Monday, February 18, 2013

Dinner with G & Crystal over Morroccan Tagine and Red Wine

For Christmas this year, Dad and Vicki gave us this beautiful pottery called a Tagine. (tah-jscheen) Maybe that didn't help. Anyway, here is what wikipedia had to say about it to give you an idea.
tajine or tagine (Arabic: طاجين tajin from the Persianتابه‎ tabe[1]) is an historically Berber[2] dish from North Africa that is named after the special earthenware pot in which it is cooked. A similar dish, known as tavvas, is found in the cuisine of Cyprus. The traditional tajine pot is formed entirely of a heavy clay, which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts: a base unit that is flat and circular with low sides and a large cone- or dome-shaped cover that sits on the base during cooking. The cover is designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. With the cover removed, the base can be taken to the table for serving.
So we called up G and Crystal Friday night, set the ipad up against a picture frame (which is the greatest discovery I have made in a while) and had dinner with them. This particular recipe is so hearty, filling and delicious, you can't resist eating it slowly and savoring all the interesting flavors.

Since we have a coil burner, we had to have one of those ceramic heat distributors. I cooked the entire dish in the Tagine. Saute the onions and spices over the stove and then you add the meatballs, carrots, tomatoes, golden raisins and broth, put the lid on and bake it in the oven. The spinach just has to wilt so I just mixed it in fresh at the end and it was ready to go without putting it back in the oven.You can do this in a cast iron stew pot with a lid too. The recipes online are a little big to fit in mine so keep that in mind if you make it in a traditional Tagine.

I doubled the meatballs and we only used about 1/3 of them (about 2-3 per serving if you aren't a big meat eater) and froze the rest for another night. I used a mix of grass fed beef and ground elk meat from Peyton and Justin's hunt this past fall. Delish!

*Saffron's expensive, so skip it if you want. You get the yellow color from the turmeric anyway and I haven't noticed a huge difference without it. Serve it in bowls over prepared cous cous and you have a one pot meal!

Go here for the Morroccan Meatball Tagine recipe.

Thanks guys for the dinner date! Now we just need to figure out how to play Settlers over the ipad...

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