week in food: end of Jan

I just got back from a week in Morocco! I was there for work, and I wrote a bit more about it on the US LHC blog, so you can read about it there. I'll post some pictures soon.

Before I talk about all the tasty things I had in Morocco (cous cous, tagines, cous cous, and tagines) I wanted to wrap up the week before I left.

Sunday: Picked spoons up at the airport very early, so we had a breakfast of toast and jam and things, then a brunch later in the day. I'd picked up some smoked salmon at our little local store, so we ate it with eggs and creme fraiche and capers, good toast and potatoes. Salmon breakfast always makes me think of Chloe's in San Francisco, where they had an awesome scrambled eggs with chunks of salmon in the eggs, chunks of potatoes, and chunks of cream cheese! The cheese melted as you were eating it, and it was tasty. I can't remember what we had for dinner that night... leftovers?

Monday: We went to watch Battlestar Galactica at a friend's place, so we had a quick dinner after work of leftover potatoes, rotisserie chicken from the market, and sauteed cabbage with whole cumin and mustard seeds and other good spices.

Tuesday: Dinner was orange-colored indian food: ginger carrots, spicy red lentils, tasty basmati rice.

Wednesday: Our friend HH arrives! We had a bunch of good red wine and a traditional French dinner of barely cooked red meat with french fries (AKA "frites") and sauteed broccoli. Because spoons and HH and I were all talking while we were cooking, and spoons was cooking half the things and I was cooking the other half and not paying attention, I burned the broccoli. It was the first time in a long time that I've burned anything. We cut off the burnt parts and ate it anyway. :)

Thursday: Crazy soup with eggs. This is a favorite dish of spoons' because it has so many great flavors, and because you finish it with a medium-cooked egg. It's a soup from a Paula Wolfert cookbook, The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen. You can search inside the book on amazon, so I took these screen shots from there. (Click on the pictures to read the recipe.) You can also use amazon's "Look inside" yourself to search for "chickpea" and find the same pages and the ones around them.

The soup is a slow-cooked one, where chickpeas are simmered for hours to create a delicious broth. For a vegetarian version, just leave out the bones and it will still be tasty. Then, garnish the chickpeas+broth with lemon juice, salty olives and capers, spicy red pepper sauce, black pepper and cumin. Serve over crusty pieces of bread and break a medium-cooked egg over the top to add richness to the soup. If you're like me, you can cook the egg even more, but if you're like spoons, that runny yolk will be the best part!

I also made banana bread that night, with spoons' mom's banana bread recipe. When I am too enthusiastic with my banana purchases, I like to make this. Sometimes I even peel the bananas and throw the mush into the freezer for a while. It will keep in the freezer until you feel like baking.

Mix together the ingredients in a big bowl:
1 c sugar
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1.5 - 2 cups of mashed bananas (as many as you have, really...)
2.5 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Pour into a greased pan of whatever size you like. If you make a big bread loaf, you'll need to bake it for an hour or more at 350 degrees F. When you stick a fork/toothpick in to test for doneness, it's OK if it is a little moist still, but you don't want giant wet clumps of batter to come out.

Friday: We spent Friday night getting ready for a housewarming party - our friend T made delicious spicy pasta (with chunks of potatoes in with the penne!) and pizza at her place. We also made a few housewarming items for the new guys, including a pinata. Long story.

Saturday: We had a bon-voyage breakfast with HH of delicious eggs and bacon from the market - I used brioche bread and tried to make the eggs cook inside a circle cut into the toast: is that called a birds' nest? This was mildly successful. :) For dinner we went over to Chez W to visit with M&C and their kids who arrived back from a long trip to the US.

Sunday was my first day in Morocco... will write that week up next.

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