Moroccan flavors favor the spices used in Indian cooking like coriander, saffron, and cumin. I love these aromatic spices and the heavenly aroma. I own a beautiful clay tagine bought from a friend who carried it from Morocco, It makes such a beautiful presentation and keeps the dish juicy and moist.
A tajine or tagine is a Maghrebi dish which is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. The pot has a unique conical shape which helps make your dish moist by letting the steam rise, condense and trickle back down into the shallow base.
I used my tagine right on the burner but have experimented with putting it directly in the oven at 300 degrees F. Of course then you can’t see the beautiful pot simmering on your stove 🙂
Onions are a must in a tagine using them as a bed for the chicken, also layer in cut carrots and fresh cut fennel. Chicken thighs and leg are the best pieces to use to keep it all moist and juicy
The spices are simple, ground coriander, cumin, fennel, cayenne and some ras-el-hanout if you have it.
Watch this 20 sec video to get the real cooking experience of using a tagine.
A healthy recipe bursting with deep flavors of pineapple, tahini and rose harissa spice blend.
Angie’s Healthy Recipe Challenge is on and I am pretty late in thinking about combining leafy greens and pineapple. I like spice in my recipes so pineapple is the perfect sweet to cut through those spices. A wild caught salmon is perfect to showcase the flavors with quinoa, arugula and baby spinach and a perfect tahini dressing.
I used Elaine’s Rose Harissa Blend ( Thank you Elaine!). Do check it out on her blog and the fantastic ways she has used it in many recipes.
A little bit about the dressing….Tahini can be made at home or you can buy the good quality organic tahini in a bottle. Tahini is sesame paste and has fat in it. No additional fat is needed in the dressing. The apple cider vinegar gives it the tartness, pineapple the sweetness and aminos or tamari gives a bit of salt and flavor. This can be stored and used in many dishes that you will make. Top it over falafels, burgers, fritters and anything your heart desires.
So with that said, the pineapple and greens challenge has been well incorporated in this dish 🙂
Thanksgiving and the holiday season is here….a lot of us think about food ( I do), what to make that feeds the soul and brings a deep smile to friends and family. A lamb shank where the meat falls off the bone….just right with apricots and saffron. This has a Mediterranean flair and is a melt in your mouth recipe and guarantees second helpings ( make more:) )
The key is good grass fed organic shanks. Ask the butcher and he will prepare them for you. I went to whole foods and got four cleaned meaty shanks.
Use good dried apricots – just soak then in warm water while you prepare the shanks. The saffron is from Kashmir…my love affair with saffron is perpetual. If you want to get the “real thing” from the valley check out this online store as they will deliver worldwide Kashmir Box. Soak a few strands in warm water while you are cooking.
Harissa is such an incredible hot chili pepper paste. It adds just the right amount of heat to this dish. I found mine in a tube at the local store.
A heavy bottomed pan is needed. You could use a slow cooker for this dish as well.
5-6 dried apricots – halved and soaked in water for 2o mins
A coupe of thyme sprigs
2 fresh bay leaves
6 cups hot broth or water
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley, for garnish
2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint for garnish
Himalayan pink salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 350F
Soak the saffron with the lime juice and 1 tablespoon of warm water for about 10 mins
Take the clean and dry shanks and sprinkle salt and pepper. Rub it into the meat
Brown the shanks in oil until they are evenly browed on all sides. Remove and set aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan, use the remaining oil from the shanks and sauté one chopped onion and 1 head of crushed garlic for about 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent.
Add 1 stick of cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom and 2 tablespoons of harissa. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes
Add lime zest, orange zest, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Stir in saffron mixture. Lay in the lamb shanks and add the broth. Season with black pepper and salt. Careful not to over salt at this point, you can adjust once the broth has reduced.
Once the broth is boiling, transfer pot to oven and bake for about 2 hours, covered, until meat is beginning to fall from the bone.
Adjust salt and pepper seasoning
In the last half hour of cooking add the apricots. At this point you can remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick from the liquid.
Serve Shanks on a platter and pour the juice over it. Top with chopped mint and cilantro.