Hello blogging peeps. I guess you have seen what the weather has been like here recently.
Often when we have snow in the Uk it melts pretty quick but its been hanging around this week. The sun has done its best but the shady side of my garden still has a covering. Today we have had rain which has been falling onto freezing ground and creating lots of nasty icy patches to lose your balance on. It is evil weather. Lots of problems on the roads because of ice and more snow is forecast. Snow on top of ice – lovely! So glad we only have to cross the road for school.
Due to the weather I felt like I needed an injection of sunshine. How about this???
I thought I would make my Vegetable Tagine. I invented this recipe after my friend Serena shared a big bag of Middle Eastern Spice mix with me. Not sure whats in it or where to get more when I run out but when the time comes I’ll work something out.
Now before I go any further let me introduce you to someone quite important.
Blogging Peeps meet……….
He was here when we moved in last year. And he’s not really a beast at all.
I thought we would be eating things that were either overcooked or undercooked for ages while I got used to working with him (we have no other stove, just a microwave) but I was wrong. My Mum bought me this book to help me which I read from cover to cover about 4 times before we moved in. And it is so easy. The only thing I have to watch is that I use a timer for anything in the oven because once it is in there I can’t see it or smell it and it is so easy to forget its there.
So back to the matter in hand…. Veg Tagine.
1 onion chopped and in the pan with a little olive oil.
1 orange pepper and 1 yellow pepper chopped and added to the pan. Apologies to those who like to eat in season but we had a craving!!
1 aubergine and 1 courgette chopped and added to the pan (I never bother with all that salting and leaving the juice to come out).
A handful of mushrooms and two cloves of garlic go in next (normally garlic goes in with the onions but it tends to burn on the aga so I put it in later).
So now then pan looks like this. I put the lid on at this point and let it all sauté for a while.
Now 1 tin of chick peas (ooooo I love chick peas!) and two cartons/tins of chopped tomatoes and the middle eastern spice mix – I think I put in about two tablespoons – its not chilli hot, its just a blend of warm spices.
A squirt of tomato puree goes in now along with a couple of handfuls of raisins and chopped dried apricots (mmm yum).
Once its come up to simmering on The Beast’s simmering ring (the cooler of the two) it goes into the simmering oven (again the cooler of the two). It can stay in here for as long as necessary. Minimum 30 minutes but could stay for a few hours if I needed it to without it drying out. I guess you could carry on on the stove top of a conventional stove or put it in the oven like a casserole. With the aga the majority of cooking happens in the ovens to prevent heat loss.
We normally have this with couscous. This time I decided to make it a lemon and coriander couscous. Only had bottled lemon juice but hey, it did the trick.
We always have chopped coriander leaf in the freezer. Mr Patch buys it in big bunches from the market or the local greengrocer, then we chop it and freeze it. Last time he decided to save time by chopping it with the machine. BIG mistake! It made it very wet so when it froze we couldn’t get it out of the container. He had to chop lumps off with a hammer! Hence the three green lumps on the right of the picture. Lesson learned I think. We will be chopping it with a knife next time like normal.
On with proceedings… I made some stock and tipped it on the couscous then added lots of lemon juice, coriander and salt and pepper and left it to absorb.
Then onto a plate with a dollop of natural yogurt on top.
Let me know if you give it a go.