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M’hancha and other pastillas

Written by FDM

Moroccan cuisine is as generous as it is tasty. With these festive recipes lovingly prepared by Chef Laila Hassouna from Restaurant Morjana at Mazagan Beach & Resort, we celebrate authentic flavors and delicate and refined dishes.


Cockerels M’hancha

Ingredients

(For 10 people)

10 cockerels
10 eggs
500 g onions
3 bunches of parsley
2 bunch of coriander
300 g butter
1 l of table oil
5 g cinnamon powder
1 g nutmeg
2 g ginger
100 g icing sugar
5 g pepper
5 g salt
300 g whole almonds
1 kg of Filo
Saffron and saffron filaments
3 teaspoons of orange honey
200 g caster sugar

Preparation

Brown the cockerels in a saucepan with a little butter and olive oil.
Once they are golden on all sides, remove them and add the onion with the spices and herbs. Cook for about 10 minutes while watching.
Add the cockerels, half the broth, salt and pepper and simmer for about 40 min while keeping covered.
Remove the cockerels. Let the juice reduce, turn off the heat. Reserve.
Strip and remove the bones of the cockerels. Shred the meat into small pieces. Pour into a bowl. Add the rest of the sauce from the pot, raisins, almonds. Taste and season if necessary.

Coat the filo sheets with table oil (or melted butter). Overlap two sheets and distribute the stuffing in the middle and fold the leaves so as to obtain an airtight package.
Turn the M’hancha over, butter the top again and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 200 °C. Finish by sprinkling with icing sugar.

Quail pastilla

Ingredients

(For 10 people)

10 quails
2 kg of onions
1 bunch coriander
1 bunch of parsley
10 eggs
0.8 g of ras el-hanout
3 g garlic
0.5 g nutmeg
0.5 g ginger
20 g flaked almonds
0.5 g honey
0.5 g cinnamon powder
1 kg of filo
200 ml olive oil
500 g butter
1 tablespoon salt

Preparation

Peel and mince the onions. Crush the herbs. Peel, remove the germ and crush the garlic cloves. Peel and chop the fresh ginger.
In a hot casserole dish with a drizzle of olive oil, brown the quail on all sides. Remove them and add the onions, a pinch of salt and stir. Then add the herbs, garlic, ginger and all the spices. Put the quails back, cover with water and cook while covered for 30 min. Remove the quails again and remove the bones.
Meanwhile, reduce the sauce over low heat. Add the eggs and mix them like scrambled eggs to make a thick sauce, then set aside.

Seafood Pastilla 

Ingredients

(For 10 people)

1.5 kg squid
2 kg of prawns 16/20
1.5 kg of octopus
2 kg of false Saint-Pierre
500 g Chinese vermicelli
200 g black mushroom
1 bunch of dill
2 bunches of parsley
2 bunches coriander
100 g garlic
½ bunch of bay leaves
1 kg of fresh lemon
100 g candied lemon
2 g sweet pepper
1 g hot pepper
2 g ground coriander
2 g cumin
2 g white and black pepper
2 ml soy sauce
5 ml oyster sauce
5 ml olive oil
2 ml table oil
2 g harissa
1.5 kg pastilla leaves
50 g butter
1 tbsp salt

Preparation

Wash the fish, peel the shrimp, cut the fish fillets and shellfish into cubes.
Mince the herbs (parsley and coriander, bay leaf, dill) and mix them with the cloves of garlic, spices, olive and table oil, lemon juice and soy and oyster sauces…
Season the fish and seafood with half the charmoula sauce and reserve the other half. Sear the pieces of fish, prawns, octopus and squid separately in a pan.
Drain the cooking juices and set aside.
Dip the rice vermicelli in boiling water for a few minutes, drain and cut it using scissors.
Soak the black mushrooms in boiling water for 15 minutes to rehydrate them before cutting them into small pieces.
In a pan, put the vermicelli, the black mushrooms, add the rest of the charmoula, the cooking juices of the fish. Add a little salt if necessary, hot pepper according to taste. Stir for a few minutes over medium heat so that the vermicelli and the mushrooms soak up different flavors of spices and fish.
Let the different fillings cool completely. Combine shrimp, squid, and vermicelli.
Make the pastilla. By inducing the fillo sheets with melted butter and using the egg yolk to fix the sheet well. Wrap the pastilla according to your choice.
Prick the pastilla to allow steam to into it during cooking. Generously brush the pastilla with melted butter, to give it crispness and color when cooked.
Bake in a hot oven at 180 °C for 40 minutes or until the pastilla takes on a nice golden color.
Serve the hot pastilla decorated by shrimp, lemon, parsley according to taste.

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