I ate some amazing food in Morocco. Mounds of marinated olives, breads that defy definition and lots and lots of cous cous. In fact, it was where the term ‘Cous Cous Pants’ was coined but we need not go into that here.
They also have roadside BBQs called meshwe but I’m sad to say I never sampled the food…. want to know why?
It’s a tad shameful to be honest.
Our bus would pull up next to a roadside meshwe, nestled on the side of a mountain surrounded by lush greenery, manned by a swarthy, sweaty man toiling over hot coals with rivulets of perspiration running down his face and often no hairs left upon his forearms, but the thought of burning hair or man sweat seasoning my BBQ’d meat was not the problem.
The problem was that I dug in my heels in agriculture class at high school.
You see, although I was never a vegetarian and I was happy as a pig in proverbial to dissect as frog, I was not so keen on agriculture class or as it’s affectionately referred to – Ag.
Rhymes with gag.
I got myself excused on the day they branded pigs, and I think I bunked the day they docked sheep tails, and then I promptly forgot that sheep have tails.
Cut back to Morocco – there I was standing in front of what was probably the best lamb BBQ I was ever going to nosh in my life, but I was certain that poor, flayed, long-tailed creature was a dog.
I couldn’t do it. As mouth-watering as the aroma that tickled my nostrils may well have been I walked away; I ate some fruit, bread and olives and got back on the bus with a rumbling tummy thinking how delicious BBQ dog smelled.
Another thing I wished I’d tried was squab bastille, or pigeon as it’s more commonly known. I’d heard so much about the famed pie, but in all of my Moroccan adventure I never saw anyone eating anything other than tagine and cous cous.
I don’t often think to use chicken mince, but when Steggles offered to send me some of their über lean minced breast and thigh to try I knew I’d be able to pull something outta the bag.
Chicken Bastilla with Moroccan Carrot Salad.
What you will need :
For the pie –
- 1 kilo chicken mince
- 2 small or one medium leek, white part only
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup blanched almonds
- 1/2 cup sultanas
- 1/2 cup each of parsley and coriander
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- a good grind of fresh black pepper
- salt and pepper
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup of chicken stock
- 11 sheets filo pastry
- olive oil spray, or melted butter
- icing sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling and dusting
For the salad –
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup pinenuts
- 2 tablespoons crystallised ginger, chopped
- 2 lemons, juice and rind finely grated
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- a pinch of cinnamon
- a handful of chopped coriander
What you will need to do :
Pop a little olive oil into a large frypan over a medium heat and fry off your garlic until it’s fragrant. Toss in your leek and give it a good sweat.
Next, add your chicken mince ensuring you have enough heat so as to cook it fast, cooking off the juice as you go and not stew it.
Ensure you keep stirring well until your chook is browned off. Chuck in your cumin and cinnamon, stir.
Next up add your almonds and sultanas, lemon zest and herbs giving it all shimmy.
Preheat your oven to 200C.
Next, lightly spray or butter your pie dish. I use olive oil spray because I’m lazy and it’s easy. There, I said it.
Lay one piece of filo across ways in your dish, and then lay another the other way, forming a cross. Spray lightly with oil, dust with a little icing sugar and cinnamon (sounds weird, but trust me!).
Gently fold each bit piece by piece until you have just a couple of bits left then place your remaining sheet over the top sop it looks tidy. Fold up your last pieces and crinkle them around the edges and do a final spray and dust.
Toss her in the oven and leave her then until golden brown and crunchy, about 30-40 minutes depending on your oven.
For the salad, lightly steam the carrots until they are just al dente and toss together with the remaining ingredients.
If you need some more minced chook inspo, check out the Stegglers ideas.
Steggles are also offering a motza gift pact to one lucky reader of my choice. All you have to do is leave a comment on either Facebook or this post of what you would like me to make with chicken mince. I will make your request and send you on through a prize pack.
- The motza Steggles gift pack includes:
o 2 Cooler bags
o a couple of aprons
o 4 caps
o a couple of Picnic Blankets
o Footy and Frisbees
o Recipe Cards
Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.
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