Whenever I think of Morocco I get visions of the Djema-el-Fna, that intriguing area in the middle of Marrakesh that has a bit of magic sprinkled over it every night. Food stalls come out, artists perform, music is being played and markets are everywhere. It’s a weird and wonderful world that keeps drawing millions of visitors every year. It’s been a long time since we last went to Morocco. It must have been more then 10 years ago. At the time we went for a city-trip. Eight days in Fes, Marrakesh and Meknes and boy did they leave an impression. I think my favorite was Fes above Marrakesh as it was a little bit more authentic and less touristic and the souks there were just an entire maze where you would get lost for sure without a guide.
Ah and guides… never a shortage of guides in Morocco, but be careful as you could easily get tricked. We had an official guide since we were on a half organized trip so that was safe enough but we’ve heard plenty of stories that were less then ideal. I loved Morocco and the food was just amazing. Gorgeous stews, beautiful bread and the ever present mint tea.
So when I heard that a new book was gonna be out with a title that immediately stirred up memories and photographed by one of my favorite photographers, David Loftus, I knew I could not resist. ‘A Month in Marrakesh‘ is the account of Andy Harris, better known as the editor of Jamie Magazine. Andy visited Marrakesh many many times and became addicted to the smells, the aromas and the beautiful fresh ingredients. All those recipes are now captured in this delicious book, which is part a travelstory and part recipebook. I just made the harissa and used it for the beef, onion and tomato kebabs, also from the book. Simple dishes, yet full of flavor!
The recipe for the harissa makes a batch that will last you a little while. It’s filled a regular sized jam-jar I would say. I cannot believe I’ve been buying premade harissa for so long, while it is deadsimple to make and you can add all sorts of flavors into the basic mix. For my first batch I used smoked chili’s combined with fresh chilies and added a bit of cumin and coriander to the mixture. The beef was then marinated in the harissa, cumin and olive oil and grilled…. And the good news is I have lots more harissa to use in other recipes too.
There are plenty of other recipes in the book that I will be trying out! That kefta sandwich with chopped tomato and cucumber salad sounds pretty amazing too, to name just one.
Hardie Grant, the publisher of the book is hosting a give away to win one of the copies of the book. It’s for UK residents only but see the details below the book coverphoto to enter in the giveaway! There will also be 5 bloggers reviewing the book this week so have a look at their sites for more information!
Harissa and beef kebabs
This makes about 480 gr of harissa
- 20 gr dried red chili (I used smoked ones), deseeded
- 50 gr of fresh red chilies, deseeded
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 tbsp of seasalt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 5 tbsp of olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 300 gr beef fillet
- 1 tsp harissa
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- 8 baby onions, peeled
- 3 tomatoes, halved
- 6 wooden skewers (soaked in water)
- Place the dried chilies in a bowl, cover with warm water and leave to soak for an hour. Drain and transfer to a foodprocessor. Add the garlic and the salt and blend to a rough paste. Add cumin and coriander when using. Add lemon juice and olive oil, then transfer to a sterilized jar.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and seal with a lid. Refridgerate until ready to use or keep indefinitely in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.
- Cut your beef in 4 cm pieces put them in a large bowl and add harissa, ground cumin and olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and mix everything well. Cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Remove from the fridge and thread onto skewers.
- Prepare onions, tomatoes and the beef on a hot grill (medium fire) until tender.
- Serve with toasted flatbread
Recipe from the book A month in Marrakech by Andy Harris
Here’s the blog tour schedule:
Monday 10th – http://englishmum.com/
Tuesday 11th – http://emmablock.co.uk/
Wednesday 12th – http://simoneskitchen.net/
Thursday 13th – http://www.babaduck.com/
Friday 14th – http://www.millycundall.com/
Win a copy of A Month in Marrakesh thanks to Hardie Grant Books. To enter simply follow Hardie Grant on Twitter @hardiegrantuk or like on Facebook and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Winner will be drawn on Monday 17th September. UK residents only (sorry overseas friends!).
I am also submitting this recipe to the lovely event, Braai, the beloved country from Jeanne over at Cooksister. The event still runs until september 23rd so if you have a grill recipe head on over and check it out here