Stinque Recipe Challenge

Three day weekend, so the big meal is tonight. Moroccan food – it’s a tagine:


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ras al-hanut*
  • Large pinch saffron, soaked in 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes, drained (15-ounce can)
  • 1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained (15-ounce can)
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots, sliced into half moons
  • Harissa Sauce, recipe follows
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • *Cook’s Note: Ras al-hanut is a mixture of many different spices used in Moroccan cooking. It is available at spice markets or online.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat canola oil in a large Dutch oven or a tagine over high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and place in the hot pan, skin side down, in batches if needed; cook until golden brown. Turn the thighs over and cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove chicken to a plate.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the pan then add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ras al-hanut and cook another 30 seconds. Add the saffron with the soaking liquid, cinnamon stick, tomatoes, chickpeas, and apricots and bring to a simmer. Nestle the chicken into the mixture and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on the stovetop or in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Do not remove the lid to check on the chicken until this time. Garnish each serving with a dollop of Harissa Sauce, parsley and cilantro.

Harissa Sauce:

1/2 cup creme fraiche
1 tablespoon harissa*

So I’m eliminating the cilantro and fiddling with the quantities – we’ll see how it comes out. A friend of mine got the ras al-hanut at a spice store in the East Village and, believe it or not, Fairway had the harissa sauce. Oh – and substituting sour cream for the creme fraiche – would have had to make it a day before, and I forgot.

UPDATE: Also added toasted pine nuts – had seen it used in another tagine recipe and had them left over from a pesto excursion.


I’ve made this before but had to use what spices I had around.

It’s very tasty, but took a lot of work.

@ManchuCandidate: If you want some ras al-hanut and can’t find it in Canada City, I’ve got your back.

@blogenfreude: Got a good recipe for carne asada marinade? Might fire some up tomorrow.

@Dodgerblue: I do not … try Never cooked that, but it sounds muy bueno.

@Dodgerblue: Go forth and acquire some Tecate, but you’ll have to make it for lunch tomorrow b/c it has to marinate:,1826,146179-233195,00.html

3 lbs. skirt steak, sliced very thinly
1 c. lemon juice
1 c. lime juice
12 oz. Tecate beer
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano
1 lg. sliced onion

Wash meat and towel dry. Layer into a large marinade dish by adding a small amount of liquid, a layer of meat lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano, a few circles of onion. Continue to layer until all 3 pounds of meat are in marinade.
Refrigerate for 12 hours, then “restack” the layers to ensure a fresh circulation of marinade juices. Refrigerate for another 12 hours. Barbecue or broil for a brief time and serve with fresh salsa and tortillas. Serves 6.

@blogenfreude: Interesting, haven’t tried the Tecate method. Thanks.

Divine, divine, divine, divine, divine, divine. I’m on the next bus, big guy. Best food in the world. The OH is an Arab Jew and this is the food of his people and, by marriage, mine. Divine. When I made it I would make a quick stir-fry of fresh parsley, mint, chopped preserved lemons, apricots, and shallots to scatter over the dish before serving to give a pungent aroma to the whole thing as it’s brought to the table. Are you going on Claudia Roden? Totally fab writer of one of the world’s great cuisines. Check out the sumptuous eggplant dishes, the savory pastries, the eggeh – a baked omelette that makes wonderful party food. Or for when you just can’t get out of bed and need to hand feed someone special bite by bite interrupted by kisses.

I always made this with lamb: tender, succulent, Canterbury lamb ripped from its mother’s teat to be slaughtered and butchered into melting morsels of juicy goodness. But that’s just me. You can’t get lamb in the States. At least, I never could. It can be good with mutton but it’s a whole nother taste.

On our way to the States on the SS Soviet Ridiculousness, we stopped in Cherbourg and went ashore to buy fruit for the voyage (see above re Arab Jew) and have a bite of lunch. We found a Moroccan hole-in-the-wall where we ate sensational cous-cous adorned with, in the words of the owner, sauce bomb atomic. Sigh.

I have to say I’m suspicious of creme fraiche as an ingredient. Shouldn’t it be yoghurt? The middle-eastern heaven yoghurt called laban? You can get it in NYC. Greek yoghurt comes close. I first ate that when the OH made mjeddrah (sp?) for me when we were courting. That’s the dish for which Esau sold his birthright and when you taste it all you can say is, where do I sign, bitch?

