty flavor goes extraordinarily well with the dried fruit and vegetables.
Back when I was a kid, chickpeas didn´t come in a can, at least not in this country. They were soaked overnight in cold water and boiled the next day until tender. I like to do it once in a while now, but nothing beats opening a can of already cooked chickpeas for a quick bite.
As it usually happens, I made the salad, took the pictures, ate half for lunch and the rest went into the fridge. It turns out that I particularly like the way the dressing macerates and softens the carrots when left to chill for a few hours. So this is a salad that can be prepared a few hours before. But add the chopped herbs and almonds at the last minute.
MOROCCAN CARROT, CHICKPEA, DRIED FRUIT AND ALMOND SALAD
barely adapted from 101Cookbooks
Makes 4 servings
For the dressing:
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2-3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
For the salad:
- 2 large carrots
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed if they´re from a can
- 6 dried apricot halves, sliced
- 4 black dried figs, sliced
- ¼ to 1/3 cup sliced, toasted almonds
- Fresh mint and dill, coarsely torn or left whole
For the dressing:
In a skillet, heat seeds over low heat for 1 or 2 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar or grinder and coarsely grind.
In a jar mix the rest of the dressing ingredients and add the ground seeds. Reserve in the fridge while making the salad.
For the salad:
Peel carrots, and with the vegetable peeler, make long ribbons, letting them fall onto the serving plate. Add chickpeas, a few tablespoons of the dressing and mix lightly with your hands, mounding a bit.
Scatter the dried fruits and herbs on top, drizzle more dressing, add toasted almonds and serve.
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Many times, when I’ve been traveling and staying with a family I’ve been asked to make an American meal. It’s always interesting for me to hear just what my host family considers “American” food. It’s always a different answer. I think that the best part is that to me, there really is no definitive answer. A lot of it is regional and even more food is transplanted from somewhere else and then adapted based on what’s available locally.
Recently I had the opportunity to try out some Goya products. I’ve used Goya quite a bit and was no stranger to their products. While MarocBaba refused to eat any ethnic food when he first move to the US, he’s since gotten very adventurous. He loves Mexican/Latin food, Indo-Pakistani meals are as welcome, and he doesn’t even turn up his nose at tofu. I’m so proud! We really love Latin cuisine and so trying out Goya’s new cookbook and a few products seemed like a win-win situation for us (and you!).
In the mail I received a box with a Spanish/English Goya Latin food cookbook, a jar of peach halves, light Adobo seasoning, and green pickled jalapenos. I kind of felt like a contest on Chopped! In the cookbook there is a recipe for Grilled Fish Tacos with Peach Salsa – perfect. I swapped the fish for shrimp and used corn tortillas to keep it gluten-free. Here’s how I made this meal.
Have a flavorful Latin meal on your table in 30 minutes or less with the help of Goya products.
- *recipe adapted from La Cocina Goya; Healthy, Tasty, Affordable Latin Cooking
- *For the Fish
- 1 lb raw shrimp deveined
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp Goya Adobo Light Seasoning
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- *For the Peach Jalapeno Salsa
- 2 peach halves drained, rinsed and chopped
- 1/4 onion chopped
- 1 finely chopped Goya Jalapeno
- 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- If you would like to grill the shrimp, you can do so in a grill basket. I cooked mine on the stove.
- Toss shrimp in adobo seasoning, olive oil, cumin, and pepper.
- Heat a skillet to medium heat and add the shrimp.
- Cook just until the shrimp have turned pink in color and remove from heat.
- In a small bowl add the chopped peaches, jalapeno, cilantro, and onion.
- Use a spoon to mix in lemon juice.
- The salsa can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Allowing it to sit for a little while will allow the flavors to combine.
- To serve, warm tortillas and fill with shrimp. Top with salsa.
If you’d love to try more great recipes from Goya and some excellent products – you can. Goya has offered to give a MarocMama reader the same package I received. Follow the Rafflecopter instructions for your chance to win.
My friend Aimee, who blogs at Goa Getter, lives in Hyderabad, India and I am incredibly jealous of her food adventures. Late one night (thanks to a 10 1/2 hr time difference) we were talking about food – go figure. She was telling me all about the different delicious-already-made food she could find by just going outside and around in her neighborhood. The next day I made a 5 course Indian meal because I couldn’t get it out of my head.
I didn’t always like Indian food. In fact I’m still intimidated by a lot of curries and other dishes, but I love the variety and use of fresh spices and vegetables. If I ever have to become vegetarian, I’m moving to India. To quell my longing for spicy dishes, and turn around a tasty meal in a short time I created this vegetarian pakora curry. Pakoras are essentially a mix between a dumpling and a breading. They are fried and found throughout South Asia and take on different fillings and serving styles depending on the country.
