Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Lamb and preserved lemon tagine

Tagine is a kind of Moroccan stew-casserole traditionally cooked in a dish by the same name. But if you live in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn you cook it the same way you'd cook any other stew.

First I browned some leg of lamb (chopped into small pieces) in olive oil, set it aside, and sauteed some chopped shallots in the oil and drippings. I added a pinch of saffron, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, cooked a minute or two longer, and then added the lamb and covered with water. While that cooked a few minutes I chopped up a small butternut squash and then added that as well.

I preserved some meyer lemons almost two months ago. Preserved lemon has a great, concentrated lemon flavor. Because you use the peel instead of the fruit it also has a sort of sharp edge to it. I prefer the flavor to remain distinct in a dish, rather than blended or mellowed. So after removing the flesh and julienne slicing the peels of about 8 wedges I let the tagine finish cooking before adding the lemon.

To finish I served the tagine over whole wheat cous cous and topped with thin sliced almonds.

This is why I won't be making cous cous again for another two years or so.

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