MarocMama

eat well, travel often, dream big!

{Guest Post} Sayadieh Bil Samek from Heather at girlichef

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.

Sayadieh Bil Samek (Fish Pilaf w/ Caramelized Onions) - a guest post from www.girlichef.com | www.marocmama.com

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!

Sayadieh Bil Samek (Fish Pilaf w/ Caramelized Onions) - a guest post from www.girlichef.com | www.marocmama.com

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!

Sayadieh Bil Samek (Fish Pilaf w/ Caramelized Onions) - a guest post from www.girlichef.com | www.marocmama.com

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)

by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez (adapted from An Edible Mosaic, the cookbook)

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

    to finish:

    • 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

    to serve:

    • lemon wedges

    Instructions

    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.

    Sayadieh Bil Samek (Fish Pilaf w/ Caramelized Onions) - a guest post from www.girlichef.com | www.marocmama.com

    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).

    Sayadieh Bil Samek (Fish Pilaf w/ Caramelized Onions) - a guest post from www.girlichef.com | www.marocmama.com

    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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        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…
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    Shrimp Tacos with Peach Jalapeno Salsa

    Goya Shrimp Tacos and Peach Salsa

     

    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.

    Shrimp Tacos with Peach Jalapeno Salsa

    15 minutes

    15 minutes

    30 minutes

    6

    2 tacos

    Have a flavorful Latin meal on your table in 30 minutes or less with the help of Goya products.

    Ingredients

    • *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

    Instructions

    • 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.
    3.1
    http://marocmama.com/2013/07/shrimp-tacos-with-peach-jalapeno-salsa.html

    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.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    الدار البيضاء Fish Tajine for #SundaySupper

    This week’s Sunday Supper theme is awesome.  I’m so excited!  Everyone is sharing a movie inspired recipe. Even though I loathe it, I wonder if you can guess which movie I’ve chosen?

    Want to know a little insider secret? There’s no such place as Rick’s Cafe – never was.  Flocks of tourists visit Casablanca every year to find it, and they do find a Rick’s Cafe but it’s just a tourist trap. It’s interesting to watch this movie, knowing a bit of history surrounding the area during that time.  Casablanca was certainly an international city though it’s safe to say English wasn’t the language d’jour. The first time I went to Casablanca it wasn’t at all what I expected.  It looks like every other large city in the developing world. While I am sure there are some very nice parts of town, the places I’ve been have not been anywhere I would want to live long term.

    Because Casablanca is a port city, fish and seafood is fresh and plentiful. It’s very easy to buy fish for only a dollar or two, that I can only dream about here in the middle of the US.  Up and down the Moroccan coast there are variations of tajines, stuffed fish, and other seafood dishes specific to that region and sometimes even a specific city.  This fish tajine can be found in Casablanca.  It’s easy to make and even if you think you don’t like fish, well you may just change your mind after trying this!

    Casablanca Fish Tajine

    Ingredients

    • one large handful of Italian parsley
    • 1 tsp kosher salt or sea salt
    • 2 minced garlic cloves
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp hot paprika
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 lb thick, white fish such as cod, haddock, or halibut
    • 6 whole carrots peeled, and halved
    • 1 large tomato
    • 1 green pepper

    Directions

    Preparing the Marinade

    1. If you have a mortar and pestle add the parsley, minced garlic, and sea salt to the mortar and break it down using the pestle. If you don’t have this, simply add the ingredients to a bowl and use the back of a spoon to break them down.  When you have broken down the parsley and garlic, add the cumin, hot paprika, and lemon juice. Stream in a little bit of water so that there is an easy to pour marinade.

    2. Clean your fish fillets, removing all of the skin from the fish.  This may be difficult however you will not want the skin in the tajine.

    3. Coat the fish with the marinade and place on a plate or in a large bowl.  Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes – 2 hours.  The longer you allow it to sit the more flavorful the fish will be.

    Fish for Casablanca Tajine

    4. While you are waiting for the fish, begin to prepare the vegetables.  Peel and cut the carrots into halves.  Wash the tomato and slice horizontally into several thin slices, discard the top and stem.  Wash and cut the top off of a green pepper. Scoop out the seed and cut horizontally into thin slices.

