Monday, 1 March 2010

How to make tagine the passive aggressive way

Here's a recipe for tagine to serve four people - albeit four really tiny people. No, I don't use an actual Tagine pot to make it because I refuse to fill my cupboards with utensils that are only useful for one dish, but I'm interested in the idea of trying it out with a crock pot instead - I'm getting a hand-me-down crockpot soon so I will give it a go. In the meanwhile, this is how I do it.

Chop an onion, two or three cloves of garlic and a lump of ginger approx. 4x4 cm big. Pass these to your partner to fry in a saucepan.

Chop 150g mushrooms and 100g string beans. The size is merely a cosmetic matter and is immaterial to the success of the recipe so make your own mind up about it. Give these to the frying monkey when the onions go transparent.

When the vegetables start to go soft push the monkey away from the saucepan and make him prepare the chicken and halloumi as described below. Add one teaspoon each of cumin, turmeric and cinnamon, one and a half teaspoons of harissa, two teaspoons each of honey and ground almonds and enough vegetable stock/bouillon to just cover the vegetables. Add a handful of raisins and a handful of chopped green olives and a little salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, your partner is tenderly rubbing his breasts - that is, four pieces of chicken breast - with cumin and turmeric. When he's done fondling his meat his hands will have sticky goo all over them, so you will have to oil a frying pan for him and put it on the hob. While the chicken is cooking he washes his hands, chops 100g of halloumi into 1.5 cm thick slices and fries that in a separate pan. Keep an eye on the halloumi pan, because the carnivore is too transfixed by his bird carcass to notice when the cheese starts to burn.

While the chicken is cooking and he's at a loose end, make the monkey taste the sauce and decide whether to add more of any of the ingredients listed above. A perfect balance between salty, sweet and spicy flavours makes it really moreish. When the chicken and halloumi is almost done add two teaspoons of chopped parsley to the sauce.

Once the chicken and halloumi are cooked we spread the sauce between them and leave them for another couple of minutes so that the flavours sink in. Serve with couscous that has butter and olive oil mixed in to make it actually taste like something. If you like, you can garnish the dish with more parsley and some finely chopped almonds, but lately we can't be bothered.

A final note: since I have made many passive aggressive jokes about my cooking partner in this tutorial, I must point out that the reason why he does all the frying at the beginning is that he is phenomenally good at making things not burn, despite the poor quality of our cooking equipment. Were our roles reversed, the dish would taste like someone dumped an ashtray in it.

1 comment:

  1. When you say 150g mushrooms and 100g string beans, do you mean 100g mushrooms and 150g string beans or 150g mushrooms and 100g string beans?