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Apricot Lamb Tagine with Herbed Couscous

I made this dish awhile ago and it’s too amazing not to share! If you love Moroccan flavors, then this dish is for you.  You  seriously can’t go wrong when using turmeric and cumin.  The combination of savory, spicy and sweet dances in your mouth.  The slow braised lamb is fall apart tender! Then you add raisins and apricots towards the end which gives it a hint of sweetness and awesome texture.   It was hard not to go back for seconds.  I served this dish with a side of Israeli couscous.   I prefer the texture of Israeli couscous versus the small grain couscous. I kept the couscous simple using the same herbs in the tagine and added toasted pine nuts.  I wanted the lamb to be the star and  it most definitely was.  If you’re not a couscous fan,  you can always serve it with quinoa or brown rice.   Topping the lamb with  pistachios provided a nice contrast in textures to the tender lamb.

Side note: I couldn’t find harissa in ony regular grocery store.  I ended up finding it in a specialty Middle Eastern market. photo 1

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pinch saffron
1 teaspoon lemon (zest)
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound lamb (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion (chopped)
1 tablespoon garlic (grated)
1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
2 tablespoons tomato paste (I used chopped sun dried tomatoes)
1-2 cups beef stock
3/4 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons harissa
1/4 cup pistachios (chopped, optional)
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped, optional)
1/4 cup parsley (chopped, optional)
1 cup Greek style yogurt (optional)

Directions:

1. Mix the paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, cayenne pepper, saffron, lemon zest and oil in a zip-lock bag along with the lamb, mix well and marinate the fridge for a few hours to overnight.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the lamb, brown well on all sides and set aside.

3. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for about a minute.

5. Add the lamb and tomato paste and beef stock, bring to a boil, reduce the meat and simmer covered until the lamb is fall apart tender, about 2.5 hours.

6. Add the apricots, raisins and more beef stock to cover.

7. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.

8. Add the honey and harissa.

9. Serve on couscous and garnished with pistachios, cilantro, parsley and Greek yogurt.

I cannot wait to make this dish again.  It is very satisfying and it doesn’t disappoint.  Happy cooking!

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Creamy Gnocchi, Sweet Potato and Spinach

all things katie marie: Fall Home Decor

Fall is right around the corner.  Yup, that’s right.  Fall.  Did I just type that?  Sure did!!  I felt like I  just started eating  peaches and berries.  Where has the time gone?  Say goodbye to the sunshine, beach day trips, baseball and  BBQ’s.  It’ will soon be time for pumpkins, football, apple cider and thanks.  It’s a time of fresh starts, new beginnings.  It means roasts, potatoes and carrots.   It means hearty, warm, comfort food.

What better way to introduce Fall into your household than with this recipe taken and adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice.

CREAMY GNOCCHI, SWEET POTATO AND SPINACH
photo (1)

I was really craving this for dinner and used whatever I had in the pantry and refrigerator.  So I made minor substitutions that didn’t compromise the flavor at all.  I used a sweet potato instead of butternut squash and unflavored almond milk for half and half with two tablespoons of low-fat cream cheese.  It truly was creamy, delicious, filling and not as heavy as I thought it would be.  It’s a definite keeper.

 

Here’s to Fall cooking!