Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Moroccan Stew

The Sunday after our last snowstorm in Vancouver (a few weeks ago) my sister and I went shopping downtown. The 3cm of snow on the ground kept the crowds away and we had the MAC store to ourselves so she could try on new red lipsticks. The snow also meant that there was huge puddles of water at every street corner and we puddle jumped the whole way back to her house where we arrived with very wet and in need of a warm meal.

My sister Hannah has started buying her groceries on the weekend and making one big meal on Sunday night for the rest of the week, the smart girl she is. This is the most fantastic dish to do that with as it only starts to taste better with a few days. After eating it, I promptly made it again a few nights afterwards for myself.

MOROCCAN STEW
revised from the Joy of Cooking (if you don't already own this, you must go and buy it. It makes for fabulous reading over breakfast.)

2 medium onions, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small butternut squash, halved, seeded and cubed
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (fresh or ground)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock and/or water
2 medium zucchini, sliced
raisins/thinly sliced dried apricots
pitted kalamata olives
lemon juice, S&P

-Heat some olive oil in a large dutch oven, then add the onions. Let cook until soft and fragrant, then add the garlic. Once they both smell good, add the squash, carrots, chickpeas and all the spices. Stir around and let cook for a few minutes - cooking the spices onto the vegetables only brings out the flavours of the spices.

-Add the dried fruit and the chicken stock and/or water, enough to cover all the vegetables, and let cook uncovered until they are soft. Add the zucchini very close to the end of this so it doesn't get to mushy but still absorbs the flavours.

-When it seems good and stew-like, take off the heat and season with salt and pepper and some lemon juice to brighten it up a bit. Finally, serve with (my favourite!) the black olives and preferably some couscous.


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There is nothing more perfect on a blustery Sunday night than to lie on your sister's couch watching the Oscars (however boring they may be...) all night with the cat, eating a fantastic meal.


Enjoy!

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