Do you know International Foods on 9th?

Do you know International Foods on 9th?

No – should I?

And if this turns out, I’ll be making it again, maybe even buying a tagine, so you can certainly come for dinner. And yeah – duh – why didn’t I think of yogurt … should have. Still, amazing I found the harissa, at Fairway of all places.

Just turned it down to 250 after 45 minutes at 400 – my plan it to cook it low and slow for another 90 minutes or so, then check to see if the chicken is done. The apartment smells great.

@Benedick: Good thing you didn’t marry an Ashkenazi Jew because our cuisine is dreck. Do you know the expression “dreck mit tsibeles”? Means “shit with onions.” Like that.

@blogenfreude: Yes. 9th and 40th. Opposite port authority. Very old-fashioned NYC. Pickled octopus, great cheese, olives, spices (cheap and plentiful), tabouleh and taramasalata.

Best tabouleh I’ve eaten recently was at Prom’s cafe. Also a delicious cous-cous salad. His food is very light and beautifully prepared.

@Benedick: Soon we shall split a Zipcar and head down there … a Stinque Up to end all Stinque Ups.

Burgs, dogs (Hebrew National, y’all), oven fries, beerz, and fresh fruits here at Casa RML. Some debate over whether the guacamole for the awesome restaurant style tortilla chips will be fresh or thawed out frozen. We have a front row seat for the city fireworks show from my driveway and a couple of bags of stuff to set off ourselves.

Spent the day doing Mrs RML stuff: church, downtown pancake feed on the plaza, off to her hometown to clear weeds at her dad’s grave, hang with her aunt and family, including her visiting cousin and ex-Navy SEAL hubby. We hit it off bit time and they’re coming over later this week for a mixed grill of elk, buffalo and maybe beef or trout.

@redmanlaw: Go ahead. Shame us with the productive serenity of your life. I will come there and make a scene in your driveway and you can’t stop me.

We had a traditional English 4th. We painted our teeth green then went to the mall to complain loudly about stupid Yanks while eating pizza with a knife and fork. It was brill.

But it’s hot here. I had to water half the garden, trees and shit. Plum tree is covered in ripening fruit. And the raccoons arrive in 3… 2… 1…

@Benedick: If you had to use paint to make your teeth green, I don’t think you can claim to be English any longer.

@Dodgerblue: So, the term “Shit’s on!” is Ashkenazi for “Dinner’s ready?”


Speaking of people whose food is about to taste a lot more like shit:

Emmer: cut minimum wage for waitstaff

I hope he and/or the missus are good cooks, because *I* wouldn’t want to dine out after taking an idiotic position like that – retribution’s a bitch! :)

@al2o3cr: In Texas, waiters are paid half of minimum wage. They’re expected to make up the difference in tips. When I waited tables during school my base pay was $1.80/hr., and the IRS assumed that I was making tips of 12% of my sales. Sucked on the days when the tour busloads of no-tipping Europeans and Mexican nationals would come in to eat and I’d average 5 to 7% for the night.

@FlyingChainSaw: This is why we hang out in Chinese restaurants, per soon-to-be Justice Kagan.

@SanFranLefty: Hey, did you see the WSJ article about the (0ur) motion to DQ judge Feldman in the Gulf case? The reporter, whom I talked to off the record, used a quote from some dim bulb ethics prof at The Farm School of Law saying that our motion was not well-taken because the good judge sold his Exxon stock before ruling on the injunction motion. Hey Prof, how about the 3 weeks he had the case prior to that, including the time he spent reading and thinking about the injunction motion? Huh?

@SanFranLefty: Did. OMG I think I know whom she’s married to, a guy who already is not my biggest fan.

@Dodgerblue: Mmmm hmmm, and on a lighter note it’s your move on Scrabble, and lemme or Noje know if you need help deleting comments…if you’re of the school of paranoia that I attend.

@SanFranLefty: I moved, glad to see Baked is Back.

Thanks for the paranoia warning; I’m not there quite yet.

@Dodgerblue: Well, when you join us at that level, we’re all waiting for you and well-stocked with the meds. (Not counting the vodka or gin, naturalmente).

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