Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Knife makes a Moroccan Stew


So this brand new knife* gets unpackaged one night during June gloom and thinks, "This is the night to make that Moroccan stew I've been thinking about." He pulls the veggies out of the refrigerator drawers, mentally checking off the items that need to be taken care of. Slightly wilted swiss chard, barely fresh squash, lonely carrots that are scattered among the leaves. Skip the limp fava beans and oldish beets.

The rest of the ingredients are ready to go, so the knife takes the vegetables to task. Wilted stalks get thrown out, leaves are salvaged and chopped with a flare. He makes all the squash equal by cubing them evenly, after quickly lopping their heads and feet off. Peeled carrots are diced in a flash, and an onion prepped with a few sharp slices.

Now that the knife has made quick work of the normally burdensome veggie prep, the stew is basically made - spices coat the veggies, liquids hydrate the lentils, chickpeas fill out the final product. Et voilà, Moroccan stew! A satisfying day's work to inaugurate a knife's promising career.



Moroccan Vegetable Stew
Based on Surfas' Moroccan chili recipe

½ lb green lentils
2 cans garbanzo beans
8 C of water or chicken stock
1 C diced carrots
2 C shredded greens (chard, spinach, or kale will do)
1 C diced squash or zucchini
1 diced onion
1 can diced tomato
1 bunch chopped cilantro
1 T ground ginger
2 T ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper as needed

if you can afford/access these specialty ingredients:
1 pinch saffron threads
½ C diced preserved lemons peel only

In a large soup pot sauté onions, carrots, and seasonings until translucent about 4 to 5 minutes. Add lentils, tomatoes, preserved lemon and chicken stock to cover. Let simmer until lentils are al dente about 20 minutes. Add garbanzo beans, greens, and squash and let simmer for 10 more minutes. Re-season if necessary.

Note: Sausage can be added if desired, and any of the vegetables can be replaced with other vegetables as you see fit. This makes a lot of food!

*a celebration of my lovely new knife - really, you would like it too!

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