Monday, July 2, 2007

A Man and A Kitchen / Un Homme et Une Cuisine

My chermoula

My hubby can be a great cook when he wants to. He also has his own way of heating up the kitchen and his own way of getting things done, too.
First, he puts some music on, usually some salsa music. Then, he starts dancing his way to the kitchen; with some great moves I must say.
Standing in the middle of the kitchen, he asks me: “Ok! What are we going to do?”
“What are we going to do? What are you going to do?” “I thought you already knew!”
“Yes, Yes. I am just teasing you”, he always says.
He then starts chopping, dicing and using all my plates and my kitchen space while going back and forth to turn up the music volume. Between cooking, washing the dirty dishes, dancing, singing and stirring the pan every two seconds, it takes him about two hours or more to have dinner on the table.
When it was only the two of us, having him in the kitchen was assured to be a lot of fun, messy but fun. But now, with a crawling baby who loves running between our legs and who requires our attention every minute, time gets really precious.
So now, even though he doesn’t cook and doesn’t dance as much often as I want him to, he still amazes me with his “nothing special” dishes, as he calls them, like this Chermoula that is not only quick but most of all demands the use of a single kitchen item: A mortar.
Chermoula is a Maghrebi (North African) marinade used mostly to flavor fish or seafood but would work as well with vegetables and meats. The basic ingredients to Chermola are herbs, lemon, olive oil, garlic and spices. After that you can vary the recipe by adding other ingredients like onions, diced jalapeno, if you like it spicier, or saffron. Whatever you choose to do with this recipe, the only advice that I would give is not substituting parsley for the cilantro because it just doesn’t give the same delicate and lemony flavor that cilantro gives to the marinade. My hubby likes to use a mortar in making Chermoula because it lets him control the consistency of the Chermoula, which should be thick, and the pestle allows the spices and herbs to develop their aroma slowly by grinding them.


Chermoula and Calamari

- 1 lemon
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 tsp ras el hanout
- ½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp hot red pepper, diced (optional)
- A pinch of salt
- The leaves of a small bunch of cilantro
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 pounds calamari rings

In a mortar, put the zest of the lemon, the spices, the salt and the garlic and grind using your pestle until it resembles a uniform paste. Add the juice of half the lemon, the cilantro leaves only and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Grind to form a paste and add the remaining olive oil if the chermoula is too thick. Season to taste. Let the chermoula rest for about 15 min at room temperature. Mix the chermoula into the calamari and let it marinate for an hour. Heat a non-stick pan. Sauté the calamari in the pan for two min on each side until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Chermoula avec du calamar

In francais please:
- 1 citron jaune
- 3 gousses d’ail, hachees
- 1 c.c de ras el hanout
- ½ c.c de graines de cumin, grilles
- ½ c.c paprika
- ¼ c.c de piment rouge, cisele
- Une pincee de sel
- Les feuilles d’un petit bouquet de coriandre
- 2 c.s d’huile d’olive
- 1 kg d’anneaux de calamar

Dans le mortier, mettre les epices, le sel, le zest du citron et les gousses d’ail. Concasser a l’aide de votre pilon jusqu’a ce que le mélange ressemble a une pate homogene. Ajouter le jus d’un demis citron, les feuilles de coriandre et une c.s d’huile d’olive. Concasser encore et ajouter le reste d’huile d’olive si le mélange vous semble trop epais. Gouter et assaisonner selon le gout. Laisser la chermoula de cote pendant 15 min. Melanger la chermoula aux anneaux de calamari et laisser mariner pendant une heure. Faites chauffer une poele anti-adhesive et faites sauter les anneaux de calamar pendant deux min de chaque cote jusqu’a ce que ils soient bien dores. Servir tout de suite.



LILIBOX said...

ta chermoula ou celle de ton homme a l'air parfaite et d'une superbe couleur .

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

The chermoula is beautiful -- and you are so lucky to have a husband who cooks and dances around the kitchen!

Nora B. said...

