This dish has that certain kind of tantalizing heat that makes it delightful year round, and I find it particularly perfect for these annoyingly chilly Chicago "spring" days. I first became acquainted with Andreae's Vegetarian Moroccan Stew when our friend Michelle volunteered to bring us dinner after we'd brought our newborn son home from the hospital. Michelle showed up at the door with a huge container of couscous, another of healthy and filling Moroccan stew, and then some home baked bread and sinful brownies to round the whole thing off. Andreae's Famous Moroccan Stew No-Knead Bread
I devoured the vegetable stew that night, sopping up the juices with a piece of freshly baked and still warm bread. Then I gleefully enjoyed it reheated for lunch every day until it was gone. I just couldn't get enough of it, and I loved that it was so richly satisfying, but healthy to boot (and therefore great for helping to drop those baby pounds). I immediately asked Michelle for the recipe, which she gladly supplied. The recipe even has a friendly little back story:
"The Moroccan Stew is a recipe my oldest and dearest friend Emily, who I've known since I was 3 sent me. Her friend Andreae who is a vegan chef created it. The bread was a find from the days when I used to sit down and read the Sunday paper. Best when served fresh out of the oven! Elliot found the brownie recipe. We used cocoa powder instead of unsweetened chocolate but I'm sure both would work. Enjoy!
I'm sure I'll share the brownie recipe soon, but for now feast on some bread and Moroccan stew...
1 chopped onion
1 chopped zucchini
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
1 box couscous (Near East's tomato lentil works well)
1. Heat oil in saucepan. Add spices. Cook about a minute. Add onion, cook another minute or so.
2. Add zucchini, cook another minute or so.
3. Add everything else. Cover, cook for maybe 5-10 minutes.
4. Make couscous.
5. Serve stew over couscous.
Note: Doubles, triples, or quadruples well. Sometimes I substitute fresh tomatoes, but if you do, remember to add extra salt.
3 cups all-purpose or bread four, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 5/8 cups water
Cornmeal or what bran, optional
1. Mix: In large bowl, combine flour, yeast, and salt. Stir in water. Don't fret over the shaggy, sticky dough.
2. Rest: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at room temperature at least 12 hours, preferably 18. Dough is ready when dotted with bubbles.
3. Deflate: Lightly flour a work surface and scoop dough onto it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rest 15 minutes.
4. Shape: Dust dough lightly with flour; gently and quickly shape into a ball. Coat a cotton towel with flour, wheat bran, or cornmeal. Put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran, or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will have doubled and will not readily spring back when poked.
5. Bake: At least half an hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 4- to 8 quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. Carefully slide pot out of the oven and remove lid. Pull top towel off of bread. Slip a hand under bottom towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up. Cover pot with lid and bake 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Andreae's Famous Moroccan Stewby Andreae Prozesky circa 2000
No-Knead BreadBy Leah Eskin, Chicago Tribune, Adapted from the New York Times