Archive for the ‘Moroccan’ Category

Braised Beef with Moroccan Spices

This was my contribution last Sunday prior to enjoying the banana bread. It was simple and delicious. I browned the meat in between the playoff games and let it braise while I sat back down to enjoy the game. This recipe is pretty bold spice wise. Not hot spicy but full of that wonderful Moroccan zip. I think I’m getting addicted to braising this winter. The technique goes well with these long cold snowy days.



Olive oil

2 1/2 pounds of chuck roast cut into 1 inch chunks

2 cups of chopped onions

3 garlic cloves pressed or chopped

1 tablespoon of garam masala

1 tablespoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon or 1/2 stick

1 whole star anise

1 1/2 cups dry red wine

1 15oz can of beef broth

2 carrots cut fairly thick on a bias

1 14 1/2 ounce can petite diced tomatoes with juice

1 cup of golden raisins

optional: A few cut up figs and dried apricots. If using, cut back on the raisins for a total of one full cup.

Directions: Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a dutch oven. Salt and pepper the beef. Brown in batches and set aside. Add onions and saute until golden. Add garlic and all the dry spices and saute until very fragrant being careful not to burn the spices. Add the wine and simmer until reduced to a glaze (should coat the back of the spoon) continue stirring. Add all the other ingredients except the beef and bring to a simmer. Add the beef and any juices left in the bowl. Cover and braise in a 325 degree oven for 2 hours. Serve over couscous.


Moroccan Roasted Vegetables with Saffron Scented Couscous

Ok, so here we go with another vegetarian recipe.  To all my carnivore friends I promise not to leave you behind.  As a matter of fact I’m cooking with my mom later on today and the result will be published soon with all it’s meaty goodness. So I’m still learning about copyright infringement and how to give credit where credit is due. I’m still a little cloudy on this topic especially when a recipe has been changed or modified by yours truly.  So I’m going to say this one is adapted and inspired by Moosewood Restaurant’s New Classic Cookbook and I hope that covers me either way.  Now the thing I love the most about vegetarian cooking is the creative use of bold spices and flavors. Secondly I like the way you can clean out your vegetable drawer and create colorful dishes that taste great too.  And last but not least, with a little knowledge nothing goes to waste out of the refrigerator. Dont be afraid at the amount of spice in this recipe, it is by no means overpowering.



Ingredients for Vegetables

1 medium onion chopped

1 medium zucchini- cut into rounds, then in half

1 small eggplant -cut into rounds, then quarters

1 large sweet potato -cut into rounds and then halved or quartered

1 red bell pepper- cut into strips 

2 medium tomatoes- chopped coarse

1 can of chickpeas, drained

3 garlic cloves- minced fine or chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1  1/2 teaspoons turmeric

1  1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1  1/2 teaspoons paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1  8oz can of tomato sauce

Ingredients for couscous  

1 cup couscous

1 cup water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter

pinch of saffron

1/8 to 1/4 cup yellow raisins

1/8 to 1/4 cup slivered almonds (plus more for garnish)

For the roasted vegetables– Heat stove to 400 degrees. Mix all of the vegetables, the oil, lemon juice and the chickpeas in a large bowl. Add all the spices and mix well until evenly coated. Place onto a large rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Spoon tomato sauce evenly over the top. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Mix well and bake until desired consistency, approximately another 20 minutes.

For the couscous- Bring one cup of water to a boil along with the saffron, salt and butter. Add the raisins and slivered almonds. Turn off flame.  Add the couscous stirring well. Cover and remove to cool burner and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving topped with the vegetables. Garnish with more almonds if desired.  








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