Tagine of Duck with Quince and Honey

Duck pairs wonderfully with any sweet fruit. Here, the combination of weed quince and honey, melded with savory duck, makes for a rich and elegant dish perfect for this time of year. Serves 4 to 6.

 

Ingredients:

– 4 duck breasts

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 teaspoon pepper

– 2 tablespoon olive oil

– 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or substitute

– 3 shallots, chopped

– 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

– Juice of 1 lemon

– 1/2 cup port wine of red wine

– 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or water)

– 3 large quinces, cored, washed, and sliced

– 1/4 cup honey

 

Directions:

1. Rinse the duck breasts and pat them dry.

2. Score the skin side of each duck breast and season with salt and pepper.

3. In a large sauté pan, sauté the duck breasts on medium heat until the skin in crispy. You may have to do this in batches. As they brown, transfer them to a platter.

4. Discard all but 3 tablespoons of the duck fat.

5. Return the sauté pan to medium heat, add the oil and butter, and sauté the shallots for 5 minutes or until translucent.

6. Add the ginger, cinnamon, and lemon juice.

7. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to spare up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

8. Add the broth, bring to a boil, and lower the heat. Add the quinces and simmer for 1 hour until the sauce is reduced by half and the quinces are tender.

9. Stir in the honey and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

10. Slice the duck breasts on the diagonal and arrange on a serving platter.

11. Spoon the sauce on the duck and surround the duck with quinces.

 

Happy cooking!

The Petite Gourmande

© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved

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Pumpkin Roll

pumpkin roll sliced into pinwheels and arranged in a row in a white platter

 

This roulade-style dessert is reminiscent of fall’s most classic flavors. It can be made with regular cream cheese or pumpkin. Both ways are equally delicious and I alternate on the cream cheese as my husband prefers the pumpkin and my daughter prefers the regular cream cheese. My own personal favorite uses hazelnuts. Serves 16

 

Pumpkin Roll cut into pinwheels displayed with sunflower floral arrangement

 

 

Ingredients

For the Cake

¾ cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

¾ cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

For the filling

¾ cup pumpkin puree

3 large eggs

½ tsp orange extract

1½ cups finely chopped walnuts (or roasted hazelnuts)

¾ cup confectioners sugar, plus more for dusting

8-oz whipped cream cheese (or pumpkin spice cream cheese)

3 TB unsalted butter, softened

 

pumpkin roll sliced into pinwheels and arranged in a row in a white platter

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Great a 16 x 12 inch nonstick jelly roll pan and dust with flour. Set aside.

3. In a medium mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and orange extract with electric mixer until smooth.

4. In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add the dry ingredient mixture into the wet and mix until well combined and smooth.

5. Pour the batter into the jelly roll man and level with spatula. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

6. Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Let cake stand until cool.

7. Dust a large, clean dish towel with confectioners sugar and carefully invert cake onto towel.

8. Gently roll cake into a log and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

9. Make the filling by combining cream cheese, confectioners sugar, and butter with electric mixer and beat until smooth.

10. Remove cake from refrigerator and carefully unroll. Spread filling evenly onto cake. Re-roll cake into log shape and refrigerate.

11. When ready to serve, cut into wheels and dust with a little more confectioners sugar.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!
The Petite Gourmande
© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved
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Shakshouka Tagine with Eggs and Tomatoes

This Shakshouka tagine is perfect for breakfast, but it works equally well as dinner. The harissa adds a spicy and flavorful kick.

 

 

Shakshouka

 

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

I tablespoon mild paprika

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes and juices

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

½ bunch cilantro, chopped

½ bunch parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon harissa (or ½ teaspoon hot paprika)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

8 eggs

 

Directions:

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium. Sauté the onions for 5 minutes or until soft.

2. Add the cumin, paprika, and turmeric, and cook for a few minutes.

3. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, parsley, harissa, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. One by one, gently break the eggs into the tomato sauce. Continue cooking for 10 more minutes or until the eggs are set. Serve with bread.

 

 

Enjoy!

The Petite Gourmande

© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved

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Blueberry Baklava

Baklava is a pretty well known Mediterranean dessert, and it’s one of my favorites. In my book, I make chocolate baklava with hazelnuts and pecan pistachio baklava with orange blossom water. I make five different kinds, but this recipe is really special because it includes blueberry preserves and dried blueberries, which really bring out the flavor of the blueberries. The color is a deep, beautiful purple, and the flavor is different from anything I’ve even eaten. If you like blueberries, I think you’ll love this!

 

Blueberry-Baklava

 

 

 

Blueberry Baklava

Serves 24

Ingredients:

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter

1 package of phyllo dough (20 sheets), thawed if previously frozen

The filling

½ pound unsalted, roasted pecans, chopped coarsely

20 ounces whole, dried blueberries

13 ounce jar blueberry preserves

2 tablespoons orange blossom water

½ cup sugar

The syrup

¾ cup water

½ cup sugar

1 cup honey

3 tablespoons orange blossom water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

1. Prepare the filling: Combine the pecans, dried blueberries, orange blossom water, and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Set aside.

2. To clarify the butter, melt it in a small saucepan over low heat until it begins to boil. Skim the foam from the top and discard it. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

3. Unwrap the phyllo dough and place it on a flat surface. While you are working with a phyllo sheet, keep the rest of the block covered with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out.

4. Using a pastry brush, coat a medium baking dish with a small amount of the melted butter.

5. Lay one sheet of phyllo in the dish and brush it with butter. Cover with a second sheet and brush it with butter. Repeat until you have a layer of 6 sheets.

6. Spread a third of the blueberry preserve and the nut/dried blueberry mixture over the phyllo sheets.

7. Repeat step 6 twice more and top with a final layer of phyllo.

8. Make 3 cuts across the dough about 3½ inches apart across the length and 2 cuts that are about 3¼ inches across the width. Cut diagonally across each square, making 24 individual triangular pieces.

