MarocMama

eat well, travel often, dream big!

Moroccan Kefta and Eggs Tagine

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!

Now let’s talk about Kefta!

 

Kefta in Skillet

 

The Kefta are tiny lil meatballs, seasoned with a wonderful blend of cinnamon and cumin, swimming in all of this goodness. It’s a wonderful blend of flavors, fresh and delicious.

 

Kefta and Eggs Tagine
The eggs poach perfectly in the freshly made tomato sauce and make an amazing meal.

 

Eggs Tagine Yolk

 

This would be a great dish to start with if you have never made any Middle Eastern dishes, like myself. It looks incredibly impressive and is very simple to prepare. My whole family – including my 6 year old – loved it!

 

Thank you Amanda, for giving me an opportunity to try a dish I would have likely overlooked!

 

Moroccan Kefta and Eggs Tagine

Ingredients

    For the Kefta Meatballs
  • (16 oz) ground beef or lamb
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • black pepper to taste
  • For the Eggs
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
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http://marocmama.com/2013/08/moroccan-kefta-and-eggs-tagine.html

 

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.

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Moroccan Carrot, Chickpea, Dried Fruit and Almond Salad from Paula of Vintage Kitchen Notes

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 tajinezaatar 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 empanadasgrilled 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.

CARROT CHICKPEA SALAD

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.

CARROT CHICKPEA SALAD 022

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.

CARROT CHICKPEA SALAD

MOROCCAN CARROT, CHICKPEA, DRIED FRUIT AND ALMOND SALAD

barely adapted from 101Cookbooks

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

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

Directions

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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Vegetarian Thai Red Curry Pakora

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.

Vegetable Pakora

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.

Pakora Dumpling

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!

Thai Red Curry Pakora

Vegetarian Thai Red Curry Pakora

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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.
  • To make the curry
  • 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.
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http://marocmama.com/2013/07/vegetarian-thai-red-curry-pakora.html

Ready to try this simmer sauce?  Enter the giveaway!  Closes midnight on July 24th.  

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Strawberry Lemonade Salad

When you think of summer, what are some of the first food items that pop into your mind? Me? It’s strawberries and lemonade. I’m joining a monthly blogging group where we’ll share a new salad each month. My salad contributions are most likely going to contain very little lettuce – I just can’t eat it after surgery. But I promise they will be healthy and delicious.  This month take a big bite of this strawberry lemonade salad.

Strawberry Lemonade Salad with Goat Cheese

I am so in love with this salad.  It’s simple, and a fantastic way to clean out your fruit drawer.  I think it makes a great pre-dinner salad/cheese course, dessert, or breakfast.  Who says you can’t have salad for breakfast?!? Don’t feel limited to the fruit I’ve included in the recipe – use what you have but I’d make sure to make this when strawberries are fresh, juicy, and delicious; don’t leave them off!

Strawberry Lemonade Salad

Ingredients

    Salad
  • 8-10 large strawberries hulled and sliced
  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 banana
  • Lemonade Salad Dressing
  • Juice of 1-2 lemon (totaling between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • Goat Cheese Balls
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • almond flour

Instructions

  • Wash and clean all of your produce.
  • Remove the skin of the apple and pear if desired; if not simply cut the fruit into bite size pieces
  • Hull and slice the strawberries into several pieces
  • Peel and slice banana.
  • Add all of the fruit to a large bowl.
  • To Make the Dressing
  • In a pot, juice the lemon(s) and turn heat to medium.
  • Stir in the raw honey
  • Allow the juice to bubble and reduce down slightly.
  • Mix the dressing with the fruit.
  • To make the goat cheese balls, simply shape your cheese into bite size pieces and coat in almond flour.
  • Plate fruit and cheese and serve!
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http://marocmama.com/2013/06/strawberry-lemonade-salad.html

Strawberry Lemonade Salad

One of the reasons I really love this combination is because the dressing is dual-purpose.  Yes it tastes delicious (hello lemonade!) but the lemon juice also helps prevent the fruit from browning, which seems to happen very rapidly in the summer.

What’s your favorite kind of salad? Have an ingredient you’d love me to use in the future? Let me know in the comments!

The Salad Bar

 

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The Salad Bar is a monthly blogging challenge started by Wendy of The Weekend Gourmet.  This month’s theme was berries, join  me for next month’s challenge on the first Saturday of the month!