The “dough” or batter used on the pakora varies but I opted for a chickpea flour to keep this gluten free. It’s also dairy-free and nut-free so this dish is a great option for those with allergies. Instead of making my own curry sauce which is time consuming, I used Saffron Road’s Thai Red Curry Simmer Sauce. If you like things hot, this is the sauce for you. It can be “cooled down” some by mixing in yogurt or cream. No matter what spice level you like I know you’ll love this dish. Right after I share this recipe, I’ve got a special giveaway from Saffron Road for one lucky reader – someone will win one each of the new simmer sauces, Saffron Road’s super popular crunchy chickpeas, and a new lunchbox to take your leftovers to work the next day (if you’ve got any left!) Be sure to keep reading to enter!
- 3/4 cup chopped zucchini
- 3/4 cup chopped carrots
- 3/4 cup chopped cauliflower
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- handful Italian parsley
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ginger
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 2-3 cups chickpea flour
- warm water
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1 package Saffron Road Thai Red Curry Simmer Sauce
- Greek yogurt or cream (optional)
- Peel and chop all vegetables (zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, and onions) and add to a large mixing bowl.
- Chop flatleaf Italian parsley roughly and mix with the vegetables.
- Toss vegetables with salt, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and garlic.
- In a separate bowl, add 2-3 cups of chickpea flour. If you want a looser pakora add more water and less flour to make a thinner batter. For firmer pakora add less water and more flour. You will need to have enough batter to hold the fritters together when frying.
- In a large pot heat enough vegetable oil to cover pakora at least 1/2 way (1-2" deep of oil).
- When the oil is hot enough - a drop of batter placed in the fryer sizzles - reduce heat to medium and drop dough by the tablespoonful into the oil. Do not overcrowd the pan!
- Fry pakora until golden brown on all sides, flip if needed. Remove and drain in a paper towel.
- Repeat until the dough has been used up.
- In a large pan, add the contents of the Thai Red Curry Simmer Sauce. You can additionally add Greek yogurt or heavy cream to cool down the sauce. You could also serve the yogurt on the side so that individuals can add the amount they desire.
- When the simmer sauce begins to bubble, add the pakora. I had a few left over but this will really depend on the size you make.
- Cook just long enough to coat the pakora in the sauce.
- Serve immediately hot.
- They can be eaten on top of rice, or scooped up with naan.
Ready to try this simmer sauce? Enter the giveaway! Closes midnight on July 24th.
Soup is a hard sell in our house. But thick, creamy stews, well they get eaten up right away. Chicken and dumplings is not a meal I grew up with but my sister first made for us about a year ago. I love it, my kids love it, even MarocBaba loves it.
Summer in the Midwest is humid and oppressive at times. We wait months and months (sometimes 8 or more!) for the sun to finally break through and warm things up. Some nights the humidity lingers making your clothes stick to your back and your tongue thick in your mouth. Then there are the nights when the cool air begins to blow, whispering a reminder that this time is short lived – soon winter will be back. I love the cool nights, when a light sweater is in order and it’s enjoyable to take a walk around the neighborhood. It’s those nights that I don’t mind starting the stove, knowing full well it will add heat to the house.
Summer brings those of us in the Midwest, fresh, delicious produce; most of it grown locally on family farms. These few short months I try to eat as many fruits and vegetables as I can because I know by September it will all be gone. That’s what I use in all of my recipes and it makes everything taste just that much better.
Chicken and Dumplings is one of those cool summer night dishes. Warm enough to take off the chill but loaded with fresh produce. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a meal that requires a long cooking time or a ton of kitchen skills. It’s soooo easy! I’ve changed the recipe some so that this can be made in about 30 minutes. You can use leftovers that you have on hand. I’ve made this recipe gluten- free, but you don’t have to.
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 carton Saffron Road Chicken Broth
- 2 cups of diced, cooked chicken
- 3-4 carrots diced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3-4 springs of thyme, leaves removed from stalk
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tbsp butter
- In a large pan, add the olive oil and butter and turn heat to medium high.
- Once the butter has melted, stir in the diced onion and diced carrot. Cook 5-8 minutes, continuing to stir, until the onion is translucent.
- Pour in all of the chicken broth, as well as the salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and chopped chicken.(Chicken could be leftover from a roast/rotisserie chicken, or boiled ahead of time - you can use raw chicken it will just take longer to cook.)
- Cook for 15 minutes on low heat for flavors to combine.
- Stir together baking powder, salt, and flour.
- Cut the butter into the flour, either using a food processor, pastry cutter, or your hands.
- Slowly add the milk until a dough has been formed.
- You can either roll out the dough and cut into flat noodle shapes, or drop into the pan like a drop dumpling. Adjust the milk according to your preference. Drop dumplings will have a more liquidy batter, whereas rolled dumplings should be more firm.
- Once added to the liquid, cover and cook on low for 10-12 minutes until dumplings are cooked through. The flour from the dumplings will help thicken the soup.
- Serve hot.