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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tagine (Huh??)

I started this blog about four years ago, and had all the great aspirations one has (if they are willing to admit it) about doing so: writing insightful posts that generate loads of comments, building readership, creating buzz. I really can't believe I thought any of that could happen.

However, I am really grateful for those who check in now and then and read my meanderings, but it certainly hasn't generated anything other than an occasional comment... and here's the funny part: I write about youth ministry, theology, social commentary, spiritual disciplines, and once in awhile an update on what I'm doing professionally. Yet hands down, I get the most comments (and traffic) by far about my recipes!

In fact, lately my "readership" has really jumped, but only because a few months ago someone "pinned" one of my recipes on her Pinterest page, and that has gone viral (at least by my limited standards). Hilarious.

That being said, here is my latest recipe. I made it last night and practically ate the bowl, it was so good. I got it from a fantastic cookbook called Simply in Season. I have mentioned here before that I try to eat seasonally, but even though this recipe is titled "Autumn Tagine," I had all the components sitting in my crisper from local produce. One caveat however: I opted to use butternut squash instead of sweet potato, because that's what I had. Perfecto.

Tagine (tah-ZHEEN) is a Moroccan stew named after the traditional heavy clay pot in which it is cooked. This colorful vegetarian version made one tester’s 11-year-old exclaim, "We should have this every night!" Adjust the amount of crushed hot chilies to suit your family’s tastes. Serves 6-8.

2 cups / 500 ml onion (diced) - OK, another substitution = I used leeks

In large soup pot sauté in 1-2 tablespoons oil until soft, 4-5 minutes.

6 cloves garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon ginger root (peeled and minced)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon pepper
1/4-1 teaspoon crushed hot chilies (optional)

Add and stir for 1 minute.

3 cups / 750 ml sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch / 2.5-cm cubes) - like I said, I substituted with butternut squash
2 cups / 500 ml cooked chickpeas
11/2 cups / 350 ml vegetable broth
Add and bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes.
1/2 medium head cauliflower (cut into 1-inch / 2.5-cm florets)
2 cups / 500 ml peas

Stir in cauliflower, cover, and simmer until vegetables are nearly tender, about 12 minutes. Add peas, cover, and simmer until hot, 2 minutes. Serve over steamed couscous or rice, garnished with chopped fresh cilantro (optional). I also find that Tagine is Tasty when Topped with some Toasted nuts. I should make a T-shirt that says that!  :)

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