Tagine in no time: a rich Moroccan stew—in half an hour
A winter night is a great backdrop for a steaming, spice-laden Moroccan tagine. The word refers both to the mix of braised meat (lamb is a favorite), vegetables, and plumped-up dried fruit and to the conical ceramic casserole it’s cooked in. But, like most stews, tagines generally need to simmer too long to be put together after work. The trick is to substitute quick-cooking lamb chops for the more traditional braising cuts, and cook them on the stove.
Moroccan Lamb Chops
PREP AND COOK TIME: 30 minutes
MAKES: 4 servings
NOTES: Moroccans often add a little harissa, a fiery red chile paste, to servings of a tagine. Look for it in shelf-stable tubes at specialty grocery stores.
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 lamb loin chops (each 1 to 1 1/2 in. thick and about 4 oz.), rinsed
and patted dry
1 onion (8 oz.), peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and ground cumin
2 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dried apricots or pitted prunes (or some of each)
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzos, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1. Pour oil into a 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add lamb chops and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
2. Add onion and garlic to pan; stir often until limp, about 4 minutes. Add cinnamon and cumin; stir until fragrant, 1 minute longer. Stir in broth, tomato paste, apricots, and garbanzos; bring to a simmer. Return lamb chops to pan.
3. Cover and simmer, turning chops once, until apricots are plump and chops are barely pink in the center (cut to test), 10 to 12 minutes.
4. Set two lamb chops on each of four plates or in shallow bowls. Spoon garbanzo mixture around meat. Sprinkle with parsley.
Per serving: 402 cal., 29% (117 cal.) from fat; 36 g protein; 13 g fat (3.1 g sat.); 37 g carbo (6.5 g fiber); 277 mg sodium; 81 mg chol.
PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRISTINA SCHMIDHOFER
COPYRIGHT 2005 Sunset Publishing Corp.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group