    5. Once the fish has marinated begin to prepare the tajine.  I used an unglazed clay tajine.  If you don’t have a tajine you can use a heavy bottomed pot with a lid. Start by layering the carrots in the bottom of the vessel. Next add the fish, then the tomatoes, and finally the green peppers.  Pour the rest of the marinade from the bowl on top of the tajine. Finally, add 1/4 cup of water around the outer edges.

    6. Turn the heat to low and cover the tajine.  Leave untouched for 20-30 minutes. After this time, quickly uncover and check the water level.  If it is low add a little more to the outer edges.  If not, re-cover and leave alone for another 20 minutes. The tajine is done when the fish is flaking, the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce and the vegetables are soft to the touch.

    Casablanca Fish Tajine Cooked

    Serve the tajine with crusty bread and several Moroccan salads such as zaalook, green pepper and preserved lemon salad, and Arabic salad.

    I hope you enjoy this taste of Casablanca.

    I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes from the movie.

    Casablanca Quote Collage

    Be sure to check out the other Sunday Supper contributors too to see their movie inspired recipes! Join us , at 7 p.m., EDT, join us for a Twitter chat about food and movies. Use the hashtag #SundaySupper. See our href=”http://pinterest.com/thesundaysupper/sundaysupper/”>#SundaySupper Pinterest board for amazing photos and recipe inspiration.

    Toast (bready things)

    No Reservations (soups and salads)

    Today’s Special (fish, chicken, beef, and pork)

    Forks Over Knives (veggie-heavy dishes and sides)

    Udon (pasta and noodles)

    Just Desserts (sweet treats)

    Bottle Shock (beverages)

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    Belizean Fish Serre for #WeekdaySupper

    Belize

    Two weeks ago we were standing in the middle of the Belizean Jungle.

    snow

    Out the window today?  Kind of depressing isn’t it?

    We had the most amazing vacation and I completely fell in love with the Caribbean and Central America.  Like, head over heels in love. My only complaint was that we just didn’t have enough time! Today I’m sharing a Belizean seafood recipe for #WeekdaySupper.  What is #WeekdaySupper you ask? You’ve seen me participating in #SundaySupper for months now, but the Sunday team is also taking turns hosting a recipe each day.  We’ll share a recipe each weekday to get your family around the table every day!

    So where is Belize?

    Belize Map

    I’m sure a lot of people have never heard of this country, but it’s been popping up often in travel circles as a great destination – because it is!  It’s certainly a developing nation but thanks to tourism it’s emerging.  The roads are iffy, but the scenery is breathtaking. It has some of the best diving in the world.  I was a however a little saddened by the food.  It’s pretty meh.  I’m going to blame this on the fact that it was a British colony until the 1980’s!  No, that’s not fair but in truth what we did eat here was not too spectacular.  I’m imagining that in the home kitchens of Belize the food is much better.

    Back to my recipe.  Fish Serre is a Garifuna dish.  The Garifuna people are descendants of Carib, Arawak, and West African people. They live in the coastal communities of Central America and speak a creole language. It’s no surprise that seafood is a commonly eaten in Belize.  They really do make use of the locally grown products whether they are foraged in the jungles or commercially grown. This dish is a great example of that.  I love this recipe because it looks really impressive, but it’s SO easy to make!

    picmonkey_image

    Ingredients

    • 4 filets of a whitefish such as tilapia or cod. Red Snapper is another option
    • 3-4 carrots sliced thinly
    • 1 red pepper (bell or hot depending on how hot you like it!)
    • 2 plantains
    • salt and pepper to season
    • 2 cloves crushed garlic
    • 1 can of coconut milk
    • cooked white rice (to serve on the side)
    • parchment paper

    Directions

    Preheat your oven to 350F.

    In a large bowl (big enough for your fish filets), pour out the coconut milk. Traditionally this would be made by grating a coconut and squeezing out the liquid – but I don’t think many of us have spare coconuts lying around to do that! Keep in mind that canned coconut milk will often solidify so you may need to use a whisk to mix together the liquids and solids. Add in the garlic cloves as well.

    Rinse off your fish and season with salt and pepper.  Slide into the bowl of coconut milk and allow to marinade 15-20 minutes. While the fish is getting ready wash and cut your produce.  The carrots should be peeled and sliced thinly – you can use a mandolin if you have one or else just use a knife.  Clean the pepper and cut into long thin strips. Finely peel and cut the plantain into bite size rounds.

