Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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A Culinary Nutrition &

Holistic Lifestyle Blog

A Moroccan Adventure!

November 30, 2017

One of the things I was looking forward to upon arriving in Australia, beyond that of exploring many new places and enjoying the stunning landscape, was that of some culinary training abroad!

 

I was thrilled to learn about The Essential Ingredient, a retail store that provides customers with both high-quality cookware and high-quality ingredients, along with an adjoining cooking class space that hosts a variety of cooking events!  The Essential Ingredient has stores in various locations within the country and the website also provides visitors to the site a variety of articles and recipes to peruse as resources!

 

I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and dig into some ethnic cuisine that I was only somewhat familiar with prior!

 

My instructor, Wanitha, was FABULOUS and memorable!  A gracious and exuberant woman and expert in the field who certainly made the experience what it was!  Malaysian-born and extremely talented at what she does, you may visit her website here!

 

The MENU!

 

The "Moroccan Feast" was a three-hour affair, including the time to sit down, relax and enjoy the beautiful meal!  Here are the dishes we prepared and enjoyed together:

 

*Cous Cous (w/ fresh coriander)

 

*Chicken Tajine


•    Tajine is a traditional dish in Moroccan cuisine, named after the clay pot in which it is cooked[i]
•    The pot is composed entirely of a heavy clay, which may also be painted or glazed; there are two parts to the pot - a base that is circular and flat with low sides, as well as a cone-shaped cover that fits inside the base while cooking[ii]
•    While cooking, the cone aspect is deigned to return all of the condensation that forms into the base of the pot[iii]
•    For serving, the top aspect may be removed, as the base may be used as a serving dish[iv]
•    Moroccan tajines often combine lamb or chicken with a variety of ingredients or seasonings[v]

*We utilized such spices as ginger, cumin, paprika, saffron, cinnamon, sea salt and pepper, combined with some fresh garlic, onion, fresh parsley, fresh coriander, green olives, fresh lemon juice and preserved lemon!  Is your mouth watering, yet?
 

Harissa

 

•    A spicy, fragrant and aromatic paste that combines chillies and a medley of other ingredients[vi]; in this case, small red chillies and red capsicum (red Bell pepper)

*We also used fresh garlic, preserved lemon, fresh coriander, cumin, olive oil and sea salt!
•    Used in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines as a condiment, or to flavour soups, stews or cous cous[vii]

 

Chermoula Snapper

 

  • A spice-and-herb marinade from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia[viii]

  • Mainly used for fish[ix]

 

Moroccan Orange & Fennel Salad

 

*We garnished this with fresh mint, pomegranate seeds and a mint, orange blossom water and fresh lemon-based dressing!  Loved it!

 

Date & Kahlua Crepes

 

There are no words to describe this dessert!

 

Also...

 

*I was exposed to a few new ingredients, using them for the first time:

 

Preserved Lemons are indescribable!  We had the opportunity to taste both the preserved flesh of the lemon, as well as the rind of the lemon, and they tasted quite different (I found the rind more salty than the flesh!  They are a valued ingredient in cuisines of Morocco, the Middle East and India, in dishes such as salads, stews and sauces.[x]  Preserved lemons have been pickled in sea salt and their own juices, left to sit for approximately a month prior to using.[xi]  In terms of flavour, they contribute an intense lemon flavour, but without the sourness and tartness of fresh lemon![xii]

 

Orange Blossom Water is generated by distilling orange blossoms; it becomes the essence of these aromatic flower blossoms.[xiii]  It is used in a variety of cuisines, including that of Mediterranean, FrenchMoroccan and Lebanese.[xiv]  In Moroccan cuisine, it is used in such dishes as carrot and orange salads, pastries, soups and savoury dishes.[xv]

 

WHAT A MENU!  Needless to say, I was fully engaged, in awe and all hands were on deck with an enjoyable group of 10 participants from various parts of the world!  Amazing!

 

The images below scratch the surface of the experience, but they're here for your enjoyment and for inspiration!  Enjoy!  

 Moroccan Inspiration! 

