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Moroccan Frittata

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    Posted: 28 November 2017 at 08:02
Sometimes a simple change can make a recipe more available as well as tasty.

Such is the case with La Maguina, a meat and vegetable frittata-like dish from northern Morocco. Traditionally, La Maguina is made with cooked veal brains as well as the veggies. Don’t know about you guys, but veal brains, ‘round heah, are about as common as poultry molars. And I’m not sure I would want to eat them if they were.

Comes Kitty Morse and Danielle Mamane. In their The Scent of Orange Blossoms: Sephardic Cuisine from Morocco, they substitute diced, cooked chicken for the brains. The result is a loaf-like frittata filled with bits of meat and veggies that’s both easier to produce, and more appealing to American tastes as well. It’s also a great way to use up left-over cooked chicken.

Here’s their recipe:

LA MAGUINA
(Meat and Vegetable Frittata)


4 tbls olive oil
1 carrot, diced small
1 onion, finely diced
½ red bell pepper, diced fine
10 eggs
3 tbls bread crumbs
¾ tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¾ tsp nutmeg
1 cup cooked chicken, diced small
½ cup chopped parsley
½ cup frozen petit peas, defrosted
Lemon wedges for garnish.

Preheat oven to 400F. Generously oil a 5 x 9-inch nonstick loaf pan.

In a skillet, heat three tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5-6 minutes. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, bread crumbs, turmeric, salt, pepper and nutmeg until frothy. Add the vegetables, chicken, parsley, and peas. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Invert pan onto a rack set over paper towels. Let cool slightly before unmolding.

Serve sliced at room temperature with lemon wedges.

In Morocco, La Maguina is most often served as a first course. Sometimes, it is thinly sliced and used as a sandwich filling too.

Served with a salad it also makes a great luncheon or light dinner, which is how we usually have it. As such, however, it cries out for a sauce. More times than not, we’ll go with a red pepper sauce:

ROASTED RED PEPPER SAUCE

3-4 large red bell peppers     
2-3garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
½ cup veggie or chicken stock
3 tbls balsamic vinegar
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp saffron bloomed in 1 tbls warm water
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch cayenne or several drops hot sauce
Honey (optional)

Roast the peppers using your preferred method. Scrape off the charred skin. Core the peppers, deseed them, remove ribs, and cut in pieces.

Place all ingredients except honey in a blender and puree until smooth. Correct seasonings. Transfer to a saucepan and reduce until desired consistency is reached. Sauce should be pourable.

Sometime there is a slightly bitter aftertaste to this sauce. If so, add a little honey to balance it.


But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 November 2017 at 08:49
This looks very good, Brook - while I would also pass on the veal brains, chicken looks like a great substitute.

I'll see if we can get this on the menu soon; it looks like a great continuation of the learning we have done on Sephardic foodways. The recipes that I've tried so far have all been very good, and also quite wholesome.

Thanks for posting!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2017 at 08:00
Interestingly, Ron, this isn't a Sephardic dish per se. It's popular throughout northern Morocco. I just happened to use a recipe from a Sephardic cookbook.

It is likely that, in this usage, Moroccans would use butter, rather than olive oil, or, possibly, even smen.

Smen is one of the iconic flavors of Morocco. Essentially, it is fermented butter, very potent in taste. In fact, British travel writers to this day describe it using words like rancid and foul smelling. This from the same people who hang a pheasant until it turns blue before cooking it. Go figure.

What this recipe does is really highlight the cross-fertilization of foodways as the Sephardim moved from Spain towards the Ottoman Empire. And demonstrates why I called my thread on Sephardic food the thread that binds.
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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