Thursday, June 11, 2015

Marrakesh Express

You can play the following:
or sing along with these lyrics…

I took my boys to northern Africa last night, and it was a great culinary journey. I researched the entrées, sides, and desserts from the region, and I ended up combining several. Morocco seemed to have the most choices. Algeria, of course, had a slight French infusion, and I couldn’t find a lot from Libya. Tunisia and Egypt had many different ethnic groups in their cuisine. So, after reading about the foods of the regions, I decided on the following. (Please excuse the quality of the photos. I was rushing to get the dishes on the table and didn’t spend enough time centering and focusing.)

First was the main dish, which was from the sea. I used tilapia, which isn’t a great flavored fish, but it fit with the region. I had planned to make them en papillote, which means steaming them in the oven in parchment paper wrappers. However, doing it one-handed would have been difficult, and if I tried to teach my husband, I’d be exhausted. So, I steamed them all together in aluminum on a baking sheet. I covered the filets with sliced onions, lemon slices, plum tomatoes, celery, cumin, thyme (next time, I’ll leave this out,) ginger, salt, and pepper. I covered it all in the aluminum and baked it at 350° for a half hour.

The vegetable dish came together nicely. It’s a form of tajine or stew, so named because it is usually cooked in a vessel of the same name. Mine was cooked in a Calphalon heavy pan – so named because that’s what is. You sauté onions in olive oil until softened. Add 2 cloves of garlic, sliced carrots (lengthwise,) chopped sweet potatoes, chopped eggplant, and dried apricots. Season it with turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir the mixture, and cover the pan. Let it cook for 30 minutes until everything is firm but softened. Honest – this was delicious 

I made couscous in chicken broth, too. For dessert we had orange cake with a glaze. I had a lot leftover so I could send home doggie bags. The boys really liked it, and surprise – so did my husband. This is another meal that will be repeated.

Now you can listen to Toto, even though that area of the continent has a totally different kind of cuisine.



  1. Complete with music! Impressive meal.

    1. I added the music because my son kept humming Africa!

  2. a very impressive meal, so much attention to the details!!

    1. Really -- it was easy and soooo delicious.