I'm in a rut. Every day I have the same conundrum. What are we going to have for dinner? Now I am a person who loves, L-O-V-E-S, food. But with less choices available here than in America, menu options leave me feeling pretty ambivalent. There are so many layers to my culinary depression, so let's start small. Moroccan meat. No, this is not a euphemism for something else although I'm sure that this term is to be the next search words on my blog stats for the ever growing number of people who have stumbled upon my blog while looking for porn. At least I know where my market is. The meat market.
I could go into this whole thing about explaining what halal meat is and that eating beef with the blood drained out makes beef a whole lot less tender, tasty and beef-y. Maybe I'd describe the strong pungent (gross) taste (and smell) that is lamb, just in case you didn't know. My discovery that pork is NOT the other white meat in Morocco. And I haven't even covered seafood and how salmon is ridiculously expensive, that the readily available inexpensive Panga fish comes from some of the most polluted waters in Vietnam and how mealy and freezer burnt the shrimp is. Or that I considered going back to vegetarianism. But I'm not gonna do that. Instead I'm just gonna say, we eat a lot of chicken. AND I CAN'T EAT ANY MORE CHICKEN!
I had almost taken a solemn vow to the broccoli, that I can almost never find, when I saw it at the Marjane, a new meat. A meat my kids have never eaten before.
So you know I'm gonna try it, right?
I'm going to throw it into a tagine that I usually make with beef and figs.
By the way, authentic Moroccan tagines would be cooked in a proper tagine pot like this one, not a cuisinart pan with the non-stick coating that probably causes cancer.
But this doesn't work for me for two reasons. First, I'm a stupid American who didn't grow up cooking on a clay tagine pot so I can never get it to cook just right. Second, the Moroccan urban legend is that some tagine pots contain lead. And while I don't think it's true, I don't want to find out it actually was later. I mean, have you read the book Beethoven's Hair?
My other unauthentic Moroccan tagine faux pas? I cook it with wine, which is haraam (forbidden).
I whip up an unauthentic Moroccan salad because I added cracked wheat which makes it more half tabbouleh-half Moroccan salad. Whatever.
I serve up my wine soaked fig mystery meat tagine with Moroccan sweet potatoes, which if you're used to American sweet potatoes I would go with the term semi-sweet potatoes.
So what is it?
And no, thank god, ostrich does NOT taste like chicken. And no, my kids had no idea what they ate. And no, they didn't like it. But in all fairness they don't like anything. But guess who did? And guess what I bought again at the Marjane today?
Ostrich, it's what's for dinner.