Sunday, November 6, 2011

Food for Thought

Let's consider tonight's blog a lesson, thanks to our good friends at Google (i.e., I have no idea if this is accurate).

I've made this recipe before - probably last winter - and it just feels like a cool-weather dish. Nevermind that the weather here in the NEO is fabulously unseasonable (sunny and not frigid) - this meal feels right for November.

But that's not your lesson.

I made a "tagine" tonight. What in the world is tagine, you ask? Why, it's a dish from North Africa (Morocco), named after the dish in which it is cooked. Pronounced "tay-jean," it's a stew that is long and slow for braising. Now you know.

Fortunately, the foodies at Cooking Light created a variation of this recipe that incorporates what I assume to be some of the traditional flavors and methods, but without the special pot or all-day process.

Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash
Source: Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2011

  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt (skip)
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (skip)
  • 1-pound beef shoulder roast cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 shallots, quartered (used wedged onions, per CL's suggestion)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth (used no-salt added)
  • 14.5oz can no-salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 c. (1-inch cubed) peeled butternut squash
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro (skip)
  • Combine first 6 ingredients in medium bowl. Add beef, toss well to coat.
  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef & shallots; cook 4 mins or until browned. Add garlic, cook 1 min, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and tomatoes, bring to a boil. Cook 5 mins. Add squash; cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 mins or until squash is tender (I went 20). Sprinkle w/ cilantro.
Yield: 4 servings (1.5c/serving)
Per serving: 283 cals; 9.5g fat (2g sat, 4.8 mono, 0.5 poly); 25.6g protein; 25.7g carbs; 67mg chol; 617mg sodium; 103mg calcium

I love this meal. Although prep took a while (I used fresh squash instead of taking the easy way out with frozen, so the chopping kind of blows), the actual cooking of the tagine is pretty easy. I like all of the flavors, and the squash was super tender. Both boys liked the beef, the hubs kind of liked the squash, and the kid - not at all.

And, to keep the lesson going - did you know butternut squash is technically a fruit because of its seeds? I sure didn't! What I did know was that it is chock full of antioxidants, fiber and carotenoids, which protect against disease. What an informative blog tonight... you are very welcome.

Three Forks

Squashy - not squishy - in the Dutch oven

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