Tag Archives: Foods of North Africa

Lamb Burgers with Preserved Lemons and Cucumber Raita

These burgers are absolutely delicious and a slightly healthier version of your average beefburger with all the toppings! A great summery meal that is quick and easy to make and ideal for a BBQ. If you can’t get preserved lemons, use lemon zest instead. You will get a different result but still a very tasty one! I have started to stock preserved lemons here at the Cookery School so give me a shout if you are finding it difficult to find them or you could of course, make your own although you will need to make them about a month before you need them.

Ingredients:

For the burgers:

450 g lamb mince

1 red onion

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoon fresh oregano (use a teaspoon of dried if you don’t have fresh)

1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
100g feta cheese, crumbled
1 egg, whisked lightly (to bind)

For the raita:

3 tablespoons Greek Yogurt

Fresh mint, finely chopped
½ a cucumber, seeds removed with a teaspoon & diced1 clove garlic, minced or chopped finely

lemon juice

To serve:

Pitta breads & Rocket Leaves

Method:

Combine all the ingredients for the burgers in a bowl, keeping half of the egg back.

  1. Mix thoroughly and check the mix is wet enough to hold together and add more egg if necessary
  2. Season the mixture and cook a teaspoonful of it to taste
  3. Shape into patties and refrigerate if time allows as this helps to keep their shape
  4. Cook on a skillet or pan or best, on the BBQ!
  5. Cook for 5-8 mins on each side, checking the middle of one to ensure it is cooked through
  6. Leave to rest for 5 mins
  7. To make the raita, combine the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and mint
  1. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and remove the seeds with a teaspoon
  2. Chop the cucumber finely and add to the yogurt
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning

 

To Serve:

 

I love to serve these burgers in lightly toasted pitta bread as it is lighter than burger buns but please feel free to use what you like!

 

Place the burgers in the pitta breads and top with the raita and some rocket leaves. Dig in!

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Menu: Main Course of Chermoula Baked Hake with Lime Yoghurt Dressing

 

I love this quick and easy dish. The flavours of North Africa are a particular favourite of mine and this traditional marinade for fish works particularly well with tabbouleh or just even some plain cous cous.

 Ingredients:

 2 fillets of hake (or any other white fish)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

A pinch of saffron threads, crumbled

2 teaspoons of  ground cumin

2 teaspoons of ground coriander

¼ teaspoon of  chilli flakes

1 tsp paprika

2 tablespoons of finely chopped preserved lemon skin

½ teaspoon of Sea salt

Olive oil

A handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

For the yogurt dressing:

2 tblsp Greek Yogurt

Juice & zest of ½ a lime

Method:

To make the chermoula, mix together the garlic, saffron, cumin, coriander, chilli, paprika, preserved lemon, salt and a good glug of olive oil.

To make the yogurt dressing, place the yogurt in a bowl with the lime juice and zest and mix. Season to taste.

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C
  2. Place the fish in a baking dish and pour over the chermoula
  3. Cover in tin foil and bake for 20-30 mins, depending on the thickness of your fish.
  4. To check it is cooked, gently open a piece of the fish with a knife and check the flesh is opaque
  5. Serve the fish in it’s sauce and drizzle the yogurt dressing over.
  6. Garnish with the coriander

Easy peasy Lamb Tagine with Preserved Lemons & Herby Cous Cous

I was on twitter the other evening when Colette from Cakes, Bakes & Other Bits asked the question- What is a Tagine? This opened up a bit of discussion and triggered a funny memory for me. When I was about 10, my parents went on holiday to Morocco returning with a tagine. Lots of people thought it was a hat. My Dad had gone to lots of trouble to get it home from the market (to be fair this was before Ryanair & the tiny baggage allowances we have nowadays) he had bought it in only to find the chimney part had cracked. Anyway, not giving up on the dream of making a tagine at home, he persevered and insisted on using it on our electric ’80’s style cooking rings. All was going fine until he was just about to serve it up when he lifted the chimney part off and it crumbled in his hands and into the stew. Very disappointing after all his hard work! He informed me this morning that the remnants became a flower pot for years afterwards!

This is a dish I frequently make in my cookery classes and always goes down a storm! It’s a great dish for feeding a crowd as all the work is done earlier in the day so that you can spend time with your guests when they arrive.

My understanding is that a tagine is the cooking vessel made of earthenware from North Africa. It is used to slow cook stews using lamb and chicken mainly. Nowadays, we tend to think of a tagine as the stew itself using North African spices such as cumin, turmeric, coriander, saffron, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, cloves etc. The spice blend Ras El Hanout is also often used which contains a small amount of rose petals to give a light fragrance. It will often contain preserved lemons, dried fruits such as apricots, dates & raisins.

 

 

 

 

Recipe:

Serves 6

Lamb Tagine

Ingredients:

1.5 kg shoulder of lamb, ask your butcher to bone, trim and cut it into 2 cm dice

2 onions, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped finely

2 tins of chopped tomatoes

3 tablespoons of honey

500mls of lamb stock

1 aubergine, chopped into cubes

2 preserved lemons, pips removed, quartered

Large handful of toasted, flaked almonds

Bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

For the marinade:

2 tablespoons ras el hanout

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 ½ tablespoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 ½ tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Method:

 

  1. Mix the marinade ingredients with 75 mls of water in a large bowl
  2. Add the lamb and ensure it is well coated
  3. Cover and leave for 24 hours if possible
  4. Heat a large casserole and add oil
  5. Brown the lamb in batches, ensuring you keep the pan hot
  6. Reduce heat, add more oil
  7. Add onions and sweat for 5 mins, then add the garlic and stir for 1-2 mins
  8. Return the lamb to the pot and add the tomatoes, lamb stock and honey
  9. Boil and then put in oven
  10. Stir after 1 ½ hours and add aubergine and preserved lemons
  11. Return to oven for 1 hour, cooking for a total of 2 ½ hours
  12. Sprinkle the almonds and coriander over the tagine and serve with couscous.

Herby Fragrant Couscous

Serves 6

Ingredients:

 

300grms couscous

300mls hot chicken stock

2 limes, cut into wedges

Bunch of mint, roughly chopped

Bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

Optional: Sml knob of Butter

  1. Place couscous into a bowl and cover with chicken stock, leave for 5 mins
  2. Fluff up couscous with a fork and add herbs (& a knob of butter if desired)
  3. Sprinkle some lime juice over, season and mix
  4. Serve

 

 

 

 

 

BBQ Sumac Ling with fennel & wild rice with goats cheese & chilli

A few weeks ago I did this recipe as a guest blog over on the lovely & very informative Wine Alliance blog. If you are interested in all things wine, go and have a look. Frank and Maurice are passionate about wine and exclusively import wines to distribute to a cooperative of independent buyers. This means that the consumer has the chance to taste wines from smaller wineries that may have otherwise been prohibitive for the retailer to purchase.To read the whole recipe click here.