For our second recipe, Shawnie and I chose the Butternut Squash and Chickpea Tagine. (To view the full story, check out this previous post.)
If it weren't for Shawnie, I wouldn't know what a tagine is! Or how to pronounce it, for that matter. I didn't end up shooting any full shots of the tagine, but luckily, Shawnie did in a previous post. It's a ceramic cone on top of a dish (in my words, of course.) I am told it's great for thickening up sauces, as it has a steam hole. Sometimes when making meals like this, everything comes out a little soupy because the steam doesn't dissipate. The tagine takes care of that!
Because it was later in the afternoon on a cloudy, somewhat dreary day, all of the shots have a tinge of blue in them. It makes this dish feel more like fall than summer, but I think it'd still be a nice summer dish. The lemon keeps it nice and light. But it's a great fall dish since most of the ingredients are either grown in the fall or easy to find on the shelf.
I love all thing chick pea, so this was a great recipe for me. I'm not usually a butternut squash fan, but this one was hardly even noticeable. All of the ingredients melded well together. The raisins and onion really helped add a punch of flavor along with the lemon. The couscous made it into a meal instead of a side dish.
One of the things I love about shooting at someone else's house is they have all new stuff! I get to play with new napkins, dishes, glasses, forks, and locations. Shawnie's sunroom was great for shooting in. Simple surfaces and big windows for perfectly even lighting.
We had to laugh when we finished the 2 recipes, because these were the dishes (not including the 2 final pots!) that were used to create them. While it might all end up in one pot, it takes a lot to get it there! At least for the English Cottage Pie. The Tagine was a little less dish-heavy. Oh well, a few dishes never hurt anybody! I'm willing to make the sacrifice in order to have a warm, home cooked meal-by Shawnie. :)
Butternut Squash and Chickpea Tagine
3 tblsp olive oil
1 1/2 c samll diced onion
1 c small diced carrot
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
3 c peeled and diced butternut squash
1 1/2 c peeled and diced sweet potato
1 tblsp minced garlic
1/2 c golden raisins
1/2 c small diced dried apricots
4 saffron threads, crumbled between your fingers
4 cilantro sprigs, tied together with twine
1 tblsp kosher salt
4 c chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
Two 13.5 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tblsp chopped Simple Preserved Lemons
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 c small diced red bell pepper
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
grated zest of one lemon
2 tblsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
Heat 2 tblsp of the olive oil in a tagine or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, and crushed red pepper and cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the butternut squash and sweet potato and cook for 7 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, raisins, dried apricots, saffron, cilantro sprigs, 2 tsp of the kosher salt, and 2 cups of the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered for 15 minutes. Add the chickpeas and preserved lemon and cook for 30 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and sprinkle half of the parsley over the top. Set aside while you prepare the couscous.
In a 2-quart or larger saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tblsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, black pepper, and remaining 1 tsp kosher salt and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and remaining 2 cups stock and bring to a boil. Add the couscous, cover and remove from the heat. Allow the couscous to steam for 5 minutes, then add the lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, and remaining half of the parsley and stir to combine. Serve the couscous in shallow bowls, with some of the stew ladled over the top.