Sunday, February 6, 2011

international meal | morocco + bread of the month | kesra

Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Almonds
Homemade Kesra (Moroccan bread)
We kicked off our international meal resolution in January with a Moroccan feast! I had also resolved to bake one loaf of bread per month and as I was sorting through Moroccan recipes, I found a recipe for Kesra (Moroccan bread, though some sources list it as Algerian - either way it's a North African bread).

When I had first mentioned my goal of cooking an international meal each month to Larry, I asked him which country we should choose first and he immediately responded "Morocco!" I was surprised by his choice and intrigued - since I really know nothing about African cuisine, other than having eaten in a handful of Ethiopian restaurants in DC. Here's what I learned through cooking our meal: Moroccan food is freaking delicious!
Homemade Kesra + Moroccan Eggplant Salad
On the menu:
I had hoped to pair the meal with a Moroccan wine, but I didn't have time to go to the wine store and shockingly, Safeway doesn't carry wine from Morocco. So we drank beers instead...also not Moroccan. And I had planned to make M'hanncha (Snake Cake - awesome!) for dessert, but I ran out of time. First lesson learned - we need to have our international feasts on weekends, as it was an ambitious meal for a weeknight and by the time we ate it was almost 9 pm.
Simmering apricots for the tagine
Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Almonds
But - it was totally worth the wait. Only a month into the year, and I can already guarantee that the Chicken Tagine will be one of the best recipes we make in 2011. It was phenomenal. In fact, it was probably one of the best things we've ever made. I have a beef with chicken and that is this: it has no flavor.  But this was one of the most flavorful dishes to ever touch my tongue. As Larry summed it up after we'd licked our plates clean without uttering a word to each other throughout the meal, "I could eat this chicken all night!"
Homemade Kesra (Moroccan bread)
The bread was fantastic, too - and the easiest yeast bread recipe I've ever tried. I thought the round loaves might be dense and chewy - but they were soft and light - my first bite from the oven left me exclaiming "it tastes like a biscuit!" I made it because I thought bread would be good to sop up sauces, but I really loved eating it American-style - that is slathered with butter. It would also be good dipped in olive oil or spread with jam for breakfast.
Homemade Kesra (Moroccan bread)
Next up: Portugal!

1 comment:

Rakhi Khatun said...
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