I decided to make a Moorish themed dinner this Sunday. The Moors controlled most of present day Spain from the 8th–15th centuries. While Moorish cuisine is little different from that of Morocco, the Moors had a great effect on the gastronomy of Spain. They introduced almonds, citrus fruit and rice, as well as the irrigation systems necessary to grow them. However, this period was also pre-contact with the New World, so that some items that are common to today’s Spanish and Moroccan cuisines had not yet been introduced to European diets—no tomatoes or chilies, including paprika and cayenne.
Tag Archives: clay pot
I wanted a vegetable dish to go with my Moroccan lamb. None of the recipes I found on-line were quite what I had in mind. I started taking ingredients from several of them and built my own.
Jan is having her stitching friends over for a Christmas get-together. She requested a clay pot chicken, something with noodles and a vegetable soup. As I thought about what dishes I would make the theme became, sort of, Italian.
My girls have been feeling run down lately and they requested dong quai chicken soup. Dong quai is also called women’s gensing, because it is supposed to do for a woman what gensing is supposed to do for a man. It would not harm a man to eat this soup, but if you are a man—or a woman who does not need it—it simply smells really bad. If you are a woman in need of feminine (yin) balancing it—apparently—smells wonderful.
The recipe on my blog that has gotten the most views is my Moroccan oxtail tajine. While this dish was very tasty, it was way too fatty for Jan. Jan had her gall bladder removed while we were in China and she is in the 10% of the population that has difficulty digesting fats after that operation.
Adapted from a recipe by Mamatkamal El Mary K
This week is Chris’ Birthday. Myr is taking him out for steak on Saturday, so she wants something heavy on the vegetables. Jan really liked the Chicken Cassablanca I made last week, so she wants a North African tajine (tu-jeen). I have some French green lentils that I have wanted to try out (A Taste of History idea). Chris (who just landed from a trip to Germany) got in the last word, he wants oxtails. This I can work with.
The reason that most of my recipes start with “Karl’s …” is so I can tell the ones I downloaded from the internet (usually for reference) from the ones I have changed enough to call my own. This is one of those occasions where I had a dish in my mind (a faded memory of some dish served at a Chinese banquet), but how it was made and what when into it was a mystery.
One search technique I used for this recipe was Google Images. Using the search “clay pot chicken” brought up hundreds of pictures that I could then scan for ones that “looked” like what was in my memory of that dish in China. However, the recipes I found on the internet did not come close to what I was looking for. I had to be creative. I took an ingredient from this recipe. Oyster sauce as the marinade base seemed a good choice, I was also making Ma po Dofu for this meal so I did not want to use Hoisin (another common marinade ingredient in clay pot chicken).