Gisela’s Recipe

Moroccan Lamb TacosLate in the cruising season, I find myself turning again and again to “Gisela’s Recipe,” named for our friend Gisela on S/V Shared Dreams.  Whenever asked for a recipe, Gisela invariably answered with, “Well, you start with what you have…..”  I always think of her as the season winds down and I try to figure out new ways to use the ingredients remaining aboard!

Gisela of s/v Shared Dreams, the inspiration for this blog post.

Gisela of S/V Shared Dreams, the inspiration for this blog post.

After doing a freezer inventory, I realized I had a package of nice ground lamb from the “Canadian deli” in La Manzanilla and a half package of frozen spinach.  I also had walnuts and dried apricots left, so started to think about a Moroccan-influenced dish.  In my spice box was the remains of a Moroccan spice mix that I had made for another purpose.  Since we’re in Mexico and Chris was busily making tortillas, I thought – Moroccan Tacos!  Why not?  A more traditional way to serve the lamb mixture would be over couscous or rice.

Moroccan Tacos

Serves 3 – 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons Moroccan spice mix to taste (see below)
  • 8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • ½ cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • ¼ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Moroccan Spice Mix*

  • 4 parts nutmeg
  • 4 parts cumin
  • 4 parts coriander
  • 2 parts allspice
  • 2 parts ground ginger
  • 1 part cayenne pepper
  • 1 part cinnamon

* Gisela’s recipe applies here as well:  use what you have!

Toasting walnuts for moroccan style lamb tacos.

Toasting walnuts  enhances their flavor.

Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet, stirring frequently and watching carefully to ensure they don’t burn.  This is always a nice step to intensify the flavor of nuts before using.  It’s especially important, however, when the nuts have been aboard for awhile and are a little tired.

Cooking the lamb mixture.

Cooking the lamb mixture.

Heat oil in large skillet.  Add chopped onion and cook until onion is soft.  Add ground lamb and cook until the lamb is no longer pink.  Add the salt and Moroccan spice mix (you may want to start with the lesser amount and adjust at the end).  Cook, stirring, for a minute or two until the spices are fragrant.  Add the spinach and cook for another couple of minutes.  Add the walnut pieces and apricots and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.  Add the lime juice, stir thoroughly, then taste and adjust the seasoning with additional spice mix, salt, and lime juice, as needed.

Serve on tortillas or over couscous and top with plain yogurt.  Enjoy!

As the cruising season winds down, it’s “Chopped” every night aboard Legacy….

Fair winds and following seas,

Heather, The Cruising Cook

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