    On a large surface  cut a piece of parchment paper about the size of large cookie sheet (about 18 x 13 inches).  In the center make a bed of pepper slices, followed by carrot slices and finally a piece of fish on top. You can add the plantains around the sides or on top of the fish. Drizzle some of the coconut liquid on top of the fish and vegetables. To seal the package, take up the two long ends of the paper and fold over on each other, closing the top.  Then fold up each of the sides so that it is sealed all the way around. Repeat for all of the fish.  Place the packages on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan and slide into the preheated oven.

    The cooking time will depend on how thick your fish is but it should take about 25 minutes.  You can open up one of the packages to check. If the fish is flaking or falling apart it’s ready!

    You can serve the packages as they are on the table, allowing your guests the opportunity to open up their own or you can plate them.  This is typically served with white rice on the side and the liquid serving as a gravy of sorts.

    One note – this is a bit sweet, so you may wish to also have some hot sauce along the side.  I think the hot and sweet makes a really nice compliment to each other!

    Belizean Fish Serre

      Sunday Supper MovementThroughout the week, you can find the #SundaySupper team sharing #WeekdaySupper meals as well. Getting families back to the dinner table is our mission, and I hope we inspire you to try some of our delicious recipes. You can find them on our Pinterest Boards as well as at our weekly #SundaySupper chats on Twitter. We meet up each Sunday at 4 p.m. Pacific Time to chat about our best food ideas and recipes, to encourage families to meet for meals around the family dinner table. Please join us!

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    Garlic Shrimp Bruschetta for Your Valentine #SundaySupper

    garlic shrimp bruschetta

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Thursday is Valentine’s Day, an (in my opinion) over-hyped, commercialized holiday – at least where we live. you might be wondering why in the world I’m blogging about this then. I think that any opportunity we have to show the ones we love our appreciation we should do it.  In my life, that means cooking a meal loaded with love. There is one appetizer that I know will always put a smile on MarocBaba’s face.  It’s so simple and sometimes I wonder why I don’t make it more often. Then again maybe if I did it would be less special?  So how did I discover his love for this dish?  Well that’s an interesting story…

    In 2007, we had been married for almost a year and were living in Washington D.C.  My cooking skills were still a bit on the rough side but I truly made an effort to prepare great meals. We had only lived in the area for about 6 months and didn’t really have any friends. Our kids were very young and both of us were working long hours just to get by. Even if we would have known where to go for a night out, we couldn’t afford a babysitter (or to pay for dinner!). On my way home from work that night I stopped and picked up some taper candles and holders from the dollar store.  I had been planning a meal for several days and after I picked up the kids I set to start our meal. MarocBaba worked evenings and I knew I would have just enough time to get the kids fed, bathed and tucked in before I had to finish the meal. I hurried to get everything together.  The menu was pretty simple, it was this garlic bruschetta, cheese stuffed chicken breasts and chocolate covered strawberries. I covered our coffee table with a red tablecloth and set up the taper candles, set out the plates and waited, and waited.  I was actually really nervous! When he finally came home and saw dinner on the table and the house dark a huge smile came across his face. Not to mention, the meal turned out really good.

    Since the first time making this very easy appetizer it’s been his first choice when I ask him what he’d like.  If by some chance you’re a guy looking for an easy appetizer to impress your lady *wink wink* this just might be it.

    A note – I’ve made this with both raw and cooked shrimp.  I think that it really tastes much better when you use raw shrimp, but if all you’ve got is the pre-cooked variety, reduce the cooking time and only toss it in to warm up the shrimp.

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 lb raw black tiger shrimp, de-veined, shelled, and cut into small pieces
    • juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 1 tsp lemon zest
    • 1 Tbsp butter
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic (add more if you love garlic!)
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 cup cooked corn (I thaw frozen corn)
    • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
    • palmful of chopped flat leaf parsley
    • salt to taste
    • toasted rounds or points of bread

    Directions

    In a saute pan, heat the butter and oil on medium heat.  Add the garlic and stir so that the garlic doesn’t burn.

    Add the shrimp, lemon juice and lemon zest, continuing to stir until the shrimp turns pink.

    Reduce the heat to low and mix in the parsley and cayenne pepper.

