February 3, 2013

Flavors of Morocco

I never considered myself a foodie nor did I set out to be one. However, I think I have become one! I LOVE food! Not in the overindulgence way but in the savoring-every-morsel type of way. I love to experience other cultures through their food. Ideally, I would love to travel all over the world to sample food but since I can't do that I settle for local ethnic restaurants and trying to cook the recipes in our kitchen. 

For Valentine's Day mom bought Luke and me a tagine! "Tagine" is both the term used to describe an earthenware cooking pot and also the food made within the pot. The moroccan "tagine" dish, is a slowly braised stew. Traditionally, meats are cooked in the tagine but since we are vegetarians and vegans in this home I found a great vegetable tagine recipe.

Moroccan-Inspired Bowls
 My mom is so adorable. When she gives a gift she goes for the set. To compliment the tagine she gave us a set of Moroccan bowls.

Vegetable Tagine
from Williams Sonoma 
4 1/2 cups spiced tomato and herb braising sauce
3 1/2 pounds of trimmed vegetables (such as onions, yukon gold potatoes, baby carrots, cauliflower, fennel bulbs, and turnips)
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup raisins
1 preserved lemon, pulp removed, rind thinly sliced
Sea salt for sprinkling

In saucepan over medium heat, simmer braising sauce, stirring often to prevent scorching, until reduced by one-fourth. 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat.

Position rack in bottom of oven; remove other racks. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Layer vegetables in tagine, starting with onions and placing larger vegetables toward the bottom. Add chickpeas and raisins in the middle. As you layer, shape vegetables into a mound, making sure the lid fits securely without touching the vegetables. End with smallest vegetable pieces.

Pour braising sauce over vegetables. Place in oven and cook for a little over one hour.

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