Monday, 23 July 2012

Moroccan Feast

I have used this recipe for a few years and have found it's great for entertaining. You serve up dishes that are a little bit different and the sweet and spicy cooking aromas are more than pleasant when guests arrive!

Serves 4
Chicken prune tagine

4 large chicken thighs, skinned and halved
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground tumeric
200g pitted prunes
2 large onions
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, crushed
360mls chicken stock & salt

Heat the oil in a large flaeproof casserole or saucepan until hot. Add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Add the allspice, remaining spices, prunes, onions, ginger and garlic to the chicken. Cook, stirring, over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and the mixture is aromatic.
Add the stock, season with salt and mix well. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover and cook gently for 1 1/2 hours, stirring from time to time. Just before serving, uncover, and boil rapidly to slightly thicken the sauce

Serve with hot fruity couscous!

1 cup dry couscous
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
Generous dose of curry powder
Freshly ground pepper
Sea or rock salt to taste
1/4 cup almonds, pinenuts or walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
Handful turkish apricots, chopped
1 tbsp butter or olive oil
2 cups boiling water

In a shallow dish, combine the couscous spices, fruit and nuts. Dab on the butter or olive oil, then add the boiling water. Cover with foil and leave for 5 minutes. Fluff the grains with a fork, add a little olive oil if the couscous is dry, and serve hot with the chicken tagine.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Caramelised onions

These are the best with cheese and crackers! I prefer with a mature cheddar but the sweet onions also go well with feta, soft cheese and blue. Caramelised onions are also great in burgers, on pizzas, in a steak sauce and in a gravy for sausages and mash.

Both brown and red onions can work, I used a mixture of both this time. This is a recipe from Annabel Langbein's "The Free Range Cook", they will keep for about a week in the fridge.

6 onions
1.5 cups water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
ground black pepper

Peel onions and cut into thin wedges. Place all ingredients into a large pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently stirring now an then, for about 40-45 minutes until the liquid has all but evaporated and the onions are really soft.