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Moroccan Carrot Salad

Do your kids cringe at the sight of cooked carrots?  One of the easiest and most delicious Moroccan salads is this cooked carrot salad served at room temperature and dressed with a simple vinaigrette.

Moroccan Carrot Salad

When I was growing up I, like many other kids, wasn’t too fond of cooked vegetables. But, fresh vegetables well that was another story.  Every summer my grandpa grew a huge backyard garden.  He left one corner for my sister and me to plant our own garden. He grew row after row of carrots, beans, tomatoes, rutabaga (which I didn’t even realize was a turnip until recently), sweet corn, and peppers. He had a good friend who had a much larger farm and planted even more produce.  My grandparents happened to live on the major highway that went through our small town. So, every summer grandpa had tables set up on the front lawn to sell whatever was ready to pick.  He also went out and picked wild fruit, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries all summer long.  In the backyard apple and pear trees were picked and the fruit sold, as well as stalks of rhubarb.  I used to love spending the morning sitting with grandpa and selling produce.  Me and my sister got to eat whatever we wanted, just pulling it off the table. Grandpa would wipe it off on his shirt and peel or cut  it with his jack-knife on the spot. When we were ready to go home, grandpa walked us across the highway and we peddled our bikes the few blocks to our house. We had so much space to roam, and to think this was only 15-20 years ago!

When I began shopping in Moroccan markets for produce it immediately brought back these memories of summer with my grandpa. Carrots stuck with me. I used to grab a carrot from the table, dip it into the water “wash” bucket and wipe it off to eat.  Raw of course. I make this carrot salad by under cooking the carrots. MarocBaba always asks for them to be cooked softer but I like them to have a bite, to bring back those childhood memories.

Moroccan Carrot Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb carrots, peeled
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (any kind will work)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic

Instructions

  • Peel the carrots and remove the ends.
  • Boil a pot of water and add the carrots. Cook for 12-15 minutes until carrots are soft to bite through but not mushy.
  • Drain the hot water and immediately put carrots into a bowl of cold, ice water.
  • In a bowl whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.
  • Cut the carrots into rounds of similar size.
  • Dress the salad with the dressing. They should not be swimming in liquid, only add enough to lightly coat the carrots.
  • Serve cold or at room temperature.
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http://marocmama.com/2013/05/moroccan-carrot-salad.html

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Tomato and Onion Salad

Moroccan salads are so important to the dinner table. One of the easiest, is this tomato and onion salad. It’s always on the table if there is fish being served and you’re likely to find it in regular rotation with many other meals as well. It may become a new favorite after you give it a try.

Moroccan Side Salads

This is a typical salad table, which includes room temperature fried fish (the dish in the middle). I made this to go with Braniya, a recipe I shared earlier this week.  Why do these flavors work together?  They all share a common flavor profile, which is the vinegar, or acidic quality.  The eggplant topping with the braniya includes vinegar for an added punch of acid, and the side salads have a vinaigrette dressing, and this is a great flavor to go with fish.

Moroccan Carrot and Onion Salad

Tomato and Onion Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 large, fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (any kind will work)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Begin by washing the tomatoes and removing the seeds inside. You only want the exterior flesh.
  • Slice into strips and then very finely dice the strips.
  • Cut the onion into very thin strips, as thin as you possibly can cut them. Dice the strips.
  • Mix the onion and tomato together in a bowl.
  • To prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  • Drizzle the dressing on top of the tomato and onions.
  • Serve cold or at room temperature.
3.1
http://marocmama.com/2013/05/tomato-and-onion-salad.html
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Loubia {Bean} Salad in Tomato Sauce

If you asked my mom, she would probably tell you I wasn’t a very adventurous eater when I was a child. I liked all of the things every other Midwestern child liked.  Hot dogs and hamburgers, casseroles, and of course heavy doses of starches like pasta, bread, and potatoes. It’s what we ate.  It’s what I loved – and I still do. My palate was small but well tested.

I always knew there was more out there.

 
There were more tastes, more ingredients, more flavors that were waiting for me in the cities and countries I visited in my imagination. The first time I tasted something new it was a glimpse into that world. I ate whatever I could, but always thought “fancy” food was where the real tastes were; the food you would have in big name restaurants and carried hefty price tags.  But, along my journey I learned something.

Simple is best.

