The selection for March and April over at The Cookbook Guru was The Food Of Morocco by Paula Wolfert which really fits in with my explorations into Middle Eastern Food via Persiana and MENA.
First, the book is ENORMOUS!!!! If you dropped this on your foot, you would be in serious danger of breaking a toe. Or two. It was really quite difficult to choose the recipes to try, there were so many and so many that sounded delicious.
Second, it is beautiful – not just the recipes, the photography, the writing, everything about it is lovely. I would love to have this in my own collection as it is so well curated and contains so much of interest but sadly, it is quite expensive so, at the moment is just on the wishlist!
I have been sick for nearly a week now so I have left my run here a little late. Thankfully the anti-biotics have started to kick in and hopefully I can get this post out whilst it is still April somewhere in the world.
I have made four things from this book and whilst I would have loved to have a post for each, for the sake of brevity, I’m putting them all together so I can get something out before Christmas!!! I have also not included any recipes as that would have taken even more time but, if you like the look of anything let me know and I can send ’em through!
THE FOOD OF MOROCCO // BRIK WITH TUNA, CAPERS AND EGGS
I was not familiar with the brik, (pronounced breek) which is a Moroccan snack consisting of a very thin pastry called warqa wrapped around various fillings, one of which is this delicious but to me, uncommon, combination of tuna and egg.
Not surprisingly there was no warqa pastry at the local supermarket and because I was running so late on this, I could not shop for it so I used the much more readily available filo pastry for my briks. You can apparently also use spring roll wrappers, or if really brave, make your own warqa pastry.
So first up you saute up some onions, then add your tuna, capers, parsley and some parmesan cheese. And yup, this mix just on it’s own tastes AMAZING. I’m surprised there was any left to make the briks. Personally, I blame the hosts of reality tv cooking shows for constantly telling people to taste their food during cooking!
Then you make place the tuna mix on the pastry but make a little hole to hold the eggs. I don’t think it matters if it spills over a little like mine did.
Then you quickly seal this up and drop it into some hot oil to fry up – the idea being you want your pastry crispy and your egg still a little bit runny.
So, did I cook the perfect runny egg brik?
Sadly, no. My egg was cooked through. 🙁
This was not all bad though, it certainly made it easier to take the remainder for lunch the next day. And OMG, so tasty. I’ll definitely be trying this again and trying to nail that runny egg.
THE FOOD OF MOROCCO //POTATO TAGINE WITH OLIVES AND HARISSA
This tasted as good as it looks. And one for my vegan friends!!! The colours are so beautiful and the flavours blend together beautifully!
THE FOOD OF MOROCCO // THE BIRD THAT FLEW AWAY
This a lovely chickpea dish with a delightful name. Paula Wolfert explains that is it a “plat de pauvre” (a dish for the poor) that is made when you can’t afford to buy a chicken. It’s so good I think I would eat it regardless of whether I had a chicken or not!
THE FOOD OF MOROCCO INSPIRED // ARTICHOKE SALAD WITH ORANGE, LEAFY GREENS AND DATES.
A Spanish restaurant I am very fond of does a salad with oranges, artichokes and dates which is To. Die. For. In order to recreate it’s flavour, I used Paula Wolfert’s Orange, Leafy Green and Date Salad and added artichokes and some lemon and olive oil in the dressing. I think it worked really well and I loved the hint of orange flower water. It was not exactly my restaurant salad but it was pretty close. And look at how pretty it is!
This was an amazing book and I am so glad that The Cookbook Guru drew it to my attention. The next few months we will be cooking from a book by a true legend of Australian Cooking, Margaret Fulton. I can’t wait. And I promise to be a bit more timely!
Have a great week!