This past week, by the time I’d gotten to Friday afternoon I’d sort of had it. My husband had been home for 4 days over the last 4 weeks (and that’s a generous estimate), my daughter had pushed me to the limit of whining and why (although I’m sure I’ll hit another all time high this week)-and I needed some friend time- preferably with a vat of wine.
So I invited some friends over- and started to decompress with Z. We would make easy Moroccan food. Easy- Without a lot of hands on time (as my hands needed to be on my glass of wine).
I made two pretty classic dishes- one vegetarian and one with fish to be served together with rice. First up- Eggplant and Chickpea stew.
It sounds like a heavy dish- and it can be- but I actually feel the flavors of this dish are perfect for New England right now- a little hot, very fresh with a little kick.
This is what you need:
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tea ground cumin
1 tea cinnamon
1/2 tea cayenne pepper
1 medium eggplant, cubed
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 cup vegetable stock
In a deep sauté pan, add oil and turn heat on medium high. When oil is hot add onions and stir in oil. Let cook for two minutes then add garlic, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne. Stir to coat onions and garlic with spices. Cook for 2 more minutes (your house will smell amazing!). Add cubed eggplant, tomatoes and chickpeas. Stir well. Add stock and turn down to a low simmer. Cover and walk away for 20 minutes.
This is when I started my white rice. If you are serving rice alongside this dish it typically takes 20 minutes so…make it now…
Start the next dish- Harissa shrimp and onion kebabs. This is what you’ll need:
Skewers- I used bamboo and soaked them in water for a couple hours before you plan to grill
2 tbsp Harissa paste
20-25 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 medium onions, quartered
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tea lemon juice
Mix Harissa, oil and lemon together until combined. Using your hands massage shrimp and onions with Harissa mixture until well coated.
Thread onions and shrimp on skewers. Grill for 5 minutes. Harissa paste is hot! We let the girls try it but I made 2 lemon shrimp skewers just in case. To do this just omit the Harissa paste and add a little salt and pepper.
Your kebabs are on the grill- your stew and rice is probably ready. Turn off heat of stew and stir. The eggplant should be cooked down and very fragrant. Taste to see if you want to add salt and pepper. I didn’t.
I then served by putting the rice in a deep serving dish, the stew in the center and topped with the shrimp skewers. Garnish with fresh thyme.
We served with a fresh tomato salad to help with the heat.