Monday, April 11, 2011

Moreish Moroccan

Gemmy-pops and Benny-boo had me over for dinner last week for quite possibly the most flavoursome dinner I've had all year.

I felt quite honoured to have them crack open their Vera Wang wedding crockery for the special occasion (felt very daggy in my leggings and baggy tee!) and was thrilled to take home a care package of scrummy food - albeit it in a Tupperware jelly mould. Hilarious!

Gem cooked up a treat in her authentic tagine and the flavours matured beautifully overnight to really hit home for lunch the next day. Delicious. I was the envy of the office, that's for sure!

For dessert, I pulled out my trusty new little favourite, thanks to Donna Hay . . . chocolate and cinnamon wontons.

Please, enjoy xo

Lamb, prunes, apricot and honey tagine
Serves 4-6

1-2 Tbspns olive oil
2 Tbspns blanced almonds
2 red onions, finely choped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
a pinch of saffron threads
2 cinnamon sticks
1-2 tspns coriander seeds, crushed
500g boned lamb, from the shoulder, leg or shanks, trimmed and cubed
about 12 stoned prunes, soaked for 1 hour and drained
about 6 dried apricots, soaked for 1 hour and drained
3-4 strips unwaxed orange zest
1-2 Tbspns dark, runny honey
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a handful of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

Heat the oil in a tagine or heavy-based casserole, stir in the almonds and cook until they turn golden. Add the onions and garlic and saute until they begin to colour. Stir in the ginger, saffron, cinnamon sticks and coriander seeds. Toss in the lamb, making sure it is coated in the onion and spices, and saute for 1-2 minutes.

Pour in enough water to just cover the meat and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover the tagine or casserole and simmer for about 1 hour, until the meat is tender. Add the prunes, apricots and orange zest, cover the tagine again, and simmer for a fruther 15-20 minutes. Make sure there is enough liquid in the pot, as you want the sauce to be syrupy and slightly caramelised, but not dry.

Stir in some of the fresh coriander and reserve the rest to sprinkle over the top of the dish. Serve immediately with chunks of crusty bread or buttery couscous.

Chocolate and cinnamon wontons
(my after dinner last minute version)

12 wonton/gow gee wrappers
12 pieces of dark chocolate
caster sugar
butter, melted

  1. Place the wrappers on a baking tray and top with one piece of chocolate
  2. Paint the edges of the wrappers with melted butter and fold over one corner of the wrapper to meet the opposite corner. Press along the edges to seal.
  3. Brush the top of the triangles with melted butter and sprinkle with a mixture of caster sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Bake in the oven at 180C for 8 minutes.
  5. Serve warm (but great cold as well!)

1 comment:

Kimberlee said...

Ok- I'm heading with you to your friends houses for dinner- you always leave with a 'care package' - jealous!
Meanwhile I'm taking a packed lunch to work tomorrow- twice in two days.... It's a record!!