Ras El Hanout and Dates Hotdish

Ras El Hanout and Dates Hotdish

Can you believe I spent the first 20 years of my life in Brussels, Belgium and never stepped a foot in Bruges, Belgium? I know, shocking! To remedy this upsetting situation Zayd and I spent a few days in Bruges last week and oh my God, we loved it! The heart of the city is entwined with small and super romantic canals and bridges. The whole town has a kind of medieval architectural look that makes you feel like you’re taking a walk in the past, alongside Robin Hood and his friends, the Merry Men. Of course, we loaded up our bellies with chocolate from BbyB aka my new favourite Belgian chocolate, speculoos and moules + frites. I also had the pleasure to reunite with my favourite childhood pastry: carré à la crème. It’s a perfectly laminated square shaped puff pastry filled with crème patissière. A beautiful morning always meant a carré à la crème for breakfast. So yes, it was a great trip.

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Kalinte

Kalinte

Kalinte, kalentica, karane, etc., so many ways to call this dish! All these appellations refer to the Spanish word “caliente” - which means warm - for the simple reason that this silky and smooth chickpea pie is meant to be enjoyed warm. In a way, we could all save time and just agree to call it "caliente", what do you think? I should petition to make this happen.

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Merguez, walnuts and raisins stuffing

Merguez, walnuts and raisins stuffing

Merguez is a kind of spicy North African sausage.

When I moved out of my parents place, one of the things I had to accept was the sad fact that merguez won’t be part of my life anymore. I have to say that I was also sad about other things like daily cooked meals and clean laundry, but merguez was a bigger deal because a good merguez is a serious thing. It’s not just cased minced meat mixed with North African spices. It’s a real treat. Merguez is so good, you can basically enjoy it with nothing else but good bread and be the happiest person on earth.

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Quick Fish Tagine with Chermoula + a Video

Quick Fish Tagine with Chermoula + a Video

We all have a go-to weeknight recipe, rather it’s something simple such as pasta or a quick stir fry, we always go back to it because it’s easy and satisfying. My typical go-to midweek meal is this quick fish tagine served with vegetables and couscous.

A traditional Moroccan fish tagine is usually prepared with a large whole fish - a sea bream - cooked under sliced potatoes and vegetables. This means that the cooking time is quite long which makes this traditional dish pretty challenging to cook on a weekday after work and between FaceTime sessions and laundry chores.

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Introduction to Couscous

Introduction to Couscous

I have been meaning to tell you a bit more about these little tiny balls of semolina flour for a while but I haven’t had the chance. I am glad I can finally do it before the end of the year!

As the child of two strict Moroccan foodies, my experience with couscous growing up was very traditional. Let me explain. In Morocco the term “couscous” refers to a whole dish made usually of meat and vegetables cooked in a delicious broth served on a bed of steamed semolina granules (aka couscous!). “Couscous” never referred to a side dish or a salad and “couscous” was never cooked instantly. It was quite the opposite.

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Chocolate Layer Cake with Ras El Hanout Buttercream + Poached Pears

Chocolate Layer Cake with Ras El Hanout Buttercream + Poached Pears

It's been a while! A few things have happened since my last post.

  • I discovered that I could survive without my laptop and phone for 2 days. Next challenge: 3 days.
  • Other discovery: Westonbirt arboretum in the Cotswolds. This place is magnificent, it will make you fall in love with autumn all over again. I’ve seen the prettiest trees with bright golden and neon red leafs while I was there. 
  • The US elections! (!!!)
  • I had a brownie made out of cricket flour. I think it tasted nice but I couldn’t stop picturing tiny crickets everywhere while I was chewing it. I had about 4 spoons, not bad no? Maybe insect flour is just not my thing.
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