Moroccan Feast Brainstorm

I'm making a Moroccan feast this weekend to break in my new Le Creuset tagine (hooray!) and I have a few question for the hotline.

Has anyone used this specific tagine before? It looks quite small, and I am wondering how many pounds of lamb shoulder will be able to brown and then stew in its base. Ideally, I would like to serve three hungry people.

Also, any Moroccan-themed sides and desserts that this feast wouldn't be complete without? Preferably ones without preserved lemons. Unfortunately, my boyfriend has an aversion to them. Thank you!



QueenSashy March 14, 2013
For desert, rice pudding with rose water...
bugbitten March 14, 2013
Oops, I totally missed that you were planning your feast for three. Shame on me for multi-tasking.
I think your (and many other) tagines are meant to serve four, so you are good to go. The Le Creuset site has a recipe for lamb for four. No preserved lemon in it. To my understanding the Moroccan way of serving a meal does not include "sides." The side dishes are collected and served as a first course. Also you would not do a tagine and serve couscous on the side. Couscous dishes usually combine a protein and stand on their own.
So the feast begins with three or four salads (caramelized carrot, roasted peppers, etc.) followed by your tagine dish, with bread for sopping up the juices. You might want to make some Moroccan barley or whole wheat rolls, or the flatbread that Maedl suggested, flavored with cumin or caraway. Best wishes for a great feast!
Aliwaks March 14, 2013
I just used my tagine for the first time, and I found that I really needed a lot less liquid than I thought, because and awful lot of it overflowed all over my stove.

At my last Morroccan feast I made:

Olives warmed & tossed with a bit of Harissa
for Meze:

Roasted peppers (sweet & hot) peppers with pomegranate molasses, olive oil and lots of fresh chopped herbs (cilantro, mint, parsley)

Thin slices of grilled eggplant (marinated in cinnamon, garlic, cilantro) sprinkled with sumac, mint & sesame seeds, drizzled with yoghurt

Grilled Halloumi Cheese with squeezed of lemon & lots Fresh mint on bed of Zucchini ribbons tossed with olive oil , sumac, & salt

Hummus w chopped hazelnuts

Meatballs made from Merguez sausage (uncased and rolled into balls) with yogurt cucumber,mint,dip

(then we had CousCous & Chicken w lemons & olives and a chopped salad of tomatoes, scallion, radishes & cucumber tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, mint, cilantro & sumac)

Had fresh dates, tiny oranges, goat cheese drizzled in honey & chopped almonds & Halvah for dessert

Pegeen March 14, 2013
There are several good Moroccan carrot recipes on this site... here's one:
Maedl March 14, 2013
Wolfert's newer book, Food of Morocco, is also a good source. Claudia Roden is worth checking out too, as is Mourad, who is from Morocco. His recipes are less traditional, but are interesting interpretations of Moroccan food traditions for modern tastes.

As an aside, you don't need a tagine pot to make tagines. In Morocco, I saw plenty of people making tagines in pressure cookers, which seemed a bit of a travesty to me, but on the other hand, Moroccan women are busy too and are doing their best to provide their families with good meals. One of my favorite memories is of seeing the clay tagine pots clustered in an oven that heated a hammam. Apparently, this is done frequently--what a good way to get your money's worth out of those ovens!
creamtea March 14, 2013
Like ChefJune suggested in the separate thread, look for Paula Wolfert's classic book, Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco. My copy has seen a lot of love...
bugbitten March 14, 2013
I love to cook Moroccan, but I always use a Le Creuset oven. You don't say how many are coming to your feast! Two? Thirty? If you have time to pick up a book I'll recommend "Cooking at the Kasbah." That book will lead you to do a first course of salads, and passing plates.

If you do a tagine, you're doing a basic braise, so don't stray away from what you already know about that.
CarlaCooks March 14, 2013
She states that she'd like to serve 3 hungry people :)
Sam1148 March 13, 2013
One thing I use my (rather large) Emile Henry tagine for. Is "No Kneed bread" the high top contains and steams the bread at the initial cooking stage. Remove the top after a few mins. and continue to bake. It's also a nice vessel for making biscuits or yeast rolls.
Maedl March 13, 2013
Beghrir is a Moroccan flat bread made on the top of the stove like a pancake. It has a spongy texture, somewhat like injera, and is full of tiny air bubbles. it is often served for breakfast with honey and bultter, but I love it with a tagine--it is great for sopping up the sauce.  See
creamtea March 13, 2013
Oh, then again, for dessert you could try my creamy pudding with saffron, orange flower water, pistachios and white chocolate; it's a community pick:
creamtea March 13, 2013
Levana Kirschenbaum, a Moroccan chef and cookbook author, taught a class that had a wonderful dessert of sliced peeled oranges and dates. Arrange the thinly sliced oranges decoratively on a large platter. Use the large fleshy variety of dates. Slice the oranges, sprinkle with a little orange flower water (that ingredient is key), a little lemon juice. Decorate with pitted large fleshy dates cut in quarters or eighths (fresh dates as opposed to dried would be good, but not always available; sometimes they are imported at this time of year). Just before serving, sprinkle lightly toasted slivered almonds, decorate with a little sifted powdered sugar and a little good-quality cinnamon. It is very delicious.
bigpan March 13, 2013
Congrats ! You will use your tagine regularly. The amount of meat depends on the size of the tagine and how many people are going to enjoy the feast.
I suggest a lower heat than you think.
Onions and carrots are natural friend to a tagine.
Besides the ras el hanout, I add extra cinnamon to taste,and pepper.
Chopped raisins, dates and olives also go nice.
Make it up as you go along - don't be afraid to be creative using your own food likes.
Elizabeth R. March 13, 2013
How about a Moroccan carrot salad as one of your sides? Or some roasted veggies accompanied by a sumac vinaigrette (or skip the vin and sprinkle sumac alone). Couscous is great, but how about bulgur? Make a bulgur pilaf. You could do something with harissa too.
Desserts: Traditionally, I think they have sweet mint tea, so you could serve that accompanied by gazelle horn cookies. Or just get creative: dates and almonds in a spiced syrup with sweetened whipped labne, rosewater or orange flower water custard or pudding, or a dessert bastilla. Or take the phyllo and make baklava with spiced honey and nuts. I think pomegranates are out of season, but there's always pomegranate molasses, which can have sweet and savory applications.
Hope these help. Happy cooking!
irinaleibo March 13, 2013
Have you ever tried Ras el Hanout? Wonderful. I made chicken with dates and large green olives with it. Came out fantastic!
With Couscous of course!
Cheers and good luck.
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