9. Pour the remaining butter all over the pastry and bake for 1 hour.

10. While the baklava is baking, prepare the syrup: Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey and the orange blossom water. Refrigerate until the baklava is ready.

11. When the baklava has finished baking, remove it from oven and pour the cold syrup all over.

12. Let it cool before serving.

 

Happy Cooking!

© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved

 

 

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Lamb Tagine with Apricot and Prunes

This sweet and savory tagine pairs wonderfully with dried fruit and nuts such as apricots, prunes, and walnuts. Dried fruit is frequently used in Moroccan cooking; look for fruit that is still somewhat moist and not too dry. Serves 4 to 6.

lamb-tagine

 

Ingredients:

– 3 tablespoons olive oil

– 3 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes

– 1 large yellow onion, chopped

– 1 teaspoon cinnamon

– 2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

– 1 teaspoon turmeric

– 1 teaspoon cumin

– 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 teaspoon pepper

– 1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth

– 3 tablespoons honey

– 1 cup dried apricots

– 1 cup dried, pitted prunes

– 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnish

– 1/2 cup walnuts halves, for garnish

 

Directions:

1. In a cooking tagine or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and brown the lamb on all sides. Remove the lamb to a platter.

2. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Return the meat to the pan and add the cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cumin, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking for about two minutes.

3. Add the beef broth. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for one hour 15 minutes.

4. Stir in the honey, apricots, and prunes, and cook for a further 15 minutes.

5. Remove the lamb and fruit from the tagine and place on a serving tagine or platter. Spoon the sauce over the meat and fruit.

6. Garnish with the walnut halves and sesame seeds.

Happy Cooking!

© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved

 

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Lentil Soup with Lamb

Lentil Soup with Lamb

Harira

This traditional soup is served throughout the country and opens the Moroccan dinner feast.
Its base of lentils is layered with the flavors of lamb and herbs and is finished with fresh lemon juice.

 

Lentil Soup with Lamb

 

Lentil Soup with Lamb

 

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

o   3 tablespoons olive oil

o   1 ½ pounds boneless leg of lamb or beef chuck steak, cut into 1-inch cubes

o   1 medium onion, chopped

o   3 cloves garlic, chopped

o   3 stalks celery, finely chopped

o   ½ bunch cilantro, chopped

o   ½ bunch parsley, chopped

o   5 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped

o   1 tablespoon ground cumin

o   1 teaspoon turmeric

o   1 tablespoon sweet paprika

o   2 cups lentils, washed and drained

o   1 teaspoon salt

o   ½ teaspoon pepper

o   8 cups water

o   3 tablespoons tomato paste

o   2 tablespoons flour

o   1 tablespoon cold water

o   ½ (15-ounce) can of chickpeas, washed and drained

o   2 lemons, cut into quarters

 

Directions:

1.       In a Dutch oven or cast iron pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat and brown the meat on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon.

2.       Add the onion, garlic, and celery to the pot, stir, and sauté until the vegetables are soft.

3.       Return the meat and any juices to the sautéed vegetables and then add cilantro, parsley, tomatoes, cumin, turmeric, paprika, lentils, salt, and pepper. Mix well and add the water and the tomato paste.

4.       Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 ¼ hours.

5.       Dissolve the flour in the tablespoon of cold water and stir into the soup. Add the chickpeas and cook for another 15 minutes.

6.       To serve, squeeze one lemon quarter into each bowl of soup.

 

 

Happy cooking!

The Petite Gourmande

© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved

 

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Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup with croutons in a pumpkin decorative bowl

Butternut squash is one of the hearty winter squashes that can be used for soups, salads, and other side dishes. This soup warms the heart on a late cold autumn day. It reminds me of growing up on the farm when my father and I would spend and afternoon harvesting these beauties.

 

Butternut Squash Soup with croutons in a pumpkin decorative bowl

 

Ingredients:

4 pounds cubed fresh butternut squash (or two 32-oz packages pre-cut butternut squash)

3 shallots, chopped

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

8 cups low sodium chicken stock

2 TB unsalted butter (for sautéing)

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1. In saucepan or dutch oven, sauté shallots until translucent.

2. Add butternut squash and season with pumpkin pie spice, salt, and pepper.

3. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for 40 minutes.

4. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

5. Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm. Discard bay leaves.

6. Puree in blender until smooth.

7. Return to pot and continue to simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. Serve with crusty croutons. Enjoy!

 

 

 

butternut squash

 

 

Enjoy!

The Petite Gourmande

© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved

 

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Stuffed Potatoes with Meat

A Moroccan version of “meat and potatoes,” these patties of mashed potatoes are filled with seasoned beef and rolled into balls. The spice blend of turmeric, paprika, and exotic baharat adds a unique flavor to the beef. A bright green salad is the perfect addition to the hearty dish.

 

potatoes

 

 

 

Stuffed Potatoes with Meat

Ingredients:

8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

1/2pound ground beef

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon baharat (or allspice)

1/2 bunch parsley, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

1.Boil the potatoes in a large saucepan until fork tender. Drain and then mash while the potatoes are still warm.

2. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium and sauté the onion for 5 minutes or until translucent.

3. Add the meat, turmeric, paprika, cumin, baharat, and parsley, and cook until the meat is browned, stirring so that it does not clump. Add the salt and pepper and mix well.

4. Form the mashed potatoes into patties and place 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture on the center of each patty.

5. Close the patty around the meat mixture and form into a ball. Then flatten slightly with the palm of your hand into a thick hamburger shape.

6. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry each patty on both sides until golden.

 

G’mar Hatimah Tovah, May you be sealed in the Book of Life!

© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved

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