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Moroccan Lamb Stew

In the souks of Morocco, the tradition of centuries of artisans and tradespeople lives on in a dizzying atmosphere of color and sound. These marketplaces are flooded with goods and crafts from hand-woven tapestries and clothing to intricate ceramic cookware and leather pieces. Among the most enticing areas of any Moroccan souk are those occupied by the spice traders, peddling saffron, paprika, cayenne, harissa cinnamon and others commonly found in the local cuisines. The aromas wafting through the air in these tantalizing corridors will soon be wafting through your own home kitchen, down the hallways and under the noses of your favorite dinner companions, as we prepare for a traditional lamb tagine with Chef Jon Ashton.

The tagine itself – a ceramic pot with a funnel-topped lid that allows the steam to rise and results in unbelievably tender meat – is said to date back to ancient Roman times, although over the years, its design and use have become synonymous with Moroccan cuisine. Many are colorfully adorned with painted designs, making them a lovely addition to a kitchen’s aesthetic. And while this ancient tool is still the go-to piece and method for preparing Moroccan stews, modern inventions offer convenient options and equally mouthwatering dishes. Dutch ovens, slow cookers and heavy-bottomed pots are all acceptable tools of the trade for this week’s recipe.

The ingredient list is long and exotic, so check the detailed recipe below carefully as you prep your pantry!

Crispy Portuguese Chicken

Whether you choose to fire up your grill, your oven or stovetop skillet, this crispy Portuguese chicken recipe will add the perfect mix of spice, sweetness and herbs to your Sunday supper. Add the creamy tang of grilled potato salad with bacon (everything is better with bacon), and it’s a feast for all the senses.

In fact, the aromas of this week’s menu will likely hit you before the taste, as is common with Portuguese cuisine, which traditionally features heavy helpings of paprika, garlic, onion, parsley, cumin and a host of wonderfully potent flavors. Barbecue chicken is a classic of the Portuguese culinary experience, with chili-packed piri-piri a favorite on most menus in Europe’s oldest country. Traditionally, Portuguese barbecue is done over a wood fire, which only enhances the aromas.

Shrimp Tagliatelle Pasta with Corn Crema

Simple Daily Bread

The term “comfort food” is taking on new meaning at this time when we’re spending more time dining at home, perhaps recalling memories of cuisines tasted in far-flung places we’ve explored around the world. Through every journey, Crystal has always believed that breaking bread with friends old and new is an essential element of exploring new cultures and places.

Crêpes Suzette

This is my favorite easy crepes recipe! It’s super-easy to make, and you can take the. Same recipe (remove vanilla) and make savory crepes
We love it when wonderful things happen by accident. Such was allegedly the case when Maitre at Monte Carlo’s Café de Paris assistant waiter Henri Charpentier – just 14 years old in 1895 – accidentally set some cordials that were near the chafing dish he was using on fire. Adding more stress to this precarious situation, the Prince of Wales (future King Edward VII) was the VIP Henri was serving that day. Rather than keep the royal waiting and begin again, Henri snuck a taste of the flambéed syrup and found that the flavors melded beautifully, so he served the prince to rave reviews. And so, according to Henri’s autobiography, one of the world’s favorite French desserts was born.

It’s not known for sure whether this dramatic origin story also began the tradition for Crêpes Suzette to be prepared tableside, flames and all – which has our mouths watering for evenings in Waterside – but this display only adds to the specialness of the dish. And with every bite, the candied citrus flavors combine with the buttery burst of cognac and Grand Marnier, recalling the decadence of French cuisine.

Butternut Squash Soup

Truly the best butternut squash soup recipe! It’s really easy to make, naturally gluten-free, and SO incredibly cozy and comforting.

© 2016 Jon Ashton