Northern Africa

Welcome back, flavor!  And welcome to Northern Africa.  I know I sort of kicked things off on this continent with Northern Africa in Morocco, but because I love Moroccan food so much, it stood on its own for that entire week. However, when researching this week’s menu, I’ve learned that all of the countries in Northern Africa have enough variety and flavor for me to spend an entire week in each as well. Nevertheless, I’m ready to move forward, so I’ve done by best to pick something from each of Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya that I hope will let each country’s food shine.

As you can probably tell from what I made in Morocco, Northern African countries inject a lot of flavor and flair into their cuisine.  This is thanks to both its close proximity to Europe and the Middle East (and therefore the exchange and overlapping of tastes) as well as superior agriculture compared to the sub-Saharan countries.  Another trademark of North African cuisine is the spice- most commonly cumin, caraway, garlic, coriander, saffron, red peppers and cinnamon. So…not really the hot kind of spice, but the flavor kind, and almost every dish I’m making this week has a minimum of three (even dessert).  Meals tend to be feasts and multiple courses, so I’ll be doing some of that here as well.  I went a bit crazy at the store this week and will be very busy in the kitchen, so I hope you enjoy my farewell to Africa:

Algerian Chicken Soup (Shorba)

Fig-Date Bread

Gebna Makleyah (Oven-Fried Cheese)

Tunisian Grilled Shrimp

M’batten  (Stuffed, Fried Potatoes)

Magroodh (Date-filled Semolina cookies)

Cooked Carrot Salad

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