Minimalist Eggplant and Mushroom Tagine
I know that when one is stressed and overwhelmed, experts would say that the best thing to do is go for a jog, have some chamomile tea, and confide in a friend. However, at the moment I'm finding that complete denial is also working just fine.
For instance, tonight, instead of acknowledging the mountains of loan deferrals, residence paperwork, and french notecards, I have been pretending that I am giving a very nice dinner party for myself with a sophisticated minimalist Moroccan theme. (Not poor, minimalist. There's a difference.) I'm also pretending that none of the paperwork is urgent, and that I'm not likely to default on my loans/ get deported/ become an utter failure, etc, if I do not complete all these things.
Luckily, the dinner party did not dissapoint. Did you know that you can make a pretty rockin' tagine with about 6 ingredients? (More if you use individual spices rather than a spice mix.) Here's the completely measurement-less recipe, for those of you playing along at home.
Minimalist Moroccan Tagine Serves 1, obviously
In a pan or pot heat a good puddle of olive oil over medium heat. Add in 1 diced shallot and cook for a few minutes, or until translucent. Add in 1/2 of a eggplant which you have previously sliced, salted, wiped off and diced. Cook until eggplant chunks are starting to brown, and add in a few handfuls of sliced mushrooms. Cook another 3-5 minutes, then sprinkle over veggies a palm-ful of tagine spice mix, found at your local Belgian farmers market. (Or merely sprinkle over a mix of equal parts cinnamon, ginger, cumin, smoked paprika, plus a little pepper and turmeric.) Raise heat to medium high and add in two diced plum tomatoes plus a handful of diced dried apricots. Cook until tomatoes start to break down, then lower heat to medium low and cook another 5-10 minutes.
Serve with rice and sliced almonds. (Mint tea would be nice too, but let's not get too fancy.)
All together, this piecemeal dinner actually turned out shockingly good. So good that I may even be up for doing some work tonight. And actually, I think that a few hours of avoidance might be just as effective as those other, more healthy techniques... not that I will ever know. :)
Song of the Day: Wilco- Wishful Thinking
A more elaborate (and also delicious) tagine:
Eggplant and Chickpea Tagine