Friday, 25 May 2007

Little Foodies Head Back to Morocco

We've had a few more Moroccan dishes this week. We've also been talking more about the country, famous places to visit, in particular Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains, the riad's (traditional homes with interior courtyards, gardens). All the beautiful things you can find in the Moroccan markets, among other things, lamps and rugs. We've been trying to show the boys lots of pictures so they can really visualise what it's like. I've also encouraged them to smell the dry spice mixes regularly so that it hits all of their senses.. I have a few little Moroccan style lamps and we've been putting candles in those. Not all of the food has been a big hit but they've tried everything which is great. Little was apparently very proud to tell everyone at school on Monday morning that we'd been learning about Morocco and tasting the food. I couldn't have wished for it to go any better really. We're also keeping a scrapbook of everything to do with our culinary travels. I'm very proud of my Little Foodies.

Some recipes follow. Will post pics of everything tomorrow as off to watch the children Maypole Dancing on the village green.

As promised my mother-in-laws recipe for lamb tagine. I've changed it a bit since it was given to me.
Lamb Tagine (that we ate on our first day of learning about Morocco) Serves at least 4
500-750g diced lamb (depending on how much meat you all like)
1 big onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 - 3 cloves or garlic, crushed or chopped
Spices (1/2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, cumin & turmeric)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas (or you could soak your own, I'm never organised enough to do this)
Handful of dried apricots chopped
400ml stock (lamb, chicken or veg)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of runny honey (optional - I always add it though)

We don't have a tagine so I cook it in the big Le Creuset pan.
I usually mix the spices together and sprinkle it over the lamb before cooking.
First heat the oil and then gently fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes.
Add the lamb (coated in the spices) and brown the meat (you may need to do this in batches)
Add tinned tomatoes, honey and stock and cook for one hour on a low heat either in the oven or on hob.
Taste the stock at this point and it may need a little more spice mix. If so add about 1/4 teaspoon each of the cinnamon, cumin and turmeric).
Add the chickpeas, dried apricots and honey, cook for one further hour.

I also love making this with lamb shanks but if I do that I make a paste with the spices and some honey and tomato paste and coat the shanks in it before browning.
Serve with plain cous cous. Follow details on the packet, as everyone has their own way of doing cous cous. I always add olive oil before adding stock.

Zaalouk (Mashed Aubergine & Tomato Salad)
from Claudia Roden's Arabesque (A more fancy baba ganoush, which is easier, with fewer ingredients. Baba ganoush isn't stricly from Morocco which is why I chose to go with the Zaalouk. I'd probably stick with baba ganoush next time.)

I also made up a fish dish. Simply rubbed rose harissa over the fish and baked in a really hot oven for 25 minutes. Served with salad. (The boys didn't have this, they'd long gone to bed).

We've also made sweet mint tea, which I have drunk in Egypt and the Middle East, I guess it's popular in a lot of countries. I'd have loved to serve them in little intricate Moroccan glasses but we don't have any. Small liked this, Little wasn't so sure. I LOVE IT!

Tomorrow is our last day in Morocco I want to make Kefta Bil Hout (fish cakes), Briwat Bil Jban (little pies with goats cheese), maybe a few other small things if we have the time.... We're in discussions as to which country it will be on Sunday. Need to make a decision quick as I'll have to go shopping tomorrow...


Freya and Paul said...

I love your culinary globetrotting, as I've said before, and it makes me realise that Jamie's School Dinners is perhaps a little bit OTT with regards to what parents feed their children. This sounds like a wonderful feast!
Have a lovely weekend!

Little Foodie said...

Thank you. I think the programme went for the worst case scenario and it probably appeared as though all parents were like that. I don't know many people who ONLY feed their children crap. Worryingly I do know some though. It's a tricky one because children can sort of dictate how they are fed. You just have to stick with it and try not to show any tension whatsoever. Battles of wills often leave parents on the losing side. Breathe
Amanda, breathe... I'll stop there! Have a great weekend too with your burger ballyhoo.

Asha said...

Little foodies rock!!Morocco sounds beautiful,got to make a trip there one day,may be when the kids are in college!;D
I made some yummy soups today for next week's post.House is smelling so good.Your dishes are making me to go back to kitchen again.but I will keep those for next week.I am too tired now.It's sooo hot outside,looks like Summer has begun already.Phew!!
Have fun Amanda:)

Kelly-Jane said...

Looking forward to your pics, It's great that you are keeping a scrap book, I'm going to try this with mine next year, when she's a little bigger.

SOme kids do eat an awful diet, but often it's child led, as you say Amanda.

I had a friend and her children round to lunch last week, I made a few salads, raw veggies, cheese, various cold meats, bread, hummus etc. One of the little darlings ate bread only and announced he didn't like anything else, he did take some cheese, but didn't eat it. I thought mine is so good! We had lemon drizzle cake for pudding, mine only ate the sugary toping (!) but he did eat a whole slice of that. I doing sandwiches next time!

vonsachsen said...

Wow, Amanda, what you are doing with your children is great! I only have seen these two posts about you "being" in Morocco and they are so full of fantasy.
Thanks for sharing the recipes and for telling about your adventures:)
Now I´m off to take a look at your older posts.

Little Foodie said...

Hi Asha, Thank you. I would also like to visit Morocco. Have been to many places in the world but there are still so many places that I still have to visit. Looking forward to your soups.

Hi KJ,I'll let you have a copy of the scrapbook. We can take the hard work out of it for you.. Test run so to speak. Have a good weekend!

Hi Vonsachsen, Thank you, that's very kind.

Have just got back from a night out with husband and friends we had Nepalese food at the Gurkha Kitchen. It was lovely but really must force myself to bed and not start surfing!
Amanda x

Marie said...

Lovely sounding dishes! Hope the maypole dancing went well! Can't wait to see your next set of recipes. I have a good friend that is bicycling her way around the world with her husband and they just spent about a month is Morroco. You can see the link to their site on my page, Travelling Two. Such a wonderful adventure to be taking. You are taking your children on a wonderful adventure too,a culinary one and I think this is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children. It will instil in them a lifelong curiosity and appreciation for different foods and an adventurous palate! (something that is a distinct advantage to have!)

Truffle said...

I am so impressed by your children's palates. You've certainty trained them well! ;)

Little Foodie said...

Hi Marie & Truffle, Thank you as always for your very lovely comments. It's very kind. Amanda


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