A Taste of Morocco

After tiring myself out by completing my myriad husbandly duties the other day, my better half recognized my depleted energy level and took over the job of feeding the troops.

It is good to know that in this day and age someone still keeps the home fires burning – literally.

Instead of tossing the Chipotle pork on the grill, we (she) opted to broil it in the oven. This seemed a much more straightforward option than the supposedly temperamental barbecue.

By following the method described below to prepare Flaming Chipotle Pork – sure to be an up-and-coming favourite – our house insurance rates will probably double. Remember to keep a generous amount of baking soda on hand if you happen to cook like my wife.

She uses the smoke alarm as a food timer.

The temperature of the oven grill must have been set well north of 970 degrees, not by me or either of the dogs, because, after a surprisingly short span of time, an aromatic smoke crept out of the oven via the top burners, drawing everyone’s immediate attention.

The tray of Chipotle pork was literally aflame.

Although this can be hard on a nice pork tenderloin, I must say I was impressed by how calmly my wife reacted. It was almost as if this had happened before.

The wall of flames was successfully suppressed and the resulting offering tasted a fair bit more like barbecued pork than you would have originally imagined, what with the charbroiling effect.

But I must give all barbecue widows out there a break by outlining what may well be a typical social gathering:

Woman goes to store.

Woman prepares salad, vegetables and dessert.

Woman prepares meat for cooking, puts it on a tray with utensils and schleps it out to the man who, drink in hand, is lounging beside the grill.

Man places food on Grill.

Woman sets the table and checks on vegetables.

Woman informs man meat is burning.

Man removes meat from grill and hands it to woman.

Woman prepares the plates and cutlery and brings them to the table.

Man gets another beer.

Woman cleans the dishes after eating.

Guests compliment man on barbecue.

Man asks woman how she enjoyed her night off from cooking.

Man gets another beer …

The attempt to get to the point of this column can only be described as circuitous. What I really wanted to talk about was Moroccan Chicken Kebabs.

Faultlessly cut a pound of skinless, boneless chicken breasts into perfect one-inch pieces. Marinate in a medium, non-reactive bowl where you have mixed together two tablespoons of lemon juice, one tablespoon of olive oil, three cloves (minimum) of minced garlic, two tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro (bruised to bring out the flavour), one-quarter-cup of plain non-fat yogurt, one-and-one-half teaspoons of paprika, one teaspoon of ground cumin, one-half teaspoon of salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a dash of ground black pepper and one-quarter-cup of chopped fresh parsley.

Mix well to coat the chicken with the marinade. Cover this concoction and wait half an hour while relaxing and preheating your grill (as outlined above), or maybe toss up a tasty chickpea salad in keeping with the theme.

Mix finely chopped red onion, one or two diced chillies (remove seeds to keep the heat down) and a chopped tomato. Add the juice of a squeezed lemon and a splash of olive oil.

Toss with a can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed. Just before serving, top with a generous amount of crumbled feta cheese and a sprinkle of chopped, fresh mint.

After you have skewered up your now-marinated chicken cubes, perhaps with chunks of onion or peppers in-between, grill them for a few minutes per side until no longer pink in the middle.

Place a generous serving of salad on your plate next to a couple of kebabs and enjoy. If you were on a desert oasis, you’d need another thirst-quenching beverage … so help yourself.

And do remember to buy locally when in season.

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