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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Couscous Marrakech

Ah, Morocco. Land of beautiful details and yummy spiced food.
I wanted to share with you a mild Moroccan recipe that I made last night. What does a recipe have to do with design you ask? It doesn't really but you have to eat and you might as well fill your body with good ingredients to fuel yourself for a well-designed life. And, the colors are very lovely and fall-like in the finished product.
I got this recipe from my Whole Foods recipe app on my iPhone. It's an easy recipe and has great flavor, especially if you're just now venturing into Moroccan food. This is a good jumping off point. The recipe entails what I'm about to share with you along with a dressing that is supposed to go on it which I completely forgot to do. The couscous was good nonetheless. I still have leftovers so I might whip up the dressing and add it to it so that it's moist and has a different taste. I'll include the dressing at the bottom but just note that I didn't do it. Here goes:

2 cups water
5 dried figs, diced (*I used fresh figs I found at Publix)
5 dried apricots, diced
1/4 cup raisins (golden if you're being authentic, I used regular ole raisins)
1 1/2 cups couscous
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
1/2 cup yellow pepper, diced (it's about half of the pepper if you cut it horizontally in the middle)
1/4 cup onion, diced (I used onion powder and used my judgement, it worked well)
1/3 cup pistachio nuts, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (I used parsley because I didn't have cilantro...oops)

Place 2 cups of water in pot along with figs, apricots and raisins and heat to a boil. Place couscous in a bowl with turmeric, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix until it is well coated to an overall dark yellow color. Remove the fruit from the water after it boils and poor the water into the bowl with the couscous. Cover with plastic wrap or a saucepan lid and let it steam for 15 minutes. When it is done, fluff with a fork until all the grains are separated. Add dried fruits, peppers, onion, nuts and herbs. Combine well and serve.

To add the dressing:
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon honey
Salt & Pepper to taste

Pour in dressing after all the couscous ingredients are combined and mix gently.

I served my couscous with chicken but it was nothing to brag about. When I make this again, I'll chop up chicken and add it into the mixture. Lamb is also good with couscous but usually tastes better with heavier herbs in the recipe.
I also made Moroccan mint tea, found here. Very tasty!

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