Moroccan Modern will introduce you to something a bit different. There are plenty of authentic Moroccan dishes to tempt you, but also a host of new and, as the man says, Modern recipes. The man in question is Hassan M’souli.
Who he? A young executive chef and owner of Out of Africa on Sydney’s northern beaches. He has taken his inspiration from his mum who taught him to cook, but he has added new twists and new ingredients to make this book a real original.
You are missing a treat if you haven’t had the chance to try Moroccan food. There are meats cooked to melting tenderness, salads that are crisp and perfumed, sweets that are juicy and more-ish. You don’t have to be wary of hot spices. Heat is more often provided by way of condiment sauces on the side. This cuisine is aromatic and comforting.
Hassan supplies us with ample information about spices, herbs, mixes and equipment, and most of it you’ll find in your local supermarket. The recipes are clear and the photography brings a visual hint of the richness of Moroccan cuisine.
There is everything in Moroccan Modern to enable you to present an authentic meal with all the trimmings. There is a chapter called The Art of Entertaining – Moroccan Hospitality. “You will open the door to any stranger and you will bestow hospitality on him for three days before enquiring of the object of his visit.” All very nice but it might only be the gas-meter man!
Harissa Baked Chicken would be light and flavourful and simple to make. Succulent chicken with a piquant stuffing and a flaky philo pastry shell. With the addition of some Moroccan salads you’ll have a delicious summer lunch.
Mrouzia is a dish of lamb shanks spiced with Ras el Hanout (from larger supermarkets), saffron, raisins, onions, almonds, honey and cinnamon. It’s the kind of cooking that fills the whole house with a wonderful warming aroma. The meat is succulent and the onions and fruit provide a rich sauce. This would make a spectacular centrepiece served in your best tagine.
Hassan has recipes for everything from sauces to soups, traditional recipes for meats and also interesting fish dishes. Snapper, tuna, shrimp, salmon are all represented and there is a seafood Couscous that would be my choice for a special summer dinner for friends.
Hassan M’souli and photographer Joe Filshie have produced a book that shows Moroccan cuisine to be refined, accessible and fascinating.
Author: Hassan M’souli
Publisher: New Holland
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018