Sunday, January 20, 2008

Moroccan Mixup - Middle Eastern for Beginners

I decided to cook up a quick Moroccan-inspired dish for last night's dinner. And judging by the lack of leftovers, it went over quite well. I created this recipe on the fly, using Middle Eastern spices such as cinnamon, cumin and paprika. I call it my Moroccan Mixup, which is essentially sweet ground meat with onion, resting on a cushion of airy cinnamon cous-cous. Try it and let me know what you think!

Foodista's Moroccan Mixup:

1. 1 - 1.5 lbs of ground beef or lamb (your choice)
2. 1/2 large onion, chopped
3. Red wine (two full turns around the pan)
4. 1/2 cup of whole wheat cous cous
5. 1/2 cup of raisins
6. Dash of cinnamon, paprika and cumin
7. Olive oil (two full turns around the pan)
8. 1 tablespoon of butter
9. Salt and pepper to taste

Serves 2

Make a 1/2 cup of cous cous following the instructions on the box. When cooling and fluffing it up, add a dash of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of raisins. The raisins will naturally puff up from the heat of of the pan.

In a separate sautee pan, melt the butter and the olive oil. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Continue to add the ground beef or lamb and separate into small chunks with a wooden spoon. Season with salt, pepper, paprika and cumin, stirring a couple of times. Cook for about 3-5 minutes and then add the red wine, letting the mixture reduce for another 3-5 minutes. The meat should be tender and sweet.

Spoon a couple of heaping tablespoons of cous cous onto a plate and top with the cooked meat.

This dish is great for an intimate dinner and also very easy to prepare for a large feast. Try it for yourself!

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