 
The food that has really stuck with me are the simple meals with minimal ingredients but bursting with flavor. They also carry a story, and every bite brings back that story, be it good or bad, funny or sad. This salad brings back one of those stories. It’s a simple story, for a simple dish. Sitting in a restaurant in Morocco, with my dad and my little sister. We ate the same kind of tajine for days and the only reprieve I had was the variety in the salads offered. Even though it was almost 10 years ago now, I still see us sitting at that table and eating this with fresh bread. I smile because it makes me think of this very special time I had with my dad (don’t worry he’s still with us – we just don’t live nearby). He’s always made me laugh, and even when the most difficult circumstances were brought up, he offered whatever he could, a hug, a comforting thought, or just a phone call. Simple things.

 

Moroccan white beans in red sauce

 

Loubia {Bean} Salad in Tomato Sauce

This simple Moroccan dish makes a great salad served cold, or an appealing vegetarian meal served hot. Just don't forget the bread!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried cannellini beans (also known as Great Northern Beans)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 onion chopped finely
  • handful of chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper

Instructions

  • *Soak the cannellini beans overnight in 3-4 cups of water - this will make cooking much quicker. Alternately you can use canned cannellini beans.
  • If you are using dry beans, place them in a pan and fill 3/4 with water. Place on a burner and cook the beans until they are tender.
  • In a large pan or skillet add the vegetable oil and turn the heat to medium. When the oil has warmed up add the chopped onions and saute 4-5 minutes until onions are translucent.
  • Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and stir. Mix in the crushed garlic, turmeric, salt, cumin, and red pepper. Keep the heat on low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the beans to the tomato sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes. Mix in the parsley and remove the pan from the heat.
  • This salad is served at room temperature and can be stored in the refrigerator. It's even better the next day when all the flavors have had a chance to mix together.
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http://marocmama.com/2013/05/loubia-bean-salad-in-tomato-sauce.html
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Chana Saag Bechamel Enchilada

Bechamel Chana Saag

I really love taking ethnic dishes and mixing the flavors and styles with other types of foods. MarocBaba finds the thought preposterous and I pondered this difference of opinion for a long time.  To me, there’s no hard and fast rule about types of foods or styles that go together but for him it’s very clear. I think this is another cultural difference. Growing up in the United States, food (and a lot of other things) are a mixture of traditions, countries, and cultures but for him this is just not the case. Traditional Moroccan food adheres to a pretty strict set of protocols.

In February I introduced you to Saffron Road’s chapatti wraps and this month I’m working with these delicious items again. They are really great on their own, taking only a few minutes to heat up and enjoy.  But, I knew I could kick them up just a little bit and take them from a grab-and-go lunch to a meal worthy of a sit-down dinner. While the wraps themselves only take 2-3 minutes to heat and eat, this meal will take you less than 20 minutes.

Chana Saag Enchiladas

Chana Saag Bechamel Enchilada

Ingredients

  • Chana Saag Chaptti Wraps (as many as you want!)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 clove crushed garlic, as fine as possible OR 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1c - 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 oz sharp white cheddar cheese or gruyere cheese

Instructions

  • 1) In a large skillet, begin to melt the butter. When it has melted 1/2 way, add the flour and continually mix with a wooden spoon to create a roux.
  • 2) Mix in the crushed garlic and slowly stream the milk.
  • 3) Season the mixture with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • 4) Keep mixing the sauce with the stovetop heat on low. It will begin to thicken but it's important to keep it on the heat to cook off the flour flavor.
  • 5) Finally grate the cheese into the sauce and stir until it's melted.
  • 6) Heat the chana saag chapatti wraps according to the package instructions.
  • 7) Place each wrap on a plate and drizzle with as much bechamel as you like! (Shhh I won't tell how much!)
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http://marocmama.com/2013/04/chana-saag-bechamel-enchilada.html

Chana Saag with Bechamel

Did you know April is Non GMO month?  Even better you can pick up all three of Saffron Road’s crunchy chickpeas (Falafel, Bombay Spice, and Wasabi), as well as the chana saag frozen entree and chana saag chapatti wrap on sale at your local Whole Foods through April 22nd!  Be sure to stock up.

Disclaimer: I am a brand ambassador for Saffron Road Foods, and was provided with product and compensation for this post.  Opinions are my own and this is a brand I regularly purchase for my family.
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