    Finally mix together the shrimp, tomatoes and corn. Taste and add a pinch of salt if needed.

    Toast rounds or points of bread.  Top with the shrimp mixture.

    See, I told you it was easy! 

    The rest of the #SundaySupper team is making great dishes this week too.  Check out (and try) some of these fantastic recipes – your sweetie will thank you!

    #SundaySupper Valentine’s Day Breakfasts, Apps & Main Dishes:

    #SundaySupper Valentine’s Day Sweet Eats:

    #SundaySupper Valentine’s Day Drinks:

    #SundaySupper Valentine’s Day Tablescape:  A Romantic Table For Two Please fromAn Appealing Plan

    Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday, February 10th to talk all about Valentine’s eats and treats!  We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world.  Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun.  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 fabulous recipes and food photos!

     

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    The Crab Confessional with Crab Louie

    Growing up we didn’t eat much seafood – I’ll attribute that to living at least a thousand miles from any salt water. As I began to travel more and become more adventurous with food I tried crab legs and fell in love.  I even pulled my husband onto the same crab loving boat with me.  Living on the East Coast, just a short drive from the Chesapeake Bay we were able to buy crab extremely cheap.  It no longer was a luxury but became common in our diets.  When we went to Morocco last fall and visited the fishing town of Essaouira crab was the only thing on my mind. But, crab isn’t that popular in Morocco.  Most people just aren’t into it (crazy!).  We asked around for a while before we could find someone who was selling them.  The price we got for four was way better than what we would have to pay back home.  (under $5 for all of them!)

    Moroccan Crab

    As I poured over Emerils’ “Kicked Up Sandwiches” I bookmarked the Crab Louie for a lunchtime meal. Yesterday as I sat half-starving in my office I remembered the sandwich and ran upstairs to see if I had everything, and surprisingly I did.  Emeril pairs this sandwich with hard boiled egg, avocado, tomato and lettuce, some I had and some I didn’t. Most importantly is the lump crab meat of which I didn’t have any fresh but did have a tin of.  Worked like a charm. I cut down the recipe listed and opted to go easy on the hot sauce (though MarocBaba added it back and said it was “much better” that way). In less than 10 minutes I had this delicious lunch.

    Included in the cookbook are recipes to make homemade mayo and the rolls this sandwich is paired with, but in a pinch I used store bought of both. Horseradish, fresh herbs, and the hot sauce are some of the key ingredients when mixing this together and I can honestly say the flavors stood out and made this dish.  I had never made anything other than crab cakes with crab meat but this sandwich is going to be on my menu for a long time!

    Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post however I did receive the Kicked-Up Sandwiches Cookbook for free in order to participate.  I will not be sharing the complete recipe for each sandwich as this compromises the integrity and intellectual property of the cookbook author.  If you would like the complete recipe for this sandwich, cookbooks can be pre-ordered from the publisher. 

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      Does this bread not scream fall? When I stopped by the bakery and saw trays of this beautiful bread fresh out of the oven I knew I had to scoop up a loaf and make something really delicious. It doesn't take too much convincing for me to try new breads, in fact there was a…
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      A rite of passage when growing up in Wisconsin is attending the fish fry.  Traditionally these were held Friday nights during Lent. But, just about any supper club or family style restaurant has a Friday fish fry.  Dressing up and going out to dinner with grandparents Friday night was a BIG deal!  Interestingly enough Moroccans…
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    Moroccan Fried Fish Dinner

    Moroccan Fried Fish

    A rite of passage when growing up in Wisconsin is attending the fish fry.  Traditionally these were held Friday nights during Lent. But, just about any supper club or family style restaurant has a Friday fish fry.  Dressing up and going out to dinner with grandparents Friday night was a BIG deal!  Interestingly enough Moroccans also enjoy fried fish! But instead of the crusty beer battered variety I grew up with the Moroccan version is loaded with spices. I pan fry this version and prefer to make it during summer months so that the windows and doors can be open.  I don’t care for the smell of oil in the house.

