African Spiced Shrimp

African Shrimp

A new shrimp dish with great surprise flavors and relatively easy to put together, but one problem the unavailable Ras El Hanout the all important Moroccan spice blend.   Luckily I had all the spices for the blend that someone had posted online so I made a small portion for this dinner.

I made a few changes in some of the ingredients to avoid going to the store, but nothing unusual…

10 ounces peeled, deveined shrimp (I had 1 lb), drizzle a little olive oil over and season with Ras El Hanout
4 cloves of garlic minced
3-5 ounces fresh baby spinach, rough chopped
1 carrot peeled and diced
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
Juice of a lemon (I used some preserved lemons)
3-4 pitted prunes, chopped
4 dried figs , chopped
4-5 dates, pitted and chopped
1 small red onion, diced
¼ cup honey roasted almonds with cranberries
1 cup or more of cooked couscous I had about 2 cups
6 ounces canned tomato sauce *8 ounces is the original amount and I found between 4-6 was good for my 2 cups of couscous, but you might prefer more sauce

Have all of your ingredients ready.  Heat a pan over medium heat and add a little olive oil and sauté carrots, onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes to soften the carrots and onions.

Add the spinach to the pot of couscous and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute to wilt the spinach a bit, add the tomato sauce, , dates, prunes, almonds, half the parsley and ¼ cup water and a drizzle of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.  Remove from heat and add 1/2 the lemon juice.  Take off heat and set aside while you sauté the shrimp.

Sauté, not boil, shrimp over med high heat until opaque should’t take more than 2 minutes in appropriately sized hot pan… take off heat and add the rest of the lemon juice, plate couscous and top with shrimp, garnish with parsley.

Ras El Hanout recipe blend is found online and this is just one of them:
Makes about 3 tablespoons
Moroccan Spice Blend
This recipe can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until combined well. Spice blend keeps in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 month.

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