The Moors controlled most of present day Spain from the 8th–15th centuries. They introduced almonds, citrus fruit and rice, as well as the irrigation systems necessary to grow them to the Iberian Peninsula. Tomatoes, potatoes, and chilies—items common to today’s Spanish and Moroccan cuisines—had not yet been introduced to European diets. I am making a Moorish chicken for Sunday’s sinner and I decided that a tabbouleh would be a good side dish.
Tag Archives: Moroccan cuisine
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.
It is Memorial Day and barbecue is the traditional way of celebrating. Son-in-law, Chris, is avoiding sugary foods, so many a barbecue sauce was out. I decided that a spice rub would be the way to go.
I wanted a vegetable dish to go with my Moroccan lamb this Sunday. I just put Miriam on a plane for Milan, Italy, on Friday and I pick up her husband, Chris, who is just getting back from NY on Saturday. Chris is on the Adkin’s diet, so this dish must fit his needs—out go the starchy vegetables, fruit and flour as a thickener.
I made a tajine for my Father’s Day dinner to go with my Moroccan lamb. I had a zucchini on my counter that I wanted to use before it spoiled, but I thought that a soft squash like this would not stand up to the long cooking time of a tajine. I decided it would be much better barbecued separately. Since I had already blended Ras el Hanout for the lamb it seemed an obvious spicing.
I have made the Moroccan spice blend Ras el Hanout before. For this Father’s Day, I wanted a Moroccan blend that was just a little bit simpler than 29 ingredients. Looking at my old recipe, I cut out the more obscure spices and adjusted the quantities. To be called a Ras el Hanout the blend should have at least these eleven spices: allspice, black pepper, cardamom, cayenne pepper, cloves, coriander seeds, ginger, mace, nutmeg, turmeric, and white pepper. The quantities of each spice vary widely between blends I have found.
After living in Chengdu, Sichuan, China, my family has always really loved garlic—a lot! I had an idea that popped into my head about a side dish to go with my Moroccan lamb—large chunks of roasted garlic floating in a sea of fluffy couscous. My thought was that as you took a bite of couscous you would get a burst of roasted garlic goodness.