Moroccan Stew

After picking up a heavy cold, scrambling through finals week and having some computer issues, I’m finally feeling better and have a little more time.  (I also completed my first semester of grad school!  Woohoo!)  I’ve even finished my holiday shopping thanks to Amazon and free 2-day shipping.  (Yes, a few gifts were cooking-themed, but hey, I like to share my hobbies.)

Now that I have a little free time, I get to share with you again.  I’ve cooked many meals and taken pictures of some of them.  I made a delicious apple pie with homemade caramel sauce for Thanksgiving.  I’m sorry to say that no pictures were taken (it was a little crazy, being Thanksgiving and all).  I promise I’ll make another and take pictures.  I constructed cinnamon apple scones, because they are ready and out of the oven in 45 minutes.  Unfortunately, both times I didn’t take pictures.  (Yes, I made them twice and didn’t tell you.  Sorry, finals and the cold were really keeping me down.)  I made almost 50 samosas for an office party (yes, it did take awhile).  Fortunately, that recipe is already on the site.

Among these many gems, I made Moroccan stew, because I still have squash, I love saffron, and I think cinnamon is a wonderful spice that can go in sweet and savory dishes.  Fortunately, I did take pictures of this treasure and I am going to share it with you.  This is one of my favorite squash dishes and I make a lot of recipes with squash.  (I’m sure you’ve noticed the past several posted have been butternut squash or pumpkin.)  I want to warn you, the ingredients may sound a little strange together, but go with it you will be amazed at the flavors produced.

Moroccan Stew

Adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen
 
 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
salt and pepper to taste
1 large (about a pound) butternut squash, medium to large dice
4 medium (about 3/4 pound) red potatoes, medium to large dice
2 cups vegetable broth, plus 1 cup for the cous cous (3 total)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes with juices
pinch of saffron (optional, but recommended)
1 cup brined green olives
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley (a handful)
1 cup cous cous
plain yogurt (garnish)
sliced almonds (garnish)
hot sauce (I’m partial to Texas Pete.)
 

In a large dutch oven (or heavy-bottomed pot) add the olive oil and heat over medium heat.  Chopped the onions, add to the dutch oven and saute for 4-5 minutes.  Mince the garlic and add to the dutch oven with the salt, pepper, cumin and cinnamon.  Saute for another 3-4 minutes.  While that is sauteing, peel and chop the butternut squash and chop the potatoes (if you have trouble peeling and chopping quickly do this ahead).  Add the squash and potatoes to the dutch oven and saute until slightly cooked (5-7 minutes).  Add the can of diced tomatoes with their juices, the vegetable broth and a pinch of saffron.  Stir to combine all the ingredients.  Bring the stew to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer (medium-low).  Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the squash and potatoes are cooked through.  Stir in the green olives and parsley.

While the stew is simmering bring one cup of vegetable broth to a boil in a small pot.  Remove from the heat, add the cous cous, stir to combine, cover and set aside for 5 minutes.  Fluff the cous cous.  Place a spoonful of cous cous in the bottom of a bowl.  Ladle the stew over the top of it.  Garnish with a dollop of plain yogurt, a sprinkle of sliced almonds and a few swishes of hot sauce.  Grab a spoon and dig in.  (Careful, it’s hot.)

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