Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rock'n Moroccan Passover Casserole!

Before baking.
(Once baked it looks exactly the same except for browner.)

I know once upon a time I told you I'd stay away from making untested main dishes for holidays, but turns out I can't help myself. Finding Passover-friendly meals from what I had in my cupboard/fridge was a fun challenge. And I'm glad I went ahead with it, otherwise I wouldn't have served this dish. Plus, it amuses me that my previous main-dish-for-holiday-fiasco and this sucessful dish are both Moroccan-style.

The cookbook says this casserole is "popular Moroccan Passover fare," and I can see why. Delicious! Go, Morocco!

Moroccan Mashed Potato Casserole (Batata bil Firan)
  • 2 lbs unpeeled baking (russet) potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 tsp table salt or 4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbls vegetable oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, mashed (optional)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1 carrot, diced and cooked until tender
  • 1 cup green peas or 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  1. Put the potatoes in a large pot and add cold water to cover by 1 inch and 1 teaspoon of the table salt or 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until fork-tender, about 25 mins. Drain. Peel the potatoes while still warm, run them through a food mill or ricer or mash with a potato masher.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until lightly golden, about 15 mins. If using, add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  4. Beat the eggs into the potatoes, one at a time. Stir in the remaining salt, the pepper, and tumeric. Add the onions, cooked carrot, peas, and parsley.
  5. Generously oil a shallow 8-cup baking dish, such as an 8-inch square or 7-by-11-inch dish, then heat in the oven until hot, about 3 mins. Carefully spoon the potato mixture into hte baking dish. Bake until golden and set, about 50 mins. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Dairy Potato Casserole: Reduce the eggs t o2 adn add 1 cup cream cheese or 1 cup sour cream, or 3/4 cup cream chees and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Bake the casserole for about 40 mins, sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or shredded Cheddar cheese, and continue baking for about 10 mins.
I made the straight recipe, omitting the peas because I didn't have any on-hand. I'm glad I caught that the carrot was to be added already-cooked (zapped it in the microwave). And it was great.

I'd make this again in a flash. More satisfying than plain mashed potatoes so a big serving can be served as a main dish or a smaller scoop could be a side.

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