I like to make new dishes for Christmas Eve dinner that is different from the standard ham or turkey. This year, I chose to do a Moroccan theme since I fell in love with the food during my visit last June. Below is my menu along with the recipes (or links to them). PS – All but the Bastilla are gluten-free and dairy-free.
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- A variety of olives
- Herbed almonds
- Dried figs
- Orange slices with pomegranate and mint
- Brown rice couscous
- Chard with ras el hanut and preserved lemon
- Lamb and prune tagine
- Chicken Bastilla (see link to Cooking with Alia for recipe and video instruction)
- Almond Ghriba
- Mint tea
Orange Slices with Pomegranate and Mint Recipe
Slice off the rind and pith of two large navel oranges and arrange on a plate. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup orange blossom water and allow to sit for at least one hour. Sprinkle with cinnamon, then scatter on a handful of pomegranate seeds and 1/4 cup chopped mint.
Chard with Ras El Hanut and Preserved Lemon
Chopped one bunch of chard (finally chop the thicker stems). Saute chard in 2 tbsp. safflower oil. When wilted, add 1 tbsp. of ras el hanut, salt (to taste) and 1/2 chopped preserved lemon rind. Continue cooking until chard is tender, about 4-5 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil before serving.
Lamb & Prune Tagine
- 1 boneless leg of lamb, cut into bite-size chunks
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 onion (do not slice or dice)
- 1 bunch cilantro, tied into a bundle
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 3-4 cups water
- 3 cups pitted prunes
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. orange blossom water
In the bottom of your tagine, add the olive oil, lamb, onion, cilantro, cinnamon stick, ginger, saffon, salt, pepper and water. Using a diffuser under your tagine, bring to a boil using medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cover with tagine lid. From time to time, skim off stew. Cook for 2-3 hours.
Discard the cilantro, onion and cinnamon stick. Add prunes and continue cooking with the lid on for 15 minutes. Remove lamb & prunes to a bowl. Boil liquid until reduced, about 5 minutes. Add honey and boil 5 minutes. Turn off burner. Return lamb and prunes to the tagine and stir in orange blossom water. It’s now ready to serve.