Sunday, February 6, 2011

Saturday Dinner: Roasted Moroccan Stew

Roasted Moroccan Stew with Currant and Pinenut Couscous.

I have so much to say about this recipe! I'll start with how I decided to make this dish. It all started with this website: What the Fuck Should I Make for Dinner?  Test it out for your self. There is a phone app too! LOVE!!! Not only is anything that has the word "fuck" an entertaining site (see The Fucking Weather if you need further proof of the profound manner in which the word adds a dramatic sense of humor and flair to an otherwise vanilla website)  but it provides a way to stretch your cooking imagination, step out of the ordinary and, well, try something new. 

So after my phone decided what I would make for dinner on Saturday, I was off to the grocery store, accompanied by my Moroccan roommate. Reciting the ingredients and recipe to her, I was informed that this evening's dish would be "Americanized Moroccan" food, and not what we would find in her country. I'm flexible, I have no problem editing recipes to make them my own, or in this case, more authentic.

This meal is also the first time I set up the video camera to record me cooking. UGH! Some people are petrified of clowns. I am petrified of being recorded. Baby steps, Jen, baby steps! So this, the first recording of me cooking will never see the light of this blog.  But I am posting some pictures to make up for it :)

I chop so fast that I make everything blurry!

Flat leaf parsley garnish, and my awesome Sailor Jerry skull shoes :-)
Here is the edited recipe I originally got from the WTFSIMFD site, but edited to work for me.

Roasted Moroccan Stew:

They said it would take and hour. They lied. This takes a good solid two hours (I have no idea where they came up with an hour, since the listed cooking times total more than an hour without any of the prep work!).

  • A little olive oil
  • 2 Shallots, in 1-inch chunks
  • ½ pound carrots 
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 medium-sized garlic bulb
  • 6  tomatoes
  • 4 large red bell peppers
  • cinnamon stick
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas (1 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (possibly more) freshly ground black pepper


  • Minced fresh parsley
  • Squeezable wedges of lemon


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two large baking trays with foil, and brush them with olive oil. Scatter the onions, sweet potato and carrots onto one tray, drizzle them with extra oil, and sprinkle with paprika, mustard seeds, and a little salt and a cinnamon stick. Place the garlic bulb on one corner of the tray.
Core the tomatoes, and arrange them on the second tray with the bell peppers and a cinnamon stick.
Place the first tray on the lower rack in the oven, and the second tray on the upper rack. Bake the shallots, carrots, etc., for about 30 to 35 minutes, stirring a few times, until the carrots are just tender. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside to cool.
Bake the tomatoes and peppers for about 45 minutes, turning the peppers with tongs every 10 minutes or so, so they blister evenly. (You don’t have to turn the tomatoes.) Transfer everything to a large, heatproof bowl. Cover the bowl with foil or a plate, and let stand for about 30 minutes.
Carefully lift out the peppers, leaving as much of their liquid in the bowl as possible, and remove their seeds, and stems.  Cut the peppers into pieces and return them to the bowl.
Then lift out the tomatoes, and pull off and discard the skins. Chop the pulp, and return it to the bowl. Fish out and discard the cinnamon stick.
When they are cool enough to handle, separate all the roasted garlic cloves, and squeeze the pulp into the bowlful of peppers and tomatoes. Scrape in the shallots and carrots (including all the paprika and mustard seeds), and stir in the chickpeas and lemon juice.
Taste to adjust the salt and lemon juice, and grind in some black pepper. Mix well.
Cover the bowl, and heat the stew in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes, or in a pot on the stove top for 10 minutes.
Serve hot, with couscous, and garnished with minced parsley and wedges of lemon, if desired.

Roasted Moroccan Stew with Couscous

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