Seven vegetable couscous

Well, my version of the traditional Moroccan dish anyway. Tasty and makes a lot of food.

Ingredients:
4 bone-in chicken thighs
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tea spoon couscous spices, ground
1 table spoon butter
6 cups water
2 medium onions, quartered
2 small eggplant, sliced in coins
5 carrots, cut in chunks
3 turnip, cut in chunks
3 zucchini, cut in eights
4 medium tomatoes, cut in sixths
1/2 cauliflower, in florets
1/2 lb mergez
1/2 tea spoon ras el hanout
2 cups chickpeas (optional)
ingredients

***

1. Grind the spices.
spices

2. In a large pot, combine the chopped onion, the chicken thighs and the spices.
chicken

3. Add the butter and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and poach for 30 minutes.
water

4. Add the quartered onions, carrots and turnips. Simmer for 20 minutes.
veggies1

5. Add the sliced eggplant. Simmer for 5 minutes or so.
veggies2

6. Add the remaining vegetables and cook for 5 more minutes. At this point you can add the chickpeas, if using.
veggies3

7. You want the vegetables cooked but not mushy (except the eggplant, which will likely fall apart).
veggiescooked

8. Pan grill the mergez.
mergez

9. Serve over couscous, draining extra liquid.
serve

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Dirty rice Pilaf

Recipe over by the great blog CultureEatz. Go have a look! Only pictures here.

Pork and Eggplant Stir-Fry

Pork and eggplant just play so well together. This variation is quick, cheap and satisfying all in one.

Ingredients
1lb ground pork
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, diced
4 graffiti eggplant (or 3 japanese eggplant)
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons bean paste (I used one with ginger)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon ground Korean pepper
3 table spoon grape seed oil (or peanut oil)
ingredients

***

1. In a bowl, combine the pork, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and the ground black pepper.
Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes to marinate the meat.
season-pork

2. Slice the eggplants into strips.
slice-eggplant

3. In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoon of oil over medium-high/high heat.
Add 1 diced clove of garlic and stir into the oil until fragrant (should not be long).
garlic

4. Throw in the sliced eggplants and toss to coat with oil, Keep the heat fairly high, you want to eggplants to sear a bit.
cook-eggplant

5. When they start to soften add the chicken stock. Continue cooking the eggplant until they are all soft and slightly browned. Then remove from the skillet and set aside.
chicken-stock

6. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the other clove of garlic and stir until fragrant. Add the pork.
meat

7. While that’s cooking, combine the rest of the ingredients (bean paste, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, Korean pepper).
sauce

8. You want the meat cooked and no longer pink, but not dry.
cooked-meat

9. Add the eggplant back to the skillet.
combine

10. Add the sauce and stir to coat evenly. Allow to cook with the sauce for a minute or two.
combine2

11. Serve with rice.
serve

Eggplant & Pork

An easy and versatile dish. Re-heats well, easy to put together on a week-night and very flavorful. The pork comes out very tender, the eggplants soft and silky and the heat is just right.

Ingredients
2 pork loins
3 tea spoon sesame oil
3 tea spoon rice vinegar
3-4 table spoon sambal oelek
3-4 table spoon peanut oil
1 table spoon fresh grated ginger
2 bunches of green onions
* sesame seeds (for garnish, optional)
ingredients

****

1. In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil, rice vinegar and sambal oelek. Set aside.
sauce

2. Slice the eggplant in coins about 1/2″ thick and cut those in 9 pieces. Don’t worry if they are uneven.
eggplant

3. Slice the green onions in segments about 1/2″ long.
onions

4. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 table spoon of peanut oil until very hot. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring often for 3-4 minutes or just until they start to soften.
toss-eggplants

5. Toss in the green onions and the ginger and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour the vegetables in a bowl and set aside.
add-onions

6. Cut the pork into chunks about the same size at the original eggplant cubes. It helps at this point if your pork tenderloins are partially frozen (thrown into the freezer for about 20 minutes)
cut-pork

7. Add some oil back into the skillet. Working in batches, color the pork on all sides. Work over high heat and stir frequently.
cook-pork

8. You want the meat to be colored on all sides and almost but not quite cooked through.
colored-pork

9.  Once all the meat has been colored, throw everything back into the skillet. Add the sauce, mix well to coat and allow to cook together for 3-4 minutes.
combine

10. Serve warm, over some rice and with sesame seeds as garnish (seen here)
Or stuff inside a fajita with some tzaziki for an easy lunch.
serve

Ratatouille

Harvest season is rolling and the farmer’s market stalls are finally loading up with good, fresh, local produce. We’ve been having a weird summer, with everything being late in the fields, so I was glad to see all the colors at the market this week…

market

Ingredients
2-3 small to medium eggplants
3 ripe field tomatoes
a good handful of baby yellow onions + 2 small (fist sized) onions
2-3 medium zucchini
3 bell peppers of various colors
3-4 large cloves of garlic
4 tablespoon of herbes de provences
salt and pepper
plenty of olive oil
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Peel and quarter the baby onions. Slice the small onions. Pour a good amount of olive oil in a thick bottom pot (easily 3-4 table spoons).
Add he onions and the minced garlic and a good pinch of salt. Sweat for a few minutes on medium, medium-low until translucent.
onionsandgarlic

2. While the onions are sweating, slice the peppers into strips.
peppers

3. And the eggplants into coins.
eggplant

4. Toss the eggplants into the onions and stir them to coat them with the oil. Allow them to sweat for a few minutes, the eggplants need the head start.
eggplant2

5. While those are going, slice the zucchini into coins.
zucchini

6. And deal with the tomatoes.
Now at this stage you’ll need to make a decision, Some people swear by the layered ratatouille, I prefer to cook everything together, I find the flavors blend better. So, if you want the layered look, at this point take the eggplants out of the pot and layer them at the bottom of a casserole dish.
tomatoes

7.  Since I’m going with the “cook everything together” method, I just add the tomatoes to the eggplants. Then add about 1-2 table spoons of herbes de provences, a good amount of pepper.
herbs1

8. Take the whole thing off the heat. Stir well, then add the rest of the vegetables.
veggies1

9. Add the remaining herbes de provence (to taste) and more pepper.
veggies2

10. Stir well then drizzle in 2 tablespoon of olive oil or so (more to taste).
drizzle

11. Stick in the oven for 30 minutes uncovered. It should start looking like something like this… give everything a stir to prevent the top items from drying out then put back in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the zucchini is nice and soft.
halfcooked

12. Eat with whatever you’re having (I had grilled lamb chops). Or by itself and soak up the juices with good bread.
plate