The other night we took a trip to Morocco through our taste buds. Morocco, is on our travel list. Hopefully one day we will get a chance to travel there. Until then we will make yummy dishes.
It was my first time visiting my Husband (then boyfriend), at Purdue when he was attending the MBA program. I was visiting him for a long weekend, it was Labor Day weekend if I recall. He wanted to cook dinner one of the nights I was there. On the menu that evening was Couscous with Beef and Lamb Koftas. It was such an amazing meal. One that we still cook to this day. Now we have not always liked cooking in the kitchen together. At Purdue it was a large kitchen. Tones of room for us to move around in and not bump into each other. This is when we both we learning to cook and we truly enjoyed cooking together. Maybe cause it was new, and romantic. Maybe it was the 8-10 weeks we would go without seeing each other. The apartment in Cleveland, we had after we got married, was pretty much a no go for sharing the space. Although there was ample amount of counter space, there was no room to move around in that space for more than one person at a time. When we purchased our first house, we had plenty of room to cook with each other, just not much counter space. Then our family grew with two kids a large dog, and parents who visited often and sometimes at the same time. We needed a larger home. We purchased a house that had a large kitchen floor print that need much updating. This in now the first kitchen we cook in together, without running into each other. Without being on top of each other. Without the constant bickering you may have with your significant other in the kitchen. Now none of you know anything about bickering in the kitchen? HAHA!
I wanted to create something similar to Kofta except in a bowl form. However to do that I had to add a couple other elements.
I turned the oven to 400F. I chopped a large cauliflower in large florets. Sprinkled some Harissa seasoning and some olive oil. I tossed and roasted in the oven for about 20-30 mins.
Once I had the cauliflower in the oven I was able to start the deconstructed Kofta. I diced half a yellow onion and started to sauté until it started to become translucent. I added two cloves of minced garlic and cooked for a split second.
Once that was complete I added the ground beef. I cooked the beef only half way through, before adding all the spices. I wanted the spices to melt into the beef. Spices I added are what you would add to Kofta’s – Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, Parsley, Cilantro. I also added tomato paste I added to give a deeper flavor.
Now to make traditional Kofta’s, what you would normally do, is blend all the ingredients in a food processor. You would blend until it basically forms a paste. Form around a kabob holder into a log shape or a hotdog and grill. But here I just broke it up all on the stove. While I had it simmering and the cauliflower was still roasting, I made the Couscous.
While the couscous was cooking in the pot, I started cutting up apricots, and making the dressing for the couscous.
I went with a bright orange dressing. It was subtle but there, and paired beautifully with the apricots and pumpkin seeds in the couscous, and added that citrus element to the beef and cauliflower.
I tossed it all together and let sit. While it was sitting I quickly threw together a tomato, cucumber yogurt salad.
I placed the couscous at the bottom of a bowl. A thin layer, don’t over do it. The couscous acts a bed for everything else. Add a row of each, beef, cauliflower and then the salad. If you serve this for either a dinner party or for your family they will be so impressed with your skills in the kitchen. A dish that they will think took you hours to make, but only took an hour or less. Now what are you waiting for? Get in that kitchen and take your taste buds on a trip to Morocco.
Prep to Serve time 45-60mins
- 1 large head of cauliflower cut into large florets
- 1 1/2 tsp Harissa seasoning
- Olive Oil
- Pre heat oven to 400F. Toss the cauliflower with the harissa seasoning and the olive oil. Roast for about 30-40 mins. Roast until the cauliflower is starting to brown but still has a crunch.
- 1 lbs of ground beef 85/15
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/8 tsp heaping cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- In a sauté pan add your olive oil and heat up on medium high heat. Add your onions and cook until translucent. Add your garlic and cook no longer then a minute, before adding your ground beef.
- Mix the beef with the onions and garlic and start to brown only half way.
- Once your beef is cooked half way add the rest of the ingredients up to the cayenne pepper. Stir that all together and let the flavors marry for a couple of mins.
- Add the tomato paste and make sure you melt it into the beef mixture the best you can. Now add your broth or water to create a little wetness to the beef. Let that cook on low now until ready to serve.
- Your last step before serving is mixing the chopped cilantro into the beef.
- 1 Box of Israeli Couscous
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 orange zested and juiced
- 1 tsp dijion mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- pinch of salt
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- Cook the couscous by the directions on the box.
- In a separate bowl or in the bowl your placing the couscous make the dressing. Zest your orange and juice it. Add the Dijon honey and salt. Whisk together, and slowly add your olive oil.
- Toss together with your apricots and pumpkin seeds with your couscous. Set aside.
Cucumber Tomato Yogurt Salad
- 1/2 cucumber chopped
- 1 cup of chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of yogurt
- 1/2 Tbsp of dill
- 1/4 tsp honey
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- Mix Yogurt to lemon juice together.
- Add the cucumber and tomatoes, and mix all together
Complete the dish
- In a bowl or shallow bowl add your couscous. Add a row of beef, cauliflower and salad. ENJOY!