Love is in the air – Part I

Here are some ideas for Valentine’s day dinner. I’ve decided on a Moroccan theme. It’s warm, fragrant and comforting. Perfect for this time of year. Both recipes can easily be adapted to suit varying dietary requirements.

First is a lovely lamb and date tagine. Use quinoa instead of couscous if you are gluten free.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.2kg lamb shoulder, cubed
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ras el hanout (I use Steenbergs)
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 3 star anise
  • 800ml lamb stock
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 250g soft dried prunes, stoned
  • A handful of sultanas
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Couscous or quinoa and fresh coriander to serve

Method:

1. Heat the oil in a large casserole. Brown the lamb in until golden brown.

2. Add the onion and carrot, and fry over a medium heat until they start to soften. Add the garlic, ras el hanout and ginger and fry for a few minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Add the saffron, stock, tomatoes, star anise and cinnamon. Stir, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer over a low heat for 45 minutes.

4. Add the prunes, sultanas and chickpeas, season and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour depending on how long you have.

6. Serve the freshly made tagine with the couscous or quinoa and fresh coriander in a warmed tagine.

If you are a little more constrained for time this Valentine’s day, why not try this:

Rose Harissa roasted roots

I’m afraid I didn’t get a photo, as it was wolfed down before I got a chance. I guess that is a rather good testament to this recipe though!

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and quartered
  • 1 dessertspoon harissa with rose petals (I use Steenbergs)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C or equivalent
  2. Place the vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle the harissa over the vegetables
  4. Mix evenly with your hands
  5. Bake the vegetables on a large baking sheet for around 25-30 minutes
  6. Serve with grilled steak or lamb

 

Thank you to Steenbergs for the lovely Harissa and Ras-al-Hanout

 

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