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Posts Tagged ‘Moroccan Food’

Roasted Bell Pepper Salad

June 10th, 2012 11 comments

I love serving this salad because it has a colorful presentation and it’s so healthy. The sweet peppers combine well with the salty goat cheese and citrusy lemon peel. Plus, it can be made ahead, and it holds up for hours.  The leftover bell peppers (if there are any) can be slipped into a sandwich or green salad or eaten cold out of the fridge.

The dish, which can be served as a starter or side salad, is adapted from a recipe in Flavors of Morocco by Ghillie Bason, one of my favorite Moroccan cookbooks, simply for its gorgeous photography.

This salad calls for preserved lemon rind, a common ingredient in Moroccan cooking and something you can easily make at home. However, it does take a month for them to be ready, so if you don’t have this ingredient handy, you can still make this colorful and flavorful salad.

Roasted Bell Pepper Salad

          Serves 6 as a side dish

4 large red, orange and/or yellow bell peppers (no green)

3-4 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

½ small red onion, finely chopped

1 small package (125 g, 4½ oz.) goat cheese, crumbled (or substitute feta)

¼ rind preserved lemon or more, finely chopped (optional)

Method

1. Roast the peppers. This can be done in advance or the day before. Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C or Gas Mark 4). Place the peppers in a baking dish and drizzle the olive oil over top. Don’t skimp on the oil, as you will use it later in the salad. Roast for 30 minutes or more until the skin is wrinkly, buckled and partially browned. Reserve the pepper-infused oil to use later. Allow peppers to cool.

2. Peel skin off peppers (as much as you can). Remove stalks and cut each pepper lengthwise into quarters. Trim and remove seeds. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

3. Arrange peppers on a platter, alternating colors, skin-side down. Mix the parsley and chopped onion and scatter over peppers. Next, sprinkle the crumbled goat cheese, followed by preserved lemon, if using. Finally, drizzle the reserved oil over the top. Serve at room temperature.

Question: How do you serve roasted bell peppers?

Friday Favorites: Guest Blogger Amanda Mouttaki Shares her Zeal for Morocco!

June 17th, 2011 11 comments

Amanda Mouttaki is owner of the blog MarocMama where she discusses Moroccan cooking, culture, and global food topics. It’s my hands-down favorite Arabic food blog for her stories and cultural discussions. Today Amanda shares some of her favorites from Morocco.

Amanda’s Favorite Book:

Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir

Seven years ago through a very strange twist of fate, destiny or divine intervention I met my Moroccan husband. Recently I wrote about how I found my way to Morocco. I owe a whole lot of credit to Moroccan author Malika Oufkir. Her book Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail was my first encounter with Morocco and to this day, it remains my favorite book about the country. If you’ve read it you might find this statement odd, but to a history nerd like me it was utterly intriguing. If you have never read this book, I’ll warn you, it’s not the romanticized version of Morocco. It’s the down and dirty version. Every country has its secrets and Malikas’ book shows the unsavory side of Morocco’s past. That being said, it is the story of a family and the story of many Moroccan families who have never spoken up about the injustices that occurred during the reign of Hassan II. I was drawn in within a few pages and could not put it down.    

  

Amanda’s Favorite Dish:

Moroccan Stuffed & Spiced Chicken

Aside from my husband, my next Moroccan love is the food. My very favorite dish is a whole roasted, spiced chicken stuffed with vermicelli noodles. It is so good.  The first time I ate this was at a small engagement party for my husband and me. I really wish I had a recipe to share with you but this dish is a specialty of my sister-in-law, and I’ve never been able to master it.  If you follow my blog I will be posting something similar soon. I don’t think I’ll ever get it exactly right, and it’s one of those recipes I’m not sure I want to replicate as it might take away from my enjoyment when I do get to eat it.  

Amanda’s Third Favorite…

Once you’ve got the man and the food, what’s left to love? Why the clothing, of course! The traditional Moroccan garments for women are caftans and takchitas. I’ve got half a dozen hanging in my closet. I should point out a caftan in Morocco is a single garment, that can be either long or short sleeved, though sometimes heavier winter caftans have two layers. A takchita is a more elaborate dress, almost always double layered with a belt around the waist. I really can’t have too many of these even though I rarely have a function fancy enough to wear one. I love the newer styles that are cut wider in the front to reveal a gorgeous under-layer. In Morocco, these dresses can be bought off the rack, custom made, or rented for special occasions, making them accessible to almost everyone. 

What is your favorite thing about Morocco?