Mom’s been on multiple Middle East trips. Most of her stop-overs were somewhere in Great Britain or Europe. But a few years ago she and dad stopped for a few days in Morocco. While recounting her visit, Mom’s eyes were as big and glistening as the moon. A world traveler and shopper extraordinaire, she described the ‘souq’ or traditional marketplace in Marrakesh. Located in the busiest square in Africa and perhaps the world, it’s loaded with festive food, jangly jewelry, flamboyant fabrics, and wonderful wares galore. The square is a flurry of acrobats, dancers, story-tellers and musicians. Can you hear the Moroccan music in your mind’s ear?
At dusk the aroma of Sharmoulla wafting from the food stalls invites all to partake at the enormous open-air restaurant. One might purchase a plate of Scallops and Shrimp with Tomatoes. Loaded with garlic to balance the strength of the fresh herbs and spices, Sharmoulla is a staple in Moroccan cooking and the flavor base for many dishes and salads. When the Sharmoulla hits the hot skillet, you can smell the fragrant herbs and spices instantly come to life. It quickly turns from bright true colors to rich rustic hues. Highly seasoned but not spicy, add some crushed red pepper for heat if you like. In minutes, fly away to the Marrakesh market right from your dinner plate with Moroccan Scallops.
1/4 tsp minced Ginger
3 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
2. Place the Sharmoulla in a skillet over medium heat and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and toss for 2 minutes.
3. Add the scallops and shrimp and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the seafood has cooked through. Scallops become opaque and shrimp turns pinkish.
4. Serve over rice and garnish with mint.
• This dish could be made with all shrimp or all scallops.
• If fish is your preference, try halibut or flounder cut in chunks or strips.
• Try chicken thigh meat cut in bite size chunks. Add after the Sharmoulla because it will take a little longer to cook. When it is nearly done, add the tomates and cook 3-4 more minutes.
• If you don’t have fresh tomatoes substitute 2 15-ounze cans of diced tomatoes. Canned tomatoes have more flavor than the tasteless fresh tomatoes purchased in the winter.
Inspiration—Whole Foods, Kalid and Chef Egg
sauces over under and through
Moroccan Scallops and Shrimp with Tomatoes