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb sole (or other white fish) filets
    • 1 tsp sumac
    • 1 tsp chopped cilantro
    • 1 tsp chopped Italian parsley
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp pepper
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 preserved lemon (rind removed)
    • 1 cup breading (I used white rice flour, you can use AP flour, semolina, bread crumbs – anything really!)
    • vegetable oil for frying
    • lemon wedges to serve with the fish

    Moroccan fish with Spices

    Directions

    This couldn’t be easier! Clean the fish, checking for and removing any small bones that might be remaining. In a small bowl mix the pulp of the preserved lemon, salt, pepper, sumac, olive oil, cilantro and parsley.  Put the fish in a shallow bowl big enough to lay it flat.  Pour the marinade on top of the fish.  Use your hands to make sure the fish is completely coated.

    You can cook this immediately but it will be better if you refrigerate for a few hours to let the marinade soak in.

    When you’re ready to fry the fish – heat up a deep skillet with oil about 1/4″ deep. On a plate add your breading and begin to coat the fish.  Test the oil, making sure it is hot. Place the fish in a few pieces at a time, making sure not to crowd the pan.  When one side of the fish is brown, flip it over to brown the other.  Remove from the oil to a paper towel to blot excess oil.  Sprinkle with a little salt to finish.

    If I’m frying fish I’ll cut up some zucchini or eggplant to fry at the same time.  This might be fried food overload BUT it’s a treat to have on occasion. As you can see from the picture we did have corn with it too – so that’s kind of healthy!

    What’s your favorite fried food? 

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    Corn Couscous with Spicy Shrimp and Peas

    I first heard about corn grit couscous from Paula Wolfert (trust me she’s my catalyst to so many uncovered corners of Moroccan cooking).  I was apprehensive.  I was puzzled. I really didn’t think it would be good – at all. The image I have of grits is a gooey sticky mess with some butter and salt and pepper, certainly not the fluffy tender consistency I associate with a good couscous. But, we can’t eat regular couscous anymore because it’s made of wheat. I surrendered to my fear of lumpy corn grits and trusted that this would turn out.  It did.  The best part, I actually like the taste of the corn couscous as much, and maybe even more than traditional couscous.

    corn couscous

    I used Bob’s Red Mill corn grits (also known as polenta).  You will notice that the grains are smaller than couscous.  This immediately worried me because the holes in my couscousierre are way too big.  I knew that 50% of this would fall through the holes.  So instead of just adding it to the top of the pot I lined the top of the couscousierre with a thin dish towel that would allow the steam to get through keep the corn grains from falling below.

    Before steaming the first time, I spread the grits out into a large bowl and added 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt water and separated the grains as much as possible.  You may need to add more water, they really should be quite damp but not dripping liquid. Fill the bottom of the couscousierre half-full of water. Transfer the corn grits to the top of the vessel and turn the stove temperature to high.  Traditionally, the vegetables and meat that go on top of the couscous simmer in the pot below the steaming couscous, but because I was using shrimp this wouldn’t work.  Boiling water beneath will work fine for this recipe. Cover the top of the pot with a lid and leave alone for about 20 minutes.  At this point check the grains. If they feel dry then remove and pour back into the bowl you originally used.  Add more of the salt water and continue the process the same way you did the first time, taking care to separate the grains as much as possible.  Just as with traditional couscous you will steam the grits 3 times.

    Corn Couscous Grains

    During the third and final steaming prepare the shrimp. What you’ll need;

    • 1 lb fresh shrimp, veins removed and tails off
    • 1 tsp harissa
    • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic
    • 2 tomatoes pureed
    • 2 Tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
    • 2 cup fish or vegetable stock
    • 2 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp salt
    •  palmful of chopped parsley and cilantro (mixed)
    • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas

    The sauce for this couscous is really very simple.  In a large skillet heat the oil and add the garlic.  Once softened, pour the pureed tomato, cumin, salt, and harissa, parsley and cilantro to the pan and mix well.  Slowly pour the stock into the tomato sauce and bring the heat up.  Once the sauce is bubbling the shrimp and peas can be added. It will only take a few minutes for the shrimp to cook and peas to warm through.  The sauce should have a thinner consistency.

    Remove your corn grits once their final steaming is done, and pour into a large serving dish.  Use your fingers or a fork to separate the grains as much as possible.  Top with the shrimp and sauce.  Serve immediately with a large spoon for each diner.  You can also have extra harissa at the table for an added zing!

    I am really looking forward to making other couscous dishes with corn grits, and think that it also would make a great side dish with other meals.

    Have you ever eaten corn couscous?  What else would you make with this ingredient?

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