Moroccan spiced potato salad

Moroccan spiced potato salad

I want to begin by admitting that half-way through making this dish, I was certain the final result would be a flop. I began with high hopes for this Moroccan spiced potato salad (what, with my earlier success with the mushroom and potato al forn), but soon realized that the red potatoes were falling apart (boiled too long?) — falling apart into horrible-looking clumps and shards. The few small golden potatoes were holding their shape well, but there weren’t enough of them to pull the dish together.

So, I did the only thing I could think of doing, that is, I abandoned all attempts at precision and began almost ruthlessly to mix the ingredients together as quickly as I could. I added plenty of heat, and doubled the amount of harissa suggested; then, I threw the mixture onto a baking sheet (diverging from the recipe almost completely at this point) and heated it throughout. I have found that hot food — both in temperature and in spice — can cover up many a mistake.

And I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Not my best fare. But fare, after all.

And I made harissa for the first time. I need to make this again, though — with a mortar and pestle.

harissa

This salad and the harissa represent my 16th and 17th completed dishes from Moro East. Percentage complete: 10.63%

 

mushroom and potato al forn

mushroom and potato al forn

I chose to make this dish a few nights ago because the recipe promised to be simple.

potatoes

But once again, Moro East has exceeded my expectations, demonstrating that simplicity often produces results that are rich with complexity. My faith in potatoes has been renewed. And my faith in mushrooms—particularly, oyster mushrooms—is stronger now than ever.

oyster mushrooms

Although I would not have thought to mix mushrooms and potatoes, the combination is surprisingly stunning. This is solid, solid comfort food.

about to go in the oven

I now have completed 15 recipes from Moro East. Percentage complete: 9.38%

potato and mushroom al forn

squash pisto

squash pistoAccording to Moro East, pisto is a Spanish ratatouille. And although this squash pisto is good, I would like to try it again soon. The pan I used had been too small, I think, and the squash didn’t seem to cook as evenly as I had hoped. And further, I have yet to try this with an actual pumpkin. Admittedly, my pumpkin cooking adventures have been tied mostly to desserts. This must change, I think. 🙂

butternut squashI now have made 14 recipes from Moro East. Percentage complete: 8.75%

onion broth with sherry

onion broth

Here is one of my latest concoctions, courtesy of Moro East: a lovely, earthy onion broth. The simplicity of this dish foregrounds the pairing of nutmeg and thyme. And I still have yet to make something from this book that disappoints.

thyme

thyme

I now have made 13 recipes from Moro East. Percentage complete: 8.13%