Amazing Kids! Magazine

Cook Time with Remmi

By Remmi Smith, Cook Nook Columnist

 

Hi Amazing Kids!  I recently experimented with Moroccan Foods and I am going to share one of my favorite meals with you today. Morocco is located on the North Western corner of North Africa. It borders two bodies of water: The North Atlantic Ocean and The Mediterranean Sea. The size of the country is a little bigger than California.  Algeria, Spain and Western Sahara are the counties that border the country. Couscous is their national dish and their diets are rich in vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes, squashes, onions and cucumbers. Moroccans are big on hospitality and they love to cook and prepare big meals. I read most Moroccans believe the food cooked in the home is much better than you would find in a restaurant.  Did you know that eggplant is not really a vegetable….it is really a berry?? Ok…more fun facts later…Let’s get cooking…

My Favorite Moroccan Meal:

Moroccan Meatball Tagine (Stew) with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

 Flatbread Moroccan Meatball Tagine

FOR THE MEATBALLS

Ingredients:

  • 2 LB ground beef (or lamb)
  • 1/3 C plus two Tbs panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 large egg or 2 small eggs
  • 1/3 C chopped onion
  • 5 Tbs chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Salt and pepper for taste

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients together and then form into 2 inch meatballs. Set aside.

 

FOR THE TAGINE

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 large onion (medium diced)
  • 3 C carrots (cut in 2 “ lengths)
  • 3 garlic cloves (whole)
  • 2 1/2 C vegetable broth (or beef)
  • 1 (32) OZ can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 t saffron (optional but gives great flavor)
  • 3 Tbs fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper for taste
  • 3 C fresh spinach

Directions:

Sauté onions and garlic until tender. Place sautéed mixture in a large pot that can go into the oven. Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the spinach and bring to a boil on top of the stove. Turn the stove off and gently place the meatballs in the stew and gently pressing them under the liquid. Place a lid on the post and place in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Take tagine out of the oven and gently stir the fresh spinach into the stew. Place lid back on pot and let it sit for 10 minutes.

 

CUCUMBER YOGURT SAUCE

Ingredients:

  • 2 C plain yogurt
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 C cucumber (small dice)
  • 1 Tbs fresh parsley (or mint)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Prepare ingredients as directed and mix all together in small bowl.

 

MEAL PRESENTATION:

Serve Tagine with couscous/noodles or rice.  Serve with yogurt sauce and toasted flat bread. YUMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEE!

 

Now for some more fun facts…

 

Did you know?

  • Moroccans eat flat bread at every meal?
  • Morocco produces all of the food they need to feed its people?
  • Lamb and seafood are the protein staples in their diet?
  • Moroccan cooking involves a lot of spices like saffron/cumin/coriander/cinnamon/ginger and ground red pepper?
  • Households make their own bread…and after it is shaped…they make their family mark on it and then their children take it to local bakery ovens to cook the bread?
  • Their flatbread is made with Semolina flour and they do not use any shortening or milk in their bread?
  • The national dish is Tagine?

When attending your next Moroccan meal-it is only proper to eat and drink from your right hand!  What happens if you are left handed????

Anyway…thanks for reading…see you next month!

<3 Remmi

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