Recipes from a Moroccan and Middle Eastern Potluck

ladies.jeanneThese recipes are for some of the fabulous dishes contributed to Les Dames Chicago’s Moroccan/Middle Eastern potluck supper in February, 2014, at the home of Jeanne McInerney.





Chicken Tagine

Jeanne taginePrep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Makes: 6 servings

Adapted from a recipe from Jeanne McInerney. Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend of whole, roasted seeds (cardamon, peppercorns, fennel, cumin, allspice) and cinnamon, turmeric, paprika and chilies.

6-bone-in chicken thighs with skin
Salt, freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon each: ground cumin, paprika, ground coriander
1 teaspoon ras el hanout, optional
3 carrots, peeled, sliced in 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup each: chopped fresh parsley, chopped cilantro
1 salt-preserved lemon
2 cups chicken stock or broth

1. Salt and pepper the chicken. Heat olive oil in a medium tagine or Dutch oven over high heat. Brown chicken on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove to a large plate.
2. Add garlic, onion and ginger to the pan; cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add cumin, paprika, coriander, 1 teaspoon of the salt and pepper to taste; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add carrots and half of the parsley and cilantro. Scrape the inside of the lemon; thinly slice the peel. Add to pan. Stir in chicken stock; heat to a boil.
3. Cover pan; reduce heat to simmer. Cook until chicken is very tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and cilantro.

goin eggplant jamEggplant Jam
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Makes: 6 servings
Adapted by Carol Mighton Haddix from The A.O.C. Cookbook by Suzanne Goin.
Serve as a side dish or a spread on pita bread.

2 pounds globe eggplants, about 2 medium
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 small sprig rosemary
2 chilies de arbol, crumbled
1 red onion, diced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1. Cut the eggplants into 1/2-inch slices; score each slice. Season with 1 tablespoon salt. Let sit 10 minutes; dry with paper towels. Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch pieces. Heat two large skillets over high heat; add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil to each. Heat 1 minute. Add eggplant; cook, stirring, until pieces are golden and tender, about 8 minutes.
2. Transfer to a large bowl. Add paprika, cayenne, and 2 teaspoons salt. Pound the garlic with mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt; add to eggplant. Add cilantro. Toss.
3. Heat one of the skillets over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoon of the olive oil, the rosemary and arbol chilies; heat 1 minute. Add the onion, 2 teaspoons of the salt and pepper to taste; cook, stirring, until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar. Season with 1 more teaspoon of salt. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add eggplant mxiture; cook, stirring, until jammy in texture, about 8 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

jeanne foodCandied Tangerine Couscous with Prunes and Butternut Squash
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Makes: 8 servings
Mary Abbott Hess shared this dish at the Moroccan/Middle Eastern potluck.
It’s from Michael Mir of Bha! Bha! A Persian Bistro, in Naples. Fla., via the James Beard Foundation website.

1 small butternut squash, about 1 1/2 pounds, peeled, halved, seeded, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, freshly ground pepper
3 tangerines
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 small white onions, halved, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted prunes, cut into 3-4 pieces each
1/4 cup currants
1/2 teaspoon each: ground cumin, ground cardamon, ground cinnamon
Pinch of saffron, dissolved in 6 tablespoons hot water
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups Israeli couscous

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread the squash on a cookie sheet; drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl; set aside to cool.
2. Remove zest of tangerines in long strips with a vegetable peeler. Cut into thin strips. Place zest in a small saucepan; cover with cold water. Heat to a boil. Drain. Repeat process two more times. Place drained zest back in pan; add 1/2 cup cold water and the sugar. Heat to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer until liquid evaporates and zest is translucent. Cool; add to the squash.
3. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add prunces and currants. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add cumin, cardamon and cinnamon; cook a few seconds. Stir in saffron water; stir well, scraping up any spices. Pour into bowl with the squash.
4. Heat chicken stock, 2 cups of water, 2 teaspoons salt, and a pinch of pepper to a boil in medium saucepan. Stir in couscous. Heat to a boil; lower heat to simmer. Cover; cook until couscous is swollen and liquid is gone, about 8 minutes. Add couscous to squash mixture; mix well. Taste for seasoning.

Mediterranean FreshCharmoula
Adapted by Diane Sokolofsky from a recipe found in Joyce Goldstein’s Mediterranean Fresh. Diane tossed this spice mixture with roasted cauliflower florets and with cooked shrimp for appetizer patter at Les Dames Chicago’s Moroccan pot luck supper.

½ cup fresh lemon juice, or ¼ cup lemon juice and ¼ cup red wine vinegar
6 cloves garlic, very finely minced
2 teaspoons sweet paprika or pimentón dulce
2 teaspoons ground cumin, toasted
½ teaspoon cayenne
¼ cup each: chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
Chopped preserved lemon, optional

1. Mix the lemon juice, garlic, paprika, cumin, and cayenne in a mixing bowl until smooth.
2. Whisk in the parsley, cilantro, and olive oil. Taste; add more oil if necessary and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle in a little preserved lemon, if you like.

Charmoula citrus dressing: Make the charmoula, then add more lemon juice to thin it to the consistency of a dressing.
couscous wolfertGrated Carrot Salad
Prep: 20 minutes
Marinate: 1 hour
Makes: 4-6 servings
Toria Emas brought this sweet/tart salad to the potluck. It’s from Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco by Paula Wolfert.

7 large carrots, peeled, grated
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Orange flower water
Pinch of Salt

Mix the carrots with the sugar, lemon juice, orange flower water, and salt. Marinate 1 hour before serving.

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