Rose, I enjoyed reading your post. My partner takes a long time too prepare a meal too but he leaves the kicthen neater and cleaner than I do! This chermoula looks and sounds delicious. It's wonderful that you can cook for each other.

Jerry said...

A man that cooks! I think men who cook, say its nothing, but it always turns out to be spectacular!

Helene said...

Je le repete: ton homme peut venir quand il veut apprendre la cuisine au mien...j'ai renonce!
Tres belles couleurs et recette!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I wish I could eat seafood, Rose! It looks absolutely mouthwatering!

Congrats to hubby!

Anne said...

This looks delicious!

Your lucky to have a husband who can cook as well as dance :)

Anonymous said...

Les épices écrasées dans le mortier sont superbes!

Anonymous said...

Ton homme fait des merveilles en cuisine!

Anonymous said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

Aimée said...

And how is the dear baby doing? It's important to cook as a family and it's nice that your husband jumps in to the kitchen. This looks beautiful!

Big Boys Oven said...

Rose, you calamari looks so lovely and so tempting. I feel like having a bite. big boys oven

Warda said...

- Merci beaucoup Lili. Mon homme te remercie aussi.
- Thank you very much Lydia. I am lucky, indeed.
- Thanks Nora. You are one lucky girl too.
- Well!Jerry, sometimes it's spectacular and sometimes, believe me it's really nothing special but when it's made from the heart , that's the most important.
- Il sera content de lui apprendre quelques trucs tout simple. Mais a condition que tu lui prepares ta fabuleuse glace a la peche.
- Patricia, You can substitute the seafood for a steak. It will work very good as well.
- Thanks Anne for your nice words.
- Merci beaucoup Samania. Contente que ca te plaise.
- Merci Mayacook. Il a des talents caches.
- Although I didn't understand all what you said Rodrigo, I thank you for your visit. Great work you have done on your blog.
- My baby daughter is doing very well. Thanks for asking Aimee. She just love having her parents in the kitchen together so she can play with both of us.
- Thank you very much Big boys oven. Please, help yourself.

Stepmom said...

i had never wanted a mortar & pestle for my kitchen until now.

Kelly-Jane said...

I've never made this blend, but I love calamari, looks beautiful, all burnished and bronze.

Peabody said...

I wish I could say my husband can cook...he burns soup.

SteamyKitchen said...

I love how your chermoula "tastes"!!! Its so beautiful I can already taste it (licking screen)


Anonymous said...

mmm je suis séduite... par les photos, par les couleurs, par cette recette...

Warda said...

- Candy, just try to make it with a mortar and a pestle and you will hooked for life.
- I am glad you like it Kelly-Jane.Thank you.
- You made me laugh Pea!
- Thanks Jaden. I bet your screen must be really wet!!!
- Quel honneur Loukoum. Je suis contente que tout cela te plaise.

Mingoumango (La Mangue) said...

Ca doit être fantastique d'avoir parfois un homme dans sa cuisine... Le tien est de toute évidence très doué pour ça.

Warda said...

Merci beaucoup Mingoumango. C'est un vrai bonheur de l'avoir prendre du plaisir a preparer le repas. Un regal a chaque fois.

Lyra said...

I really want to try this recipe as I love seafood, but I have one quesiont: What is ras el hanout and where can I find it? I have never heard of it before...

nathalia said...

Voici une recette excellente, pleine de saveurs........un délice, merci à toi. Je découvre ton blog et j'avoue être scotchée!! Par contre, ici en Guadeloupe, le calamar est difficile à trouver, peut-on le remplacer par un poisson local, genre thon, espadon, requin, raie ? Merci de me donner ton avis et encore merci pour tes recettes.

Warda said...

- Nathalie, merci beaucoup pour ton gentil message. J'ai deja essaye cette marinade avec de la raie et c'etait sublime. L'espadon serait aussi un tres bon choix. Je ne sais pas pour ce qui est du requin, que je n'ai jamais mange. Tres bonne fin de semaine!