This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship…

Round up the usual suspects…..

Play it again Sam….  

When I think of Morocco I think Casablanca and that beautiful love affair with Bogart and Bergman.  To me, cooking with spices is it’s own kinda love affair.  So on my recent search for fall dinner ideas I discovered Moroccan inspired dishes and I have to say…“This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”  These dishes are full of flavor that will take those basic dishes up a notch.  My motto:  Everyone needs a little spice in their life…and the kitchen is the best place to start. 


Moroccan Carrot Soup

from Bon Appetit.com

Photo from Bon Appetit.com

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 pound large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 22/3 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, stirred to loosen

Directions:

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Mix in carrots. Add broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Stir cumin seeds in small skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes; cool. Finely grind in spice mill.

Remove soup from heat. Puree in batches in blender until smooth. Return to same pan. Whisk in honey, lemon juice, and allspice. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle yogurt over; sprinkle generously with cumin.

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen


Moroccan Couscous with Roast Vegetables

Recipe from: scrumpdillyicious.blogspot.com

Photo from  scrumpdillyicious.blogspot.com

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 carrots, cut into quarters lengthways and thinly sliced
  • 2 red peppers, diced
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges and separated
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups couscous
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, brought to a boil
  • 2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped plus extra for garnish

2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped plus extra for garnish

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Toss the carrot, red pepper, zucchini and red onion in a baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, lightly toast the almonds in a frying pan until they’re golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and salt, and mix well.

Five minutes before the vegetables have finished roasting, mix the couscous, turmeric and raisins in a large bowl and pour over the boiling stock. Cover with plastic wrap to seal in the steam, and let sit for five minutes. Then fluff the couscous with a fork to separate the grains and stir through the carrot, red pepper, red onion, almonds, chickpeas, mint and cilantro. Pour over the dressing and toss together until well combined. 
 
Serve on a large platter, either warm or at room temperature with a garnish of cilantro and chopped mint.

Spiced Roasted Cauliflower

Recipe from: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

Photo from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 cup Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes or Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Fresh parsley leaves, chopped, for garnish

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In an oven-safe
  • skillet, heat oil and sauté garlic and onion until flagrant, about 3 minutes.
  • Add in cauliflower florets and mix to combine.
  • Add in crushed or diced tomatoes, cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and mix until cauliflower is coated.
  • Transfer skillet to the oven and roast for 45 minutes until tender and golden.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

SLOW COOKER MOROCCAN CHICKEN STEW

Recipe from: Living Lou.com

Photo from Living Lou.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cubed
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/4 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water

Preparations:

  1. In a small bowl, combine cumin, paprika, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with 1 tbsp of spice mixture.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, sauté until beginning to soften about 2-3 minutes. Add chicken to pan and brown, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, sweet potato, carrots and remaining spice mixture. Cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Dump chicken and vegetables into slow cooker.
  6. Add crushed tomato and water to the pan you cooked the vegetables and chicken in. Stir to loosen up brown bits on bottom of the pan.
  7. Dump liquid into slow cooker.
  8. Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.

Moroccan Shepherd’s pie with sweet potato

Recipe from: Our Four Forks.com

Photo from Our Four Forks.com

INGREDIENTS

For the filling:
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground lamb or beef (omit for vegan)
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15 oz. cans drained) (optional for meat version)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 2 cups chopped plum tomatoes (about ¾ 28 oz can, drained)
  • ½ cup stock (vegetable, chicken or beef) + salt to taste
  • ½ cup currants or raisins
  • ½ bunch cilantro, stems removed, chopped
For the mash:
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chucks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons non-dariy milk (more if needed)

Preparations:

For the filling:
  1. Brown the ground meat in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Remove meat from skillet and set aside.
  3. Add olive oil to the pan along with the onions, garlic, ginger, spices and salt and cook for 8-10 minutes until the onion is softened.
  4. Return the meat to the pan (if using) along with the honey, tomatoes and stock.
  5. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes more.
  6. Add chickpeas (if using), currants, and chopped cilantro, stir and remove from heat.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the mash:
  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 15 minutes or until tender.
  2. Drain well and add the olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, salt and milk.
  3. With a hand blender (or potato masher), blend until they reach a creamy consistency.
Assembly:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Fill a 13 in x 9 in casserole dish with the filling and spread the mash on top.
  3. Bake for 40 minutes until the topping is beginning to brown.
  4. Garnish with extra chopped cilantro, if desired.

Moroccan Sheet Pan Chicken

Photo from Rachael Ray Mag.com

Recipe from: Rachael Ray

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. and a pinch Moroccan Spice Blend
  • 4 whole chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks attached)
  • 2 cans (15 to 15.5 oz. each) chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 lb. carrots—peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces and halved lengthwise if larger than 1 inch diameter
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch wedges with some core attached
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit (such as apricots, prunes, figs and raisins)
  • 1 tbsp. honey

Preparation:

1. In a medium bowl, mix 2 tbsp. oil, 2 tbsp. Moroccan Spice Blend and 1 tbsp. salt. Toss with the chicken, rubbing to coat well. Cover and chill overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°. On one side of a large, foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, arrange the chicken, skin side up. In a large bowl, toss the chickpeas, carrots, onion, garlic, ginger, the remaining 3 tbsp. oil and 2 tsp. spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetable mixture in a single layer on the other side of the baking sheet. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the chicken registers 165° and the carrots are tender, about 45 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, place the dried fruit, honey and a pinch of the spice blend in a small saucepan. Add enough water just to cover. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is syrupy and coats the fruit, about 30 minutes.

4. Divide the chicken and vegetable mixture among plates. Spoon some of the fruit alongside; drizzle the vegetables with the juices in the saucepan.