Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Moroccan-Style Lamb and Chickpeas

The first time I had Moroccan food was at Epcot at Walt Disney World.  I was about 8 or 9, and I just fell in love with the spiced richness of it.  Since I've been cooking, any recipe with "Moroccan" in the title goes onto the to-make list almost automatically. 

I didn't change much in this recipe, just added a little garlic, and swapped mint for the cilantro, since I really associate mint more strongly with Moroccan food than cilantro.  The original recipe suggests serving over couscous, but we had this over Moroccan Spiced Spaghetti Squash that I saw on the Jey of Cooking- delicious!  This was a really great meal, flavorful, fairly healthy, and a nice variation on the usual pasta with meat sauce.

Moroccan-Style Lamb and Chickpeas
adapted from Cooking Light

What's in it:

1 lb lean ground lamb
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 c diced onion
1/2 c (1/4-inch) diagonally cut carrot

2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
2 c fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c golden raisins
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
1 (15 1/2-ounce can) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 c chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

How to make it:

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb to pan; cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove lamb from pan with a slotted spoon and discard drippings.

Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and carrot to pan and saut√© until softened and beginning to brown. Add garlic, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and pepper.  Continue to cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add reserved lamb, broth, and next 5 ingredients, through chickpeas, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer about 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in mint and lemon juice.

Serve warm over couscous, rice or anything else you'd like.

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