Hola! Or should I say as-salam alaykum? Bon jour? Hello?
Not all of you may be aware that The Spanish Table has branched out into carrying other exotic cuisines from far off lands. We’ve added quite a few countries to our growing little empire here and thought you’d like to learn a little more about our Moroccan food delights. To whet your appetite for more, try cooking the recipe included in this blog entry. It’s from Ghillie Basan’s cookbook Tagine.
TAGINE: Spicy stews from Morocco
Ghillie Basan’s cookbook is not only a feast for the eyes with it’s incredible food photography but the recipes provide a feast for the senses as well. With recipes for lamb, beef, kefta, sausage, chicken, duck, fish, shellfish, and vegetable tagines one could cook 25 different tagines! Plus fun accompaniment recipes such as couscous, orange salad with red onion and black olives, or melon and mint salad. Hardback. $15.95
One of the most commonly asked questions inside of our store is “What is that conical shaped clay thing?” The tagine, sometimes spelled tajine, is shaped the way it is in order to trap in moisture and flavor. Moroccan stews are cooked slowly blending flavors of meat, dried fruit and/or nuts, and vegetables. Faster cooking tagines are often fish or vegetable dominant. In any case, they all make wonderful entrees abundant with flavorful spices. The Spanish Table tagines can be used on the stove top, in the oven, over low heat on a grill either charcoal or gas. They all require a soaking in water for up to 24 hours before the initial use. Avoid temperature shocking them from either hot to cold or the reverse. They are most beautiful when full so be sure to set your prepared tagine out for all to see! Now available in regular clay color, a matte black, or glossy red.
Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon, Green Olives, & Thyme
8-10 chicken thighs or 4 whole legs
1 tablespoon olive oil with a pat of butter
2 preserved lemons, cut into strips
6 oz cracked green olives
1-2 teaspoons dried thyme or oregano
For the marinade:
1 onion, grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
a small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
a pinch of saffron threads
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the marinade. Put the chicken thighs or legs in a shallow dish and coat them in the marinade, rubbing it into the skin. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
Heat the olive oil with the butter in a tagine or heavy-based casserole dish. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and brown them in the oil. Pour over the marinade that is left in the dish and add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the chicken pieces. Bring the water to a boil, educe the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for about 45 minutes, turning the chicken from time to time.
Add the preserved lemon, olives, and half the thyme to the tagine. Cover again and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes. Check the seasoning and sprinkle the rest of the thyme over the top. Serve immediately from the tagine.
Saffron is not just essential in Spanish cuisine. Many Moroccan dishes call for a pinch of saffron. Saffron is one of the most labor intensive spices due to its cultivation. The threads you see in the box are actually the lightly toasted stamens of millions of purple crocus flowers. Getting those out of each and every flower with the greatest of care takes time and concentration!
2 grams $19.49
1 gram $10.99
Preserved Lemons can be done at home but what if you forgot to prepare them three weeks ago for your upcoming tagine? Mustapha’s Moroccan Preserved Lemons come two lemons to a jar for $6.49.