Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cheap as chickpeas

Tonights dinner would be great if you were a vegetarian or wanting a 'luxury' meal on a budget. I probably flirt with both ideas, and if I were to be entertaining a vegetarian, this is one I would whip up to impress! Well, it isn't exactly a recipe you whip up in a hurry, but it would be a fabulous one for entertaining as it's flavour comes from lots of long cooking, with very little mucking about! The recipe goes in a couple of stages, each one very straightforward. I imagine it is one you could add or subtract things from quite successfully, like tonight- I forgot to add the pistachios! I think they would have been really lovely in it too! :(
The recipe comes from George who also blogs and has inspired me to try quite a few recipes. I really liked the sound of this one, especially as it was inspired by a NZ food writer, Julie Le Clerc. It was well received at the dinner table, I served extra feta and roasted pepper to go with it, it gave it a little more 'luxury'. I substituted the bayberries for raisins, I have never heard of bayberries and George suggested raisins instead. Both the raisins and apricots made this so delicious, taking the edge of the tomato and giving it a tangy sweetness.
This is definitely one I will be making again, as I always have cooked chickpeas in the freezer, it is one I will adding to my regulars!Chickpea Tagine with Feta

Serves 4

For the Tagine:

3 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion peeled and finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

1/2 tsp saffron

2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ras el hannout

1 cinnamon stick

Salt & pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander

1 cup boiling water

1 tin chickpeas

1 tin tomatoes

2 roasted red peppers, sliced.

50g apricots, diced

3 tbsp barberries

3 tbsp toasted slivered almonds

1 tbsp toasted pistachios

250g feta cheese

For the Couscous:

2 cups couscous

1/4 cup olive oil or argan oil.

2 cups boiling water

25g unsalted butter, cut into small dice.

1. Place the couscous in a large bowl and pour in the oil, rub the couscous through your hands to ensure the grains are all coated then pour in the boiling water. Cover the dish with clingfilm and put aside. (If you don’t have a couscousiere leave this step out and follow the packet structions when the tagine is cooked).

2. Heat the oil in the base of a couscousiere or large pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook for around 10 minutes over a medium heat until soft and golden.

3. Add the spices and cook til fragrant, then add the tinned tomatoes and cup of boiling water.

4. Bring to the boil, then allow to simmer gently for around 1 hour or until the sauce has reduced and thickened. At this point the sauce can be removed from the heat and left until later if you wish.

5. Add the chickpeas, peppers, fruit and seasoning, allow to simmer for another hour. Half an hour into this time, place the couscous in the top layer of the couscousiere and dot with the unsalted butter and allow to steam.

6. Remove the top layer of the couscousiere, add the herbs and nuts to the tagine, stir in.

7. Serve with the feta cheese crumbled over and couscous on the side.


Kelly-Jane said...

Wow you've managed to take fabulous pictures of the tagine, it looks delicious :)

Anonymous said...

Wow Linda, that looks fabulous. Thank you for giving the recipe a go :) What a wonderful job you've done!

Rosie said...

Linda your tagine looks delicious!!! The photos are brilliant :)

Rosie x