When I started getting interested in cooking, I signed up for a local cooking class with my mom. The only class available was for Moroccan cuisine. Not only did I have no idea what Moroccan cuisine was, I had never cooked a meal in my life. Heck, I even screwed up boiling eggs.
It was the New School of Cooking in Culver City, and we turned out several yummy Moroccan dishes. I was surprised. One dish stood out as my favorite: Moroccan Bastilla, a sweet and savory comfort food pie. In modern preparations, it consists of ground lamb meat, onions, raisins, toasted pine nuts or almonds, flavored with cinnamon, allspice and cloves. It’s best topped off with a dash of powdered sugar. Yumm! It’s sweet, but nutty and hearty.
- Toast a handful of pine nuts in a skillet. Don’t turn away because they can burn quickly.
- Sweat out one white onion (diced) and let it start to caramelize.
- Add 1 lb of ground turkey or shredded chicken and let it brown.
- Add the pine nuts and a handful of golden raisins.
- Add the spices (a couple tsp of each cinnamon, allspice and clove), then simmer for a couple minutes.
- Remove from the heat and toss in 1 cup of chopped parsley.
- Serve uncovered / in a pie shell / in a pie “pocket” / in tarlet shells, you name it.
- Sprinkle your dish with powdered sugar.
You can certainly serve the meat filling on it’s own. Who needs a pie shell? Not I. Here are some of the easier options I have been having fun with in my kitchen: