I bet you can’t guess what these two dishes have in common…
…even though it is staring you right in the face in that second photo! Time is up… they both have ZUCCHINI in them!! Well, the savoury dish wasn’t meant to have them in there, but I had some leftover from making the Zucchini Cobbler, so I threw them in there too.
North African Chicken w/ Vegetable Tagine Serves 4
This was a recipe that I got from Round #22 of the Taste Cooks Club. Originally it used steaks, but I used chicken as I don’t like red meat very much. We had the Lemon Thyme Chicken dish the night before that had a large chunk of chicken, so I didn’t feel like that much meat again, so I diced the chicken up before marinating it instead. I skipped the harissa paste all together because there was no steak or anything to put it on top of, so I just cooked the chicken in the paste it was marinated in (if you want to cook steaks and use the harissa paste just go to the link above to get the recipe). I also added the zucchini because I had some leftover and it added a bit of green to the dish.
This dish was so full of flavour, the vegetables are sweet and tender and the meat has a little heat in it. I served the leftovers with sour cream for lunch the next day and that helped my pathetic mouth cope a little better. It’s just a great combination of flavours, next time I will serve it with rice to make it go a bit further though because we all couldn’t get enough of it.
In a food processor combine 1 red onion, 4 peeled garlic cloves, 1/2 bunch continental parsley, 1/2 bunch coriander (I don’t like coriander much, so I just used a little bit of ground coriander instead of fresh), juice of 1 lemon, 1/2Tbsp ground cumin, 2tsp sweet paprika, 2tsp ground turmeric, 1/2tsp ground chilli (Use 1tsp if you like chilli, I have reduced this for next time I make it), 1/4C olive oil & a pinch of sea salt. Marinate 400g diced chicken (or 4 beef fillet steaks, or 4 chicken breast fillets) in this chermoula paste for 1 hour (steaks & whole fillets can be left overnight).
For the Tagine, fry 1 thickly sliced brown onion on a low heat in 1tsp olive oil until they begin to colour. Turn up the heat and add 1 sweet potato, cut into 1.5cm cubes & 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm slices, until they are all lightly browned. Add 1tsp ground cinnamon, 1tsp ground ginger, 1Tbsp honey (don’t add any more, that is all it needs!) & 500ml salt-reduced chicken stock and simmer with the lid on for 15 mins. Remove the lid and simmer further for 10 mins and then add 1 large diced zucchini. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the sauce has reduced and thickened. Stir through the 2Tbsp coriander leaves (again, I just used a sprinkling of ground coriander) & 2Tbsp chopped mint leaves.
While the tagine is cooking, pan fry marinated chicken along with the marinade paste for 5-10 minutes or until cooked through (you shouldn’t need to put oil in the pan because there is a lot of it in the paste). Make sure you bring it to the boil to eliminate bacteria in the marinade paste. Serve chicken on top of vegetable tagine and cooked rice.
Zucchini Cobbler Serves 4-6
I have had a few recent forays into the world of deceptive cooking and I must say I am a little hooked. A little too hooked it may seem as now when I cook ‘normal’ treats, like the Cheesecake Brownies I made a couple of weeks ago, people are skeptical of what is in them. When my mum took her first bite of the cheesecake brownies her first words were “these taste healthy, what have you put in them now?”, obviously this deceptive baking is starting to work against me! Or so I thought… mum & Geoff both gobbled this one down without second guessing it at all, they just thought it was apple crumble… Well I guess that amount of sugar could make any vegetable taste like fruit!
Next time I am going to try cutting back the sugar a bit and see how it goes. I am usually quite good at estimating carbohydrates in my meals and covering it with insulin, but everytime I ate this my blood sugar levels went crazy… I even doubled what I thought would be in there the second time I ate it and was still underestimating… seriously, way too much sugar for me (moderation is a good thing)… but also way too much sugar for a non-diabetic, that is just a lot of stress to be putting on your body.
This one is from Round #8 of the Taste Cooks Club. I served it with some whipped cream laced with a little cinnamon and brown sugar. After tasting the cobbler itself the cream really didn’t need sugar in it! It kept well in the fridge for a few days, which is good because it took us that long to get through it all (even though I only made half the recipe)… If you keep it in the fridge you will need to warm it before cutting because the base gets very hard when it is cold. Although it is full of sugar I will probably be giving this one another go (with a little less sugar) and it would be a great way to use up some home grown zucchini when they start going a little bit crazy.
Preheat oven to 180C and spray a 20cm square baking dish with olive oil spray. Peel & chop 4C zucchini (you will need 3-4 zucchini). Place in a large saucepan over medium-low heat along with 1/3C lemon juice, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Add 1/2C sugar, 1/2tsp nutmeg & 1/2tsp cinnamon and simmer for another minute before removing from the heat.
Combine 2C plain flour & 1C sugar and cut in 3/4C cold butter or margarine until it resembles course breadcrumbs.Stir 1/4C of this mixture into zucchini to thicken slightly. Press 3/4 of the remaining mixture into the prepared dish, top with zucchini mixture and crumble remaining 1/4 of crust over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden.