Thursday, 12 April 2012

Moroccan Main Dishes

Here you can see the remains of the Easter Feast which i created on Saturday.  Although it felt like a long day of cooking had happened, none of these things actually take very much work - just monitoring.

Slow-Cooked Spicy Lamb Shanks
You Will Need: Oven tray, tinfoil, sharp knife and chopping board
1 lamb shank per person (or to share between 2 unhungry people)
jar of anchovies
clove of garlic per lamb shank
spice mix - to include coriander, cumin, salt, black pepper, chopped garlic

1) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.  Line the oven tray with tinfoil.
2) If you don't know the weight of your meat, weigh it.  Stab the lamb shanks in their juiciest bits.  Chop anchovies in half and garlic cloves into thin slices, and push an anchovy and sliver firmly into each stab with your fingers.
3) Arrange the shanks in the tin and sprinkle over the spice mix.  I used a bought tin of generic Moroccan goodness I had from years ago, but you could make your own.  Use enough to coat the shanks on both sides and rub well in.
4) Cover the shanks with another layer of tinfoil, and tuck in the edges.  Wham in the oven, then turn it down  to 150 degrees C.  Bake for about 40 minutes per pound and then some if you can manage it.

Lamb Kofta Kebabs
You Will Need: wooden skewers, oven tray, large bowl, fork, chopping board, knife, cheesegrater.
Mint to the left already looking limp

500g lamb mince
half a red onion
6 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
large bunch of fresh mint
1 egg

1) Soak the wooden skewers in water to stop them from catching fire under the grill.
2) Preheat the grill.
3) Grate as much as possible of the onion on the larger holes of the cheesegrater; chop the garlic and mint finely.  Add to the mince in the large bowl.  Break in the egg to one side and beat with the fork.  Now use the fork to mush it all together until smooth.
4) Get your hands in and make comfortably sized phallic lumps of meat; slide a wet skewer into each one.  Place on the oven tray as you go.  If you have any left over, make the meat into patties to fry like burgers - they won't need any extra fat.
5) Grill until well browned, turning once during cooking to get both sides.  These heat up well in the oven or back under the grill later if you should need to grill a big tray of something else:

Stuffed Peppers
You Will Need: Oven tray, chopping board, knife, small bowl, kettle

Large bell peppers, half per person or two for a veggie main
olive oil
sultanas or chopped apricots
flaked almonds or pistachios
greek cheese e.g. feta

1) Preheat the grill.
2) Cut the peppers lengthwise, removing any seeds but keeping the stems on for decoration.  Pour a little oil into each one, roll it around the inside to coat and rub on the outside as well.  Grill on the oven tray until blackening, then turn over to do the other side.
3) Meanwhile, make your couscous as per packet instructions - about 2 dessertspoonfuls per pepper or less.  Add a handful of fruit and nuts and a pinch of salt and cumin to make things interesting.  Chop the cheese into small pieces.
4) Take the grilly peppers out, fill with couscous and top with cheese.  Put back under the grill until the cheese is browning and squidgy.

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