Peel and roughly chop the yellow onion and carrots. Mince the garlic cloves
In a large pot, combine: the garlic, chopped carrots, onions, tomatoes, chickpeas, raisins, chicken stock, 1 cup of water, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, pepper and, 2/3 of the salt. With a spatula, roughly mash the tomatoes.
Bring the preparation to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add zucchini (chop in large chunks). Cover and simmer for another 15 min. Meanwhile...
In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup of water and the olive oil to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare: the zucchini (chop in large chunks) and the merguez sausage (pierce with a fork in 1-inch increments).
When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat. Add the remaining salt and couscous (stir and cover). Let sit for 10 min, until the couscous absorbs all the water. Then, use a fork to fluff the couscous and cover.
Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat for 30 sec. Add the merguez sausage. Cover and cook on each side for 4 min. Turn off the heat and be careful when discarding the hot oil.
Spoon the couscous into the meat plates. Add the vegetable preparation and its broth in the center of the couscous. Top with the sausages. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on top.
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Did you discover a lot in your journey to become a chef?
Yes it was quite a journey, and I am happy to realize that when I cook it always brings me back home. I am from Israel but of Moroccan descent, and I arrived in New York 7 years ago. I always worked in restaurants, because I realised that you learn in the kitchen. Like in the military, you discover something new everyday in the kitchen. So I decided to become a chef.
Why do you love cooking?
I have vivid memories of smells. Every time I am in a kitchen, it brings back memories from my childhood and from my cooking experiences. As Feran Adrian says, “[cooking] is an art that involves all the senses.” I also find it amazing how cooking something you like can make you happy.
Is it what you are doing at Pera?
For the restaurant I am trying to combine what I loved in my childhood with what I learned about food and products as a chef. I try to mix craftsmanship with simple pleasure!I have learned a lot of different techniques in my past jobs, and now at Grata, I can mix all of it. Being a cook in NYC is like an Italian telenovela (soap opera); it has ups and downs. You always hope for a happy ending -- which is, for most chefs, usually a full page in the New York Times.
Do you have special tips for our customers?
My tip is to think about people while you cook. I love when I cook, because I always have people I love in mind, so I am always smiling! Technique is just one aspect of cooking. Try to please people you care about and you will always cook great food.
This moroccan couscous will tickle your taste buds with its delicate combination of sweet and savory...
This moroccan couscous will tickle your taste buds with its delicate combination of sweet and savory notes. The spicy lamb merguez sausage is the perfect complement to this traditional communal dish that you’ll love sharing with loved ones.