Looking forward to continuing to experiment

with this type of cuisine, once back in Canada!

  We used these preserved lemons in both the Harissa and Chicken Tagine!

 Charring Red Capsicum for the Harissa!

Prepping small Red Chilies!

 Prepping the Harissa!

 The seafood-tasting here in Australia has been incredible! 

This fresh Snapper was no exception! 

My first time working with fish in whole form!  

 Stuffing the Snapper with our Chermoula recipe! 

Certainly a first for me!

 Chermoula-stuffed Snapper- ready for the oven!

 Learning to make Tomato Roses,

as garnish for the Chermoula-stuffed Snapper!

This Orange Blossom Water was one of the ingredients used

in the dressing of the "Morocan Orange & Fennel Salad"

 Chicken Tajine w/ Couscous & Fresh Coriander

 Crepe-making!

Dates stuffed with roasted hazelnuts! 

 Date & Kahlua Crepe - finished product!

A pleasant finishing touch, pairing the meal with an Australian white wine! 

 The "Moroccan Feast" - time to eat!

 

 

ENDNOTES

 

[i] Travel Exploration: Travel Morocco.  Cuisine Traditions & Recipes - Tajines in Morocco.  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from http://www.travel-exploration.com/subpage.cfm/Tajine

 

[ii] Travel Exploration: Travel Morocco.  Cuisine Traditions & Recipes - Tajines in Morocco.  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from http://www.travel-exploration.com/subpage.cfm/Tajine

 

[iii] Travel Exploration: Travel Morocco.  Cuisine Traditions & Recipes - Tajines in Morocco.  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from http://www.travel-exploration.com/subpage.cfm/Tajine

 

[iv] Travel Exploration: Travel Morocco.  Cuisine Traditions & Recipes - Tajines in Morocco.  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from http://www.travel-exploration.com/subpage.cfm/Tajine

 

[v] Travel Exploration: Travel Morocco.  Cuisine Traditions & Recipes - Tajines in Morocco.  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from http://www.travel-exploration.com/subpage.cfm/Tajine

 

[vi] BBC Good Food.  Glossary - Harissa.  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/glossary/harissa

 

[vii] BBC Good Food.  Glossary - Harissa.  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/glossary/harissa

 

[viii] Good Food: Australia's Home of the Hats.  Chermoula: it's quick, easy and quite delicious.  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from https://www.goodfood.com.au/recipes/chermoula-its-quick-easy-and-quite-delicious-20130909-2tfq0

 

[ix]  Good Food: Australia's Home of the Hats.  Chermoula: it's quick, easy and quite delicious.  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from https://www.goodfood.com.au/recipes/chermoula-its-quick-easy-and-quite-delicious-20130909-2tfq0

 

[x]  The Darling Gourmet: grappling each dish by the horns.  How to Make Preserved Lemons (A Moroccan/Middle Eastern Specialty).  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from https://www.daringgourmet.com/how-to-make-preserved-lemons-moroccan-middle-eastern-cooking/

 

[xi]  The Darling Gourmet: grappling each dish by the horns.  How to Make Preserved Lemons (A Moroccan/Middle Eastern Specialty).  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from https://www.daringgourmet.com/how-to-make-preserved-lemons-moroccan-middle-eastern-cooking/

 

[xii]  The Darling Gourmet: grappling each dish by the horns.  How to Make Preserved Lemons (A Moroccan/Middle Eastern Specialty).  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from https://www.daringgourmet.com/how-to-make-preserved-lemons-moroccan-middle-eastern-cooking/

 

[xiii}  Something New for Dinner.  Orange Blossom Water: A Secret of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Cuisine.  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from https://somethingnewfordinner.com/blog/orange-blossom-water/

 

[xiv]  Something New for Dinner.  Orange Blossom Water: A Secret of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Cuisine.  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from https://somethingnewfordinner.com/blog/orange-blossom-water/

 

[xiv]  Something New for Dinner.  Orange Blossom Water: A Secret of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Cuisine.  Retrieved November 27, 2017 from https://somethingnewfordinner.com/blog/orange-blossom-water/

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