Meal to Share: Moroccan

Hello, and welcome! Celeste from Travelling in Mary Janes, Penny from [Addictive and Consuming], and I have joined forces to cook a 3 course meal, with each person taking on a different course. We’ll have different themes each month, and our theme for this month is tasty, tasty Moroccan.

But before I tell you what I made – have you seen Celeste’s entree yet? She made delicious looking tomatoes stuffed with couscous. If you haven’t seen it yet, go check out her post, and then return, quick smart!

Moroccan dinner

Good, you’re back. Are we ready for the main course now? Righto!

For our Moroccan meal, I made two dishes: chicken with onions and couscous, and lamb with pumpkin. In cooking these two dishes, I used almost every single pot I own, as well as numerous bowls, plates and utensils. Oh, the joy!

Moroccan dinner Moroccan dinner

I’ll talk about the lamb first. In this dish, cubed pieces of lamb (and a piece of leg bone since I had it) were simmered in broth until tender, and served on top of a pumpkin puree. I cooked the lamb on a very low simmer for quite a while to ensure it was very tender. Afterwards, it had picked up all the flavour from the cinnamon, onion and garlic, and was absolutely delicious. I’ll definitely cook lamb this way again.

The flavour of the lamb and spices went well with the sweetness of the pumpkin, though if I made it again, I would be keen to add more spices to the pumpkin. A bit of cumin, paprika and cinnamon would be nice, I think.

This is a fantastic winter dish, and since winter is refusing to relinquish it’s grip on Melbourne this year, it was perfect for dinner!

Moroccan dinner Moroccan dinner

In the chicken dish, pieces of chicken were simmered in water with spices, onion and garlic to make a stock. The onions were caramelised with butter and honey, and the couscous was cooked in the chicken stock for added flavour.

This dish was also tasty, though I did prefer the lamb one. Poor chicken, being upstaged by the lamb! I thought that it needed just a touch more seasoning, and I should added more to the water that the chicken was cooked in. As the onions were quite sweet, the chicken and the couscous needed to be well seasoned to stand up to them.

Now we’ve had mains, it’s time to check out Penny’s post for dessert. She baked an almond foil and it looks fantastic!

Hope that you’ve enjoyed our little meal – we’ll be back next month with another one. And don’t forget to check my co-cooks’ posts for the rest of the meal!

Starter: Tomatoes stuffed with couscous
Main: Chicken with couscous and onions; Lamb with pumpkin (This post here!)
Dessert: Almond Foil

Moroccan dinner

Tagine of lamb with pumpkin

From Fresh Moroccan

500g boned lamb, cut into medium sized pieces
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, studded with 1 clove
350ml water
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of saffron threads
1&1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1.1kg peeled pumpkin, deseeded and cubed
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dark honey
1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Heat a pot, and add the lamb, 1 teaspoon of the oil and the onion. Stir for a few seconds and add the water. Bring it slowly to the boil, skimming off any foam that forms on the surface. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, saffron and a teaspoon of salt. Let it simmer for an hour, or until the meat is very tender. Five minutes before the end of the cooking time, dissolve the ginger in a little bit of the lamb stock and add to the pot.

Meanwhile, put the pumpkin in a large shallow frying pan. Stir in the rest of the salt, add a splash of water, and heat gently. As the pumpkin softens, crush it with the back of a wooden spoon and stir it occasionally. You may need to add more water as it cooks. Stir in the remaining oil and sprinkle with the sugar and honey. Let it cook for about 8 minutes, or until the pumpkin caramelises. Dissolve the turmeric in a little of the lamb stock and stir it into the pumpkin. Let it cook for another minute, and then add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, place the pumpkin puree on to a dish and top with the meat and a little bit of the lamb stock (if desired).

Moroccan dinner

Chicken with couscous and onions

From Fresh Moroccan

750ml water
1 small chicken, cut into 6-8 pieces
bouquet garni: 1 cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf, 1 cardamon pod
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic clovs, crushed
good pinch of saffron threads
1&1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
250g couscous
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
500g onions, peeled and sliced
75g raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
small pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1-2 tablespoons dark honey
a little under 1/2 tablespoon orange flower water or rosewater (optional)

Put the water and chicken into a medium pot, and bring it slowly up to the boil. Skim off any foam that comes up to the surface and then add the bouquet garni, onion, garlic, saffron and 1&1/4 teaspoons of salt. Reduce the heat until it’s just gently simmering, cover and let it simmer for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is tender. Five minutes before it’s ready, add the ginger and pepper.

Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions until they are lightly golden. Ladle 200ml of the chicken stock into a small bowl. Pour a little stock into the onions and cook until the stock has reduced. Repeat until all the stock has been added and reduced. Increase heat as the onions soften. Add the raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg, then the honey and leave for 5-10 minutes to caramelise. Stir in the flower water or rosewater (if using) and turn off the heat.

Prepare the couscous. Ladle 300ml stock into a pot and bring it to the boil. Turn off the heat and turn off the couscous. Cover and leave until the stock has been absorbed. Fluff up the couscous with a fork and add salt and pepper if necessary.

To serve, put the couscous in a serving dish and top with the onions. Serve the chicken and stock separately.

Meanwhile, prepare your couscous.

Moroccan dinner