>> Thursday, May 21, 2009

moroccan preserved lemon
Moroccan Preserved lemons (MSSIYAR) and olives

Ingredients :

1 Lbs. Salt, more than one if desired
1 Cinnamon stick
1/4 Cup Bay leaves
1/4 Cup of vegetable oil
Spring water
Directions :

Quarter the lemons from the top to within 1/2 inch of the bottom. Gently spread them without breaking the bottom and pack them with salt and then reshape the fruit.
Place 1 tablespoon salt on the bottom of a sterilized one pint mason jar.
Pack in the lemons and push them down, adding more salt and the optional other spices, between layers. Press the lemons down to release their juices and to make room for the remaining lemons. Cover the lemons with the spring water and leave enough space for the oil.
For the vegetable oil and seal the jar. The vegetable oil has no effect on the actual flavoring except that it works as a seal and protects the lemons from air contact during the preservation time.
Let the lemons ripen in a cool dry and dark area for at least 30 days before reopening.
To use, rinse the lemons, as needed, under running water, remove the pulp if desired.
Preserved lemons, sold loose in the markets (Souks) of Morocco, are one of the indispensable ingredients of Moroccan cooking, used in fragrant lamb and vegetables Tagines, recipes for chicken with lemons and olives, and salads. Their unique pickled taste and special silken texture cannot be duplicated with fresh lemon or lime juice.
Sometimes you will see a sort of lacy, white substance clinging to preserved lemons in their jar; it is perfectly harmless, but should be rinsed off for aesthetic reasons just before the lemons are used. Preserved lemons are rinsed, in any case, to rid them of their salty taste.
There is no need to refrigerate after opening. Preserved lemons will keep up to a year, and the pickling juice can be used two or three times over a year.


Moroccan Chicken baked with orange-spiced harissa sauce

>> Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chicken baked with orange-spiced harissa sauce Moroccan Chicken baked with orange-spiced harissa sauce


* 1/4 c Harissa sauce (preceeding)
* 1/2 c Orange juice
* 1 tb Grated orange peel
* 1/4 c Cider vinegar
* 2 tb Vegetable oil
* 2 ts Sugar
* 1 ts Ground cinnamon
* 3 lb Chicken

Instructions :

Combine all ingredients except chicken to make a smooth sauce. Thin with orange juice if needed. Separate skin from chicken breast being careful not to cut the skin. Place some of the sauce between breast skin and breast. Cover chicken with the remainder of the sauce and marinate 3-4 hours in the refigerator. Bake chicken in a 350ø F oven for two hours until done basting frequently with sauce. Cover chicken with aluminum foil if chicken browns too soon.


Moroccan Tagine of Seabass and Seasonal Vegetables

Moroccan Tagine of Seabass and Seasonal Vegetables
Moroccan Tagine of Seabass and Seasonal Vegetables

Ingridients :

30 sprigs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
20 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
4 thick slices (4 to 6-ounces each) white fish, rinsed and patted dry
4 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
6 ribs celery, strings removed, and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium zucchini, cleaned, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
20 large green Italian olives, pitted
1/2 medium lemon, seeded, and cut into 1/8-inch slices
Freshly-ground pepper to taste
Wedges of lemon for garnish

Directions :

First For the marinade, in a large bowl, mix the parsley, cilantro, garlic, turmeric, paprika, cumin, and lemon juice. Stir to blend. Add the fish steaks and coat evenly with the marinade. Cover with foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate 20 minutes to 8 hours.

In a small saucepan, blanch the sliced carrots in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Prepare the remaining vegetables for assembling the dish.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. To assemble the tagine, place the celery pieces at the bottom of a glass 12x 8-inch baking dish. Top with all of the carrots and zucchini slices. Cover with half of the tomato and onion slices. Dot with half of the olives. Season with salt and pepper. Set the fish on top of the vegetables. Layer the remaining tomato and onion slices over the top. End with lemon slices and the remaining olives. Cover with remaining marinade.

Wrap with foil. Bake until the vegetables are tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Then serve !
Bonne appétit


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