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RECIPE: Moroccan Potato Kabobs

Moroccan potato kabobs. Photo courtesy
PotatoGoodness.com.

 

Kabobs, variously transliterated from Arabic and other alphabets as kabab, kabob, kebab, kebap and kebob, refer to small pieces of meat or seafood that are marinated and broiled. They’re often cooked with tomatoes, green peppers, onions or other vegetables, usually on a skewer. The word meant roast meat; Americans have adopted it to mean food on a skewer.

Since today is National Potato Day, we’ve got potato kabobs for you, a side dish flavored with Moroccan spices.

The recipe is seasoned with a flavorful charmoula, a pesto-like sauce; the potatoes are grilled and sprinkled with a Moroccan spice blend. Add some beef, chicken, lamb or other protein for a complete all-kabob dinner.

RECIPE: MOROCCAN POTATO KABOBS

Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 1-1/2 pounds assorted red, yellow and purple
    potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup charmoula (recipe below)
  • 12 1-inch pieces pickled lemon/preserved lemon (recipe)
  • 12 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • 12 pitted Kalamata olives
  • Ras el hanout?, a Moroccan spice blend (recipe below)
  • Preparation

    1. SIMMER potatoes until tender but still firm, drain and toss with charmoula. Cool.

    2. THREAD one cube of each kind of potato onto each of 6 skewers, alternating with 1 bay leaf, 1 piece lemon rind and 1 olive.

    3. GRILL skewers on a gas or charcoal grill, turning to form grill marks on each side. Sprinkle with Moroccan spice blend and serve.

     

    CHARMOULA RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3/4 cup parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 6 cloves garlic, 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. urée ingredients in a blender.

    2. STORE in a tightly-sealed glass jar. Yields 3/4 cup.

     

    Ras el hanout. Photo courtesy Zamouri Spices. You can buy it online.

     
    RAS EL HANOUT

    Ras el hanout is a complex, aromatic spice blend, and as fundamental to Moroccan cooking as curry is to Indian cuisine.

    The name means “head of the shop” or top of the shop: the freshest and best spices the merchant has to offer. Most recipes include anise, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, mace, nutmeg and turmeric, but a shopkeeper might blend 30 or more ingredients. Allspice, coriander, chili flakes, cumin, clove, hibiscus, lavender, mustard and star anise are popular ingredients.

    The whole spices, dried roots and leaves are dry-fried to release their full flavor, then finely ground together. The finished product looks something like curry powder.

    The spice is used to coat baked or roasted meat, seafood and vegetables; in tagines and stews; and in couscous. You can buy a jar at an Indian market or online; or use this recipe to make your own.
     
    RAS EL HANOUT SPICE BLEND

    Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground anise seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BLEND spices in a bowl.

    2. STORE tightly capped in a glass jar, in a dry, dark place. It will maintain its strength for several months.

      




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