Sunday, January 9, 2011

Week #13: Morocco

By the end of this week, we'll be a quarter of the way through the year!  w00t!  I never thought cooking could ever be so exhausting, but it turns out when I get home from work, it's really nice to have a meal that I don't have to put a lot of brainpower into making.  That hasn't happened in weeks!  This week will hopefully be a little less stressful than last week, since Moroccan food feels somehow familiar to me...even though I've never been there personally, there was one Thanksgiving that we spent eating in "Morocco" at the EPCOT center.  I think that counts...right?  The most memorable part of that dinner was when I nearly spit water out my nose from laughing so hard at how many different ways there are to say "throw up".  Including, apparently, "couscous" in Turkish.  I was 15, what do you expect?

Anyway, moving on.  What do we know about Morocco?

I think I didn't realize it was so long.  I knew roughly where it was, but I think I thought it was only half as long as it is.  Nifty.  Actually, after reading more, the bottom half where it's shaded is actually Western Sahara, which is disputed territory and a non-self-governing land according to the UN.  Nifty.

How about the cuisine? 

Moroccan cuisine has long been considered as one of the most diversified cuisines in the world. This is a result of the centuries-long interaction of Morocco with the outside world. The cuisine of Morocco is a mix of Berber, Spanish, Corsican, Portuguese, Moorish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and African cuisines. The cuisine of Morocco has been influenced by the native Berber cuisine, the Arabic Andalusian cuisine brought by the Moriscos when they left Spain, the Turkish cuisine from the Turks and the Middle Eastern cuisines brought by the Arabs, as well as Jewish cuisine.
Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food. While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients, like saffron from Tiliouine, mint and olives from Meknes, and oranges and lemons from Fez, are home-grown. Chicken is the most widely eaten meat in Morocco. The most commonly eaten red meat in Morocco is beef; lamb is preferred but is relatively expensive. Couscous is the most famous Moroccan dish along with pastilla, tajine, and harira. The most popular drink is green tea with mint.

I won't lie.  I LOVE tagines.  I also love couscous, in spite of what the tour guide in Turkey made us believe.  So without further ado, here's this week's menu:

For Monday: Moroccan Meatballs. Quick, easy, yum.
For Tuesday: Slow cooker tagine. Tuesdays are traditionally a very long night for me, and this week is no exception.  This Tuesday I get to go in and fill out paperwork to be a group fitness instructor (emphasis in Spin, but they're training me to do other stuff too!) at this gym I adore.  SO EXCITED!  After that, there are 2 hours' worth of classes I want to take, and then it's Biggest Loser night.  Oh, and Nick starts his classes that night too, so I need to stay out of his hair.  All that to say, I think I'm going to start making Tuesday night crock pot night, if I can manage it. 
For Wednesday: Chickpeas and sweet potatoes - a vegetarian option. 
For Thursday: Another crock pot tagine, this time more fruity.  I'd much rather prep in the morning and come home to a house that smells yummy and a dinner that is ready to eat than cook at night. 
For Friday: Grilled Moroccan Chicken with a side of (what else) couscous.

I had hoped to find a good Moroccan restaurant to try out on Saturday, but it looks like the only ones around are either sketchy or way outside our budget (unless someone wants to sponsor me, wink wink nudge nudge).  Maybe next region.

Anyone joining the challenge this week? Check back tomorrow for a link to other Menu Plan Monday posts.

1 comment:

  1. I love couscous! Sounds like a delicious week for you. I can just imagine how good your house is going to smell on Thursday! Good luck!