Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thinking Morocco

This morning I woke up and realized it was our fourth weekend in a row in Bulgaria. This almost never happens. Over the last year and a half, we've visited 17 different countries, and that means traveling at least once a month, sometimes two or three times.

At this time last year we were starting to plan our trip to Morocco - three days in Marrakech followed by three days of surfing for me and three days in the Atlas mountains for my husband.

Marrakech turned out to be a strange place to eat. Flatbreads, figs, fresh-squeezed orange juice, smoothies, spice cake and much more laced the city, but it was off limits to us. We had to eat things that had been cooked for hours, to be sure we wouldn't end up sick. So we admired the nightly cooking stalls in the main square Jema el Fnaa from our usual cafe, where we ate couscous or tagine.

Still, seeing the combinations of cinnamon and fruit in salads and the stacks of pita on the street provided me with cooking inspiration for later. I decided to try a Moroccan salad this fall using safe Bulgarian produce, and it was a big (and easy) hit.

Moroccan Cinnamon Carrot Salad

5 carrots, washed, peeled, and grated

2 TBSP orange juice

1/4 cup honey

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Optional Additions: toasted sunflower seeds, raspberries, blueberries, apple chunks

1. Combine orange juice, honey and cinnamon and pour over grated carrots. Stir with a fork.

2. Sprinkle on any desired optional additions.

Other Moroccan Recipes:

Chicken Tagine from Rachel Ray (pretty easy)

Pita from earlier this month

B'Stilla, a Moroccan Chicken Pie from Epicurious
(I've never made this but I had it once in a Moroccan restaurant in L.A. called Dar Maghreb and it was AMAZING.)

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