Thursday, July 19, 2012

Moroccan love...

Love my new pink pouffes, just like this one.

A favourite book of mine, very well read prior, during and after my trip.

My house smells like a Moroccan souk, and I love it!  Not because I love the smell, it's the memories it conjures up that I love.  I recently received my new pink Moroccan pouffes, and opening the parcel took me back a decade, to my backpacking days.  If any scent could take me there, this could (or the smell of carpet subjected to many a party, as was the case with my London flats).  I keep sniffing them, it's as intrepid as I'm likely to get for quite a few years. The seller assures me the smell will fade, but I secretly hope it doesn't too quickly.  My Moroccan slippers have long since lot their authentic aroma.

I absolutely loved Morocco.  It was a complete contrast to anything I knew, exhilarating different, sometimes scarily so for an unseasoned traveller.  I remember my nervous train ride from the airport into Casablanca at dusk, beside slums, with no accommodation booked and travelling with another young woman, I was ready to catch the next train back.  We soon acclimatised though.  I loved the maze like ancient cities, ancient customs, incredible handcrafts, delicious meals and spectacular landscape.  I still have a couple of water bottles filled with sand from my camel ride into the Sahara.  A Berber man (also ancient) advised me it was lucky for fertility? Needless to say, not a grain has been spilt.

Anyway, here is my frequently made couscous salad recipe.  Not entirely Moroccan, but it does always remind me of there. I hadn't eaten couscous till that trip, and hadn't realised how easy it was to make until I came across this recipe.  This is my adaptation.

Couscous Salad
1 cup couscous
1 cup chicken stock (I make with 1 stock cube)
clove of garlic
1/4 cup currants
70g pine nuts(toasted) or sunflower seeds
grated zest of one orange
1 orange peeled and segmented(use the one from zest)
1/4 either coriander or flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Saute garlic in a knob of butter, or dash of oil, be careful not to burn it.  Quickly add couscous, currants and chicken stock, stir till boils then remove from heat, cover and leave for 3 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and add remaining ingredients, toss gently to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.

It really is that simple and can be modified easily.  I've used lemon when I've had no orange, obviously only the zest.  A diced, cooked chicken breast could be added too.  If you need a bigger salad, increase the couscous and stock accordingly and maybe throw in another orange.  The left overs are delicious the following day too.

Bon appetit!


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