I’ve been wondering for a while how to blog about this meal. My Secret Santa got me a 3 month subscription to The Spicery. They send me spice packets every month with recipes for main course and dessert.
We were joined by our good friend, Jemma, to help with this meal. As Liz had just broken her finger earlier in the day, Jemma was thrust to the fore to assist and I’m thinking we should now have a guest chef for the next two meals as well (see bottom of post).
This meal consisted of lemon saffron tagine with herb cous cous and Harissa. Dessert was an orange flower halva cake.
The tagine was simple with all the ingredients put into a pan, brought to a boil and just left to cook for an hour. Couscous just had the spice mix added and cooked as normal.
6 chicken thighs
2 small onions (thinly sliced)
3 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
3 large carrots (cut into chunks)
3-4 waxy potatoes (cut into large chunks)
2 tsp honey
2 tblsp plain flour
The flour is made into a paste with water and added to the other ingredients with the spice packet which contained ground coriander, ground cumin, crushed cumin, black pepper, ground ginger, parsley, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, turmeric, ground cardamon and saffron. Once cooked, it was served over the couscous which included the couscous spices (mint, parsley, coriander leaf, garlic powder, onion powder and salt).
The cake was a bit more involved.
2 large oranges (zested and juiced)
3 medium eggs
160g salted butter
100g ground almonds
200g runny honey
Preheat oven to 180C, 350F, gas 4. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between. Combine the ground almonds, polenta, a pinch of salt and the cake spices (ground coriander, ground cinnamon, ground star anise, ground green cardamon and all spice) and gently stir them into the butter mixture. Fold in all the orange zest and juice from 1 1/2 of the oranges. Bake for 30 mins until a knife comes out clean.
To make the syrup, bash up the syrup spices (orange blossom, crushed coriander seeds, green cardamon pods, allspice berries) and heat with honey, remaining orange juice and 100ml of water. Bring to the boil, turn off the heat and then let it stand to infuse while the cake is cooking.
When the cake is cooked but still hot, strain the syrup over the cake, making sure the whole surface is covered. Allow to cool and then cut into small (or large) pieces.
We are now taking expressions of interest to be the next guest chef. If it helps, the spice pack arrived this morning and you would be cooking Cincinnati 5-way chilli and cinnamon and apple whoopie pies. Comment on the blog or Facebook. We will provide all ingredients and ensure you have a bottomless glass of drink.