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Tagine: Spicy Stews from Morocco

Lee's picture

I ran across this thin little book of tagine recipes, written by Ghillie Basan, at SLT a couple of years ago and have been enjoying it ever since.  I liked it so much that I bought 2 more of her books on Moroccan cooking and am going to try and find some of the others she has written on Middle Eastern and Turkish cuisines which I hope are still in print.  Tonight I made a fish tagine from Tagine which was just delicious.

I used chunks of cod and marinated them for 2 hours in charmoula (a paste of garlic, cilantro, lemon juice, saffron, cumin, serrano pepper, olive oil).  I sauteed minced red onion, carrot and celery, added canned plum tomatoes with their juice, white wine, preserved lemon, a few chunks of cooked potatoes and some reserved charmoula, simmered it together for 10 minutes, then added the fish and marinade and let it cook gently for a few minutes until done.  The dish is garnished with chopped preserved lemon and torn mint leaves.  It was killer.  If you like Moroccan food, I highly recommend her books. 

Glenys's picture

(post #63015, reply #1 of 12)

Another casual modern Moroccan book I snapped up on sale is Kitty Morse's Kasbah. The Ratatouille with Dates is delicious. Basan's books are definitely keepers. I'll have to pick up Tajine's. We did a class with tajine cooking and they had a choice between that one and another 'wee book.
With grilling season and outdoor eating coming on strong, there's nothing better than Moroccan.

Lee's picture

(post #63015, reply #2 of 12)

I have Morse's book, and will give the ratatouille a try.  So far, I like Basan's recipes better.

I just received The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Nancy Harmon Jenkins, another one of my favorite authors.  Everything I've seen in the book so far is healthful and drool worthy.  I also picked up Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Suppers which has lots of good-sounding stuff and will be fun to use this summer -- if we ever get summer. 

Risottogirl's picture

(post #63015, reply #3 of 12)

Kind of a tangent :) but the new issue of Saveur has an article on Istanbul with some fabulous recipes.

I made the Urfa Kebab (spiced lamb kebab), the Karniyarik (stuffed eggplant) and the Mercimek Corbasi (Red Lentil and Bulgur Soup with Chile-Mint Butter)


Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Lee's picture

(post #63015, reply #4 of 12)

I picked up the magazine and read the article, but I haven't made any of the recipes.  They look good.  The red lentil soup is like nothing I've ever tried, but I think we'd like it.

Risottogirl's picture

(post #63015, reply #5 of 12)

The soup was different, but delicious. I was reading the issue thinking that Saveur is one magazine where I would be unlikely to be able to just make a recipe without a trip to the store.

Amazingly I had every ingredient for the soup on hand so I made it that night.

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

schnitzel's picture

(post #63015, reply #6 of 12)

Thanks for mentioning this fish tagine. It was really delicious. Found the recipe online, but may have to add this book to my collection. I have her "Modern Moroccan" book and now some other titles are tempting me, as well.

Lee's picture

(post #63015, reply #7 of 12)

I'm glad you liked it.  I think it's time to make it again.  I like her recipe for the charmoula a lot and have been using it for other things.  I served it last week with pan roasted halibut and garnished the fish with preserved lemon and lightly sauteed cherry tomatoes.  Easy and very good.

I have Flavors of Morroco and picked up Modern Morrocan for a few dollars from a SLT sale bin.  Both are nice books.  I may buy one of her books on Turkish cuisine and maybe one on Mediterranean cooking and/or SE Asian cooking.  I recently bought The New Mediterraneant Diet Cookbook (it's the revised version of the original) by Nancy Harmon Jenkins and love it.  The bulk of the book is given over to veggies, grains, fish and seafood, beans and legumes with a small chapter on poultry and red meat.  I like the scope of the recipes which cover the entire Med, including the Middle East and North Africa.  Everything I've made so far has been excellent. 

Heather's picture

(post #63015, reply #8 of 12)

I have New Med Diet coming from Zooba any day, we'll have to compare notes.

Lee's picture

(post #63015, reply #11 of 12)

I think you'll like it.  It's a compilation of the kind of approachable, satisfying dishes that are basic to that part of the world and easily become part of one's everyday repertory.  Nothing really new or extraordinary, just simple, good food.  I'm going to make the Catalan fideus with seafood next, and the braised artichokes with potatoes sound good, even though I despise cleaning fresh artichokes.  I cleaned 6 medium artichokes last week for Roman style artichokes with mint.  It seemed to take forever and I had brown fingers and a big mess to clean up.  :-( 

schnitzel's picture

(post #63015, reply #9 of 12)

I just got The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook. Haven't tried anything yet. Need to dive in. Just wish it had some photos.

Lee's picture

(post #63015, reply #10 of 12)

LOL, I never even noticed the lack of photos!  Aside from the recipes, the book offers a lot of good reading, and I like the "Variations" suggested at the end of many recipes.  The recipes are fairly basic, mostly things that I am familiar with and really enjoy, but I like her take on them as wells as having so many of them in one book.

Be sure to look at the recipe for the North African Shrimp Tagine on p. 387.  It was delicious.  I made the Simple Couscous with Lamb and Vegetables (p. 222) last weekend, which was yummy.  We also enjoyed the Sant' Ambrogio Yellow Pepper Soup, made with the last of my frozen peppers from last summer's fm, and the Provencal Chickpea Soup.   

I have her Cucina Del Sole which I also like and use.

Marcia's picture

(post #63015, reply #12 of 12)

Good gracious; I have the original from 1994, and don't remember being terribly impressed. It must be in a box in the basement, and I'll bet you anything the recipes sound better now. Should I dig or not...that is the question. <G>