Monday, October 4, 2010

A Taste of Morocco

We had a Moroccan former student of mine over for dinner Saturday night, a good excuse to put together a Moroccan meal. Pater has been doing most of the cooking around here lately, but as I had no marking to do, I took this meal on, although I delegated a few important items.

Above is a photo of the wonderful Aubergine (Eggplant) Salad, before the last-minute addition of lemon juice and chopped coriander. It was delicious -- two eggplants, cut in thick slices which were salted and left to sit, then rinsed, then (almost deep) fried in olive oil, then cooled, chopped, seasoned with many yummy spices and three finely-chopped garlic cloves and back in the pan with the olive oil drained. Many steps, much chopping, yummy results!

They, along with some fragrantly seasoned carrots (the cooking water had cinnamon, cumin, paprika, olive oil, and sugar), were the accompaniments to a chicken tagine (olives, preserved lemons, and onions) whose broth swelled the heaping helpings of couscous.

Last time we had this young man over for dinner, at least two years ago, he was still fairly new to Canada and was really missing Moroccan food. For that meal, we served a French bread, which he happily broke in pieces large enough to scoop up his food, North African-style.

For this meal, Pater whipped up a fabulous flatbread from this recipe. He's an old hand at chappatis and puris, but this was a flatbread made with yeast and requiring a bit more handling.
It was good enough that the pre-dinner sampling threatened to make serious inroads on the supply! He's promised to make it again with some of the fillings suggested in the recipe -- caramelized onions? Sign me up!!
For dessert, we abandoned the Moroccan theme and Pater baked some pears, served with Ginger ice cream by the Vancouver Island company, The Udder Guy's Ice Cream.

Hmmm, wonder why I'm feeling hungry now . . .
Any special meals at your place this weekend?


  1. Yum. I have always loved the sound of preserved lemons but haven't done anything with them ever. Some day.

  2. The bread looks and sounds divine and eggplant is one of my favorite foods. No special cooking here this weekend though yesterday we did enjoy split pea soup and gelato at Cafe Puccini in San Francisco.

  3. Oooh, that looks beautiful. I've been missing my own Saturday night festivities, but at least I can enjoy yours vicariously! I must try that flatbread. Did you preserve the lemons yourself - it's one of my favourite things to do ...

  4. Oh mater such a delicious post!
    I love the spices and aromas of ethnic cooking.
    Great too that pater is talented in the kitchen!

  5. On your previous Dressing for Autumn post you had me sold on the 'asymmetrical'! Those trousers are amazing and work especially well proportion wise with the stripe top. (Yes another favourite of mine) You too are suffering from lack of time daylight wise to photograph the outfits, which is why I have virtually ceased.

    This post read at midday on a very empty stomach was agony! So delicious. I did laugh at the bread bit. Emin always eats with a piece of bread instead of a knife. You should see the looks we get when he eats breakfast in some of the 5* hotels we stay in!
    One tip I have picked up with aubergines, instead of salting, microwave each one cut in half for one minute, this reduces the water in them and saves time. It works a treat.

  6. Wow, I can almost taste the spices. I have been dying to get a tagine. I think I am going to do that today!

  7. LPC: They really add something rich to a dish, different than fresh lemon juice or rind.
    Susan: MMMM, split pea soup is a favourite of mine, and who can say no to gelato?!
    Tiffany: No, so far we've been buying them -- and the ones I've bought have been much smaller lemons than we have access to. But the young Moroccan man says he would never buy because they're too expensive and so easy to make. I do love the idea of all that much sunshine-y citrus to work with.
    Hostess: Thanks! and yes, Pater is the main cooking talent 'round here.
    Alison: If your fellow diners at those 5-stars were more sophisticated, they'd realize that there are countries, continents even, where Emin's eating style is comme il faut. . . and thanks for the eggplant tip which would save time AND salt!
    Julianne: I don't think you'll regret buying a tagine -- ours is an Emile Henry, so we could have picked something less expensive, but we've def. got our money's worth.

  8. Hmmm, I've been eyeing those Emile Henry tagines. I'm hoping for one for Christmas. And definitely make the preserved lemons; they are very easy and worth the minimal effort as well.

    Everything sounds good. I'm looking at my watch to see if it is time to start dinner.

  9. Oh whatt a divinely delicious meal; Moroccan is one of my very favourites. I'm guessing ou had a wonderful time!

  10. Mardel: Okay, I'm def. preserving those lemons now!
    Duchesse: It was good! It's a great cuisine for combining healthy and delicious!


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