Category Archives: Moroccan

New Year Cooking!

The last time I wrote on this blog was September 2015!!!  I hadn’t even realised that it was that long.  I’m lucky enough to still get views of my old posts after all this time but it’s about time I put something new up here!

With the new year arriving, it was the perfect excuse to get a bit more serious about cooking again.  I’d missed it

This post has a lot of random dishes in it but maybe if I get better at my categories and tags, some people will find the dishes and get to enjoy them a bit.

I’ll write it in the random order the photos have appeared here so starting with the New Year’s Day omelette!

The inspiration for this dish (and many things in my life) was my boys!  Our year started with a fight about eggs.  You see we only had 5 and odd numbers and 2 year old twins do not mix!  Who SHOULD get that 3rd egg; it’s the big questions in life that matter the most.

Once the fight was over, we had 5 eggs spread across a bowl and a cup so when the boys weren’t looking, I snuck them into the kitchen and decided to make an omelette of courgette, asparagus, tomato, chorizo, cheese which I spiced with cumin and coriander; my top spices I think!  Well and chilli but the chorizo was already spicy so that was enough to give that flavour.

Turned out pretty well and led to 4 happy bellies in this house.  A small crisis when Martí realised his cup of eggs had disappeared but he was appeased with orange juice until the omelette was ready.

The next dish was prawns (from Palamós).  We had this as the last dish in last night’s new year’s eve meal.  Montse had requested big prawns (“not like the small ones you eat in the UK”!) so that’s what we had!  I should say thanks at this point to Montse for taking 10 mins to explain to me what big prawns are 😛  “yes, I know the difference between big and small”…”yes but you only have small prawns in the UK”…”no, we don’t but anyway, I get it”…”no but get the big ones”…”yes, the big ones.  I’ve lived here 8 years now, let’s see if I can master the buying of the big ones”  Mission accomplished with the ever thorough and patient Montse 🙂

The recipe was buttery chilli prawns.  Super simple; melted butter with some olive oil, added garlic, 1 red chilli, paprika, juice of a lemon, fried for a couple of minutes before adding the prawns and cooked them for a few minutes, stirring them.

Really tasty!

This dish was cooked for New Year’s Eve also.  Scallops in a sweet chilli sauce and it was the winner of the night!  I fried some garlic and onion in 1 tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce.  I added 1 tablespoon of water also and simmered for 5 mins.  Meanwhile I fried the scallops for 90 seconds on each side, added them back into the (clean) shells and poured over the sauce and some fresh coriander.  So good, I could have eaten another 2 for sure!!!

The next dish was how we started New Year’s Eve.  Guacamole with tortilla chips; a dish suitable for the boys also!  The biggest challenge here was to find ripe avocados which is no mean fete.  I think I did it so another moment of happiness from that!  I mixed two avocados with lime juice, chopped chilli, a little bit of onion and fresh coriander.  Another super, simple, tasty dish!

To get me motivated and in the mood for the New Year cook-off and party a huge glass of this helped!

Finally I finish with how it started; on New Year’s Eve Eve when I prepared hummus and and aubergine and red pepper dip.  These actually took much longer to prepare than any of the other dishes so maybe good that I did them ahead of time.  I’ve featured both of these on the blog before so linking to the recipes here:

Simple hummus

Assorted tapas

So, all in all, a great combination of dishes.  We could combine the dips while the boys were still awake and save the more fine dining pieces when it was just the grown ups 🙂  And for me, to focus on cooking again was a real luxury!  Writing this has taken a long time, is probably a bit random but also a good therapy and message to start the year as you mean to go on.  To anyone, still reading to this point, thank you for spending these minutes with me!!!

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Filed under Eggs, Healthy, Herbs, Hummus, Moroccan, Simple, Uncategorized

I’m back! And spicy cous cous!

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It’s been a while I know.  After the euphoria of 1000 hits I had all these ideas of revamping the site (which I did actually look at for a few hours but decided I liked this design best…for now!  Have updated the “about” section at least!) and in the end, I’ve taken over 2 months out of blogging.  Not intentionally I have to say but that’s the way it worked out.  Then I had ideas of a great comeback with some fancy recipe but in the end I wanted to share something simple that I’ve eaten a lot of this summer!  It also fits with my new “healthy” lifestyle so another reason to share!

I like to give a part of myself to this blog aside from just cooking and recipes but also not wanting my whole life on display.  That’s what facebook is for right?!?  So in summary, this year has been one of highs and lows, big decisions, a huge learning period for me and the year isn’t even finished yet!  Cooking has been a constant (whether blogging about it or not) and invaluable to me for sure and I intend to keep it that way!  So back to it!

I usually have this cous cous recipe with salmon as it goes really well but it’s a holiday here in Barcelona, I don’t have any salmon in the fridge and the shops are shut (for anyone interested, today is the Catalan National Day and a big day in the step towards independence http://www.nationalia.info/en/news/1550)!  Independence aside, cous cous is pretty versatile so it goes with many things and also you can put many things in it!  Part of the reason why I like it, as you don’t have to plan every detail of it within a meal.

Today I had it with salad so I can remain a bit self righteous after also just finishing a pilates session!

With the cous cous I put red onion, green and yellow pepper, cumin, fresh coriander, chilli flakes, chorizo, raisins, lemon juice, soy sauce, a clove of garlic and fresh basil!  I guess it is easiest to follow the packet instructions on the cous cous but I usually put a little bit in a mug and top it up with boiling water, put a plate on top and leave for 5 mins to soak up the water.  Some recommend putting a bit of oil in there too to stop it sticking but as long as you have a good balance of cous cous and water, and leave it for sufficient time, you will be fine!

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So while the cous cous was soaking up the water, I heated some cumin powder with the chilli flakes, dry in a saucepan.  Then I added some oil and fried the onion and peppers for a few minutes.  Then I added some chopped chorizo and the garlic before adding the cous cous to the pan (removing from the heat) along with the remaining ingredients.  I really think the things you add to this dish should be to your tastes (for example if you want it spicy or not) but as a guide I used a teaspoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of soy sauce, a teaspoon of chilli flakes, half a teaspoon of cumin, a handful of raisins, a clove of garlic, a tablespoon of chopped coriander and the same for the basil.  I mixed it all together and served it up!  Really nice and tasty, fast to make and I’m assuming pretty healthy too!

Still not learning my lessons of over promising (!), my intention is to take a sushi course by the end of the year with a good friend of mine who also happens to be a follower of this blog!  I’m under pressure to post some Nigella type pictures but as I’m failed in that again, maybe a mention will suffice and Nigella type pictures can appear as a feature when we do the course and write about it on here!

For anyone else reading, hope you had a great summer!

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Filed under Food, Food blogging, Healthy, Herbs, Moroccan, Recipes, Salad, Uncategorized