Sunday, October 14, 2007

Moroccan Lamb Chops with Cous Cous and Chick Peas

To celebrate the purchase of my own pans (the most fantastic pans in the world, nonetheless) I had a big cook up this evening. As the hiatus in posting reflects, I haven't been doing any thing particularly note-worthy recently. We have been eating to live. How depressing. Anyway, NEW PANS! Yay! For the record: Anolon Professional 5 piece set (milk pan, 16, 18 and 20cm saucepans and 20cm frying pan) for the bargain price of £100 in Debenhams. To which I added a 30cm frying pan, which is what I needed most - I am sick of cooking little breakfast pancakes one at a time, and having stirfrys go soggy through using a high-sided saucepan.

I have never been to Morocco, and have eaten at only a couple of Moroccan restaurants, neither of them particularly inspiring, but have it in my head that the following is vaguely Moroccan after reading many recipes which claim to be such. The Moroccan lamb chops are simply coated in Ras El Hanout and then cooked in a beautiful new frying pan (though you could use any old pan or griddle, I suppose). Ras El Hanout means essentially "the best in the shop" and can contain any number of different spices. The major components of mine seem to be cumin, cinnamon and nutmeg and it is more aromatic than spicy.

The couscous is mixed with chickpeas, dried apricots and some nuts for crunch, and the whole lot served along side a salad of rocket and chard (almost certainly not at all Moroccan, but some vegetation was necessary).

Moroccan Lamb Chops
  • At least two lamb chops per person, depending on size
  • 1 level teaspoon Ras El Hanout per chop
  • Olive oil for frying if necessary

  • Cous cous with Chick Peas (enough for at least 4 servings)
  • Half red onion
  • 400g can of chickpeas (or home-cooked if you're organised)
  • 200g cous cous
  • 75g dried apricots
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 25g flaked almonds
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon

  • Sprinkle the ras el hanout over the lamb chops and turn them well, making sure the meat is coated evenly. Set aside and start the cous cous - this can stand and wait whilst the lamb cooks, but not vice versa. First dry fry the flaked almonds until fragrant and a pale golden brown. Set aside and treat the pine nuts similarly. Watch carefully as you do both as they burn very suddenly. Chop the apricots into 5mm thick bands. Chop the red onion and saute in the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the drained and rinsed chick peas to the pan. Pour in the vegetable stock, or water and then add some vegetable bouillon, bring to the boil then add the cous cous and apricots. Cover with a lid and turn off the heat. Whilst the cous cous steams, heat a large frying pan, adding the oil if using. When hot, add the lamb chops. Fry until brown and crisping on the outside but still pink and soft within. When the lamb is almost done, squeeze over the lemon juice and stir the almonds and pine nuts into the couscous, reserving a spoonful for garnishing on the plate. Serve the lamb along side the cous cous with a leafy green salad.


    Anonymous said...

    Hi Eleanor:

    Just wondered how you were doing and guessed that the best way to find out might be to see what you were cooking these days.

    The Morrocan dish looks wonderful. I remember like it was yesterday the first time Bob and went to Morocco before we were married. I had my first taste of couscous and loved it. Take care. C.

    Eleanor said...

    It's nice to hear from you. Matt claimed you often had couscous at home. We're thinking of going to Morocco next year perhaps.

    Let me know if you try any of the recipes, and how they turn out.

    Hande said...

    I have got the same anolon set which I also bought from Debenhams sale last summer :)) they are the best for sure, and it says life long guarantee... we will see won't we :)

    Eleanor said...

    Welcome Hande!

    We shall have to compare more equipment choices! I hope you will try a recipe, and that it works out for you. Tell me if any of the instructions should be changed - you will be the first tester (that I know of).

    Thanks for your comment,

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