JANUARY 2020: A KITCHEN TOOLS PHD CLASS
MOROCCAN DRIED FRUIT SWEET POTATO TAGINE + GARLICKY COUSCOUS CRUMBLES + MOROCCAN SPICED TEA
What do you say to an angry sweet potato? Anything, just butter him up first
What do you call a baby sweet potato? A small fry
Why do sweet potatoes make good detectives? Because they keep their eyes peeled
What do you call a sweet potato who spends a lot of time sitting and thinking? Medi-Tator
What do you call a sweet potato that is reluctant to jump into boiling water? Hez-a-Tator
What do you call a sweet potato that is never motivated, but are content to watch others? Speck-Tator
Something about the middle of January inspires recipes that meld together easily into something you can eat from a bowl with a spoon - or in the case of Moroccan food, your hands!
One-pot meals are just the ticket to keep warm when days and nights are cold. Even in climates where people don’t see a flake of snow, there usually seems to be some kind of hot stew as part of the traditional fare. Tagine refers to a ubiquitous Moroccan stew, and also to the actual cooking vessel in which the traditional stew is cooked. Just as common and essential as a wok in a Chinese kitchen and a molcajete in a Mexican one, so too are ceramic or clay tagines to kitchens in North Africa. The structure of a tagine, with its signature cone-shaped lid, was engineered to trap condensation and allow it to drip back onto the stewing vegetables and protein in order to result in a succulent, tender final dish. Genius!
Couscous is another fascinating invention. Pass around a few grains of dried couscous when you prepare this recipe at home, spark a conversation amongst your children and see what ideas they have for how couscous is made. How do they get it so small?! And what the heck even IS couscous?! .... can you belive that it's pasta?By hand, making couscous is quite an intensive process and was traditionally performed by the matriarch of the family, along with whomever she’d enlisted to help her. Maybe your family have certain traditional recipes that only dad makes, or grandma, or mom, or older brother, etc.
Moroccan food is a blend of influences from several nations and cultures, and the characteristic taste is due to its intriguing and marked inclusion of dried fruits in dishes like tagines. Flavorings like lemon pickle, argan oil, olive oil, and dried apricots are characteristic of food from Morocco. And it’s traditional to eat with the right hand, using pieces of bread to mop up all of the deliciously flavored sauce! We don’t know about you, but we’ve got a serious case of wanderlust just writing this! Thankfully we’ve got food to transport us to all the faraway places we dream of visiting!
Healthy + Happy Cooking - Chef Erin & Chef Jacqui
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