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Entries in tagine (3)

Monday
Sep262011

Sophie Takes One for the Team

Remember how you used to feel when your mom made something you didn't like for dinner?  My mom was never in the food as punishment camp, but wouldn't make something special for us if dinner didn't appeal.   Luckily Sophie was pretty hungry and conceded to eat the lamb tagine--especially hard since we had just watched this on YouTube.

Where's Bee?  With the peppers and onions, that's where.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Lamb Tagine

1 lb. lamb stew meat, cut into ~1" cubes

2 bell peppers, cut into 1" dice

1/2 onion, cut into 1/2" dice

4-6 cloves garlic, smashed

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup red wine

1/2 tsp. smoked or sweet paprika

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. turmeric

1 whole cinnamon stick, broken in half

salt/pepper

olive oil

Put 2 TBS olive oil in your dutch oven or tagine base and heat over medium high heat.  Season lamb with salt and pepper and brown on all sides.  Add spices and stir, cook until aromatic.  Add veggies and broth/wine.  Cover and let cook 2-2.5 hours over low heat (simmering). You can lift lid to stir as needed.  You could serve with couscous.  

We used bread.  I am finally on the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day bandwagon.  This is their basic boule recipe.  I have made about 5 batches of this dough and it hasn't failed me yet.

Bread/couscous, whatever, just make sure you have something to soak up the juices.

 Sophie managed to choke down the small bowl pictured with 2 slices of bread and a lot of procrastinating.  Then she was "full," but still hungry enough to eat this 7 month old Twinkie.

 

Tuesday
Aug232011

Shabby Food Stylings of a Single Mom

Yesterday was a blur...Sophie's first day of 7th grade (!), unpacking from trip, laundry, laundry, laundry, opening stacks of mail, scheduling carpet cleaning, pest control, spin bike repair, orthodontist appointment, vacuuming giant tumbleweeds of cat hair....and dinner, crap!  I have no excuse for not cooking a nice meal for my 7th grader.  Ian is back in D.C., and it is sad and overwhelming to be a geographical single parent even if your kid is the easiest.

Found a great recipe that I could prep and ignore while it cooked.  Chicken Tagine.  I modified slightly to avoid having to go back to the grocery store to pick up fresh oregano--my fresh thyme was just fine and my fresh oregano had dried whilst still in the ground--damn you heat dome covering Texas.  And I only added one chili because two would have made Sophie sad.  I also am fortunate enough to own a real tagine--a birthday gift from my awesome friend Karen.

If Ian had taken this blog picture it would have involved a lot more time and care--I just hurriedly snapped a few before we were shoveling it in.  Note the crazy clashing plate, and the misplaced mint garnish.  Whatevs.  It was hot and delicious and even better the next day.  Hopefully it is better the next two days because I am a slave to labor and delivery for the remainder of the week.  Happy Back to School!

Sunday
Jul102011

Lamb Tagine

Don't hate me because my tagine is beautiful.  When you are lucky enough to have a friend who gives you a tagine for your birthday make sure you use it immediately!  I know it's 100 degrees out in the shade here in central Texas, but it's also pretty hot in Morocco and they eat tagine all the time.  So don't hesitate to make this recipe in the summer.

Lamb Tagine

1 lb. lamb stew meat

zest of one lemon

Za'atar seasoning (about 1/4 cup)

3 summer squash, sliced into 1/2" thick rounds

8 cremini mushrooms, sliced into 1/4" thick slices

1 large red onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 small bell peppers, cut into 1" dice

olive oil

salt/pepper

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 cup beef broth

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup Israeli couscous

My tagine is made by Le Creuset and has a cast iron base that can be heated directly on the stovetop.  Over medium heat saute garlic, peppers and onion in olive oil til  softened.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Toss lamb cubes with 2 TBS za'atar and brown in base, adding olive oil if necessary.  Salt and pepper to taste, then add back onions/garlic/peppers and sliced mushrooms/squash, lemon zest, thyme sprigs and remaining za'atar.

Pour white wine over all and place lid on top.  Reduce heat to med-lo to lo.  You want to maintain a gentle simmer.  Cook for approximately 2 hours.  I stirred a couple of times during this process.

About 10 minutes before serving add 1 cup beef broth and couscous, stirring to mix.  Cook an additional 10 minutes.  The finished tagine unveiled:

The squash completely disappeared!  Just melted into the mixture, and the couscous was permeated with the seasonings.   Tender lamb with little areas of carmelization...heaven!  Makes enough to share with your pregnant best friend.

I know it's hot but just do it.  Millions of North Africans can't be wrong.