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Moroccan Chicken Pastilla

Growing up, I remember having a great desire to visit Morocco. I loved staring at pictures of beautiful rustic walls and open courtyards, and as soon as I had the chance to taste a Moroccan dish, I fell in love. I haven’t made it there yet, but the desire still lies within my heart. Is there a place you long to visit in the same way?

As I was searching for different dishes to make for our Amazing Africa journey, I was really intrigued by this Moroccan Chicken Pastilla from The Delicious Crescent. I haven’t made a lot of dishes with Phyllo Dough, but this one didn’t look too difficult, and as I read the list of spices that were included in the pastilla, my mouth started to water. It is an added bonus that I could make some Ras El Hanout spice mixture for this recipe and then use it for another recipe that I found in our lineup. Make sure to click on the links for both of these recipes if you want to try to make your own Pastilla!

Here is some of the process, keep your sound on for the crunch of the first slice:

One thing to remember about making something with Phyllo Dough…. take it out of the freezer the night before to let it thaw and set it out on the counter at least 4 hours before you want to make your Pastilla. I didn’t do that, so instead of making it all at once, I started it one night only to realize that I couldn’t finish it with frozen Phyllo Dough. This one was really fun because it’s topped with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar to make it savory and sweet, with the spices building underneath. Because of that, one of my pickiest daughters really liked this dish.

Find more recipes from countries all over Africa on our Amazing Africa Cast Iron Journey page. We are busy building the collection! Check out where our passion for Cast Iron started… it’s all because of the Kitchen Tallow.

Until next time, keep on cooking in cast iron! <3 Kate

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Algerian Doubara and Mesfouf

Next on our journey through Amazing Africa, we are stopping in Algeria. Algeria is the largest country in Africa with a culture influenced largely by bordering the Mediterranean Sea and being close to Europe and the Middle East. I would love to walk through an Algerian spice souk. It is a delight to all of the senses to walk through the mounds of spices and see their beautiful colors. You will see how a grocery store spice section really pales in comparison if you ever visit one!

I decided to make two dishes for our family to try. I knew that the Doubara might be a little spicy for our four kids and wanted to give them a chance to try something just in case it was. I found a yummy sweet couscous to try after dinner.

Algerian Doubara

While looking for a dish to try, I found this Doubara from Keesha’s Kitchen. It is a vegan soup, full of beautiful spices. She goes into some good details about its origin that are fun to read with your family. I omitted the extra chili peppers because I didn’t have any and it probably created a better spice level for us. You can consider doing the same if you are scared of building too much spice in your dish or you can try it the way that it is.

The recipe calls for dried chickpeas and fava beans. You can usually find these ready-to-go in the can, but dried is a more budget friendly option. Make sure to follow the directions on the back of your dried items the night before because they usually require an overnight soak. If you find yourself in a pinch, there is often a “Quick Soak” method, but beware that it still takes a few hours. Things like fava beans and harissa can be found in the World Cuisine section of your grocery store around the Middle Eastern section. If you are traveling through Amazing Africa with us, there are few more countries that will use the Harissa paste and saffron.

On the fourth step in the recipe it says “Add the tomatoes and chickpeas” and I believe it is meant to say fava beans in place of tomatoes.

It’s quite easy to make this Doubara as you can see:

Couscous is a great addition to your meal and kids love it! We also ate ours with some pita bread found at our local grocery store and some chicken nuggets on the side for our very small eaters.


After we ate our Doubara we made some Mesfouf, an Algerian sweet couscous. I found the recipe over at Miam Miam & Yum. As I read through her post I learned that there is a method of preparing couscous with a couscoussiere. If you do not have one of those, you can prepare the couscous according to your package instructions like I did and this will actually take you up to the 6th step in the recipe. Those unfamiliar with steaming raisins can boil some water and then pour it over your raisins in a bowl, letting them sit for a few minutes until they are nice a juicy, as she mentions in the recipe’s introduction.


I would love to see the detail that is put into this dish. As I was dressing our Mesfouf to serve, I wondered how Algerians make it. If it is something like oatmeal that members in the family dress differently depending on their tastes. We all have things that vary according to taste in our family!

Lastly, before eating our meal we prayed for the country of Algeria and it was a sweet time for us as a family and something that I recommend to those traveling through Amazing Africa with us.

Until the next meal, keep cooking in Cast Iron and don’t be afraid to try some new spice! <3 Kate

For something to season and maintain your cast iron, check out our Kitchen Tallow.

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Libyan Shakshouka and Ftat Misrati

Over the course of the last few years, Shakshouka has been a feature on many menus in the home and in restaurants that serve breakfast. Chances are that you have tried one like I have and they are pretty good. Have you ever tried to make it for yourself?

This week for our Amazing Africa study, we made a Libyan inspired version of the popular dish, but what really elevated the cultural experience for our family was making some Libyan bread, Ftat Misrati to go along with it.

Here are the recipes that I found to cook in our Cast Iron pans:

Libyan Shakshouka from Keesha’s Kitchen, a really fun website loaded with yummy food to try

Ftat Misrati from Libyan Food, a blog dedicated to cultural delicacies from Libya

I stuffed our Shakshouka with even more eggs to feed our family of 6.

Like cooking food and exploring new recipes and flavors? Be a part of our Cast Iron Journey, through Africa and abroad. The Cast Iron Journey

Try our Kitchen Tallow for taking care of Cast Iron. Until next time, keep cooking in Cast Iron! <3 Kate

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Egyptian Koshari and Oom Ali

We have been studying our way through Africa with Heritage Mom’s Amazing Africa heritage pack and the other day I had an idea… why not spend some time traveling through Africa and trying some of the national food in Cast Iron while we study these amazing and diverse countries. So, we started with the first country in Amazing Africa: Egypt.

Before diving into a cast iron recipe, I wanted to make a meal famous in Egypt, one which my very good friend Remonda had told me about before, Koshari. Koshari is an Egyptian rice, lentil, and pasta dish that has chickpeas, a “salsa”, and fried onions on top. I made a recipe from Maral in the Kitchen and it turned out wonderfully. The kids adored the elbow macaroni and even became well versed in lentils through this dish. For Egyptians this dish makes a lot of sense, it’s filling, tasty, and uses ingredients that are not too expensive and readily found, without any need for meat, which is very expensive in Egypt.

For dessert, we used our Cast Iron to make Oom Ali (Uum Ali), often labeled as the Middle Eastern version of Bread Pudding, but I really feel that it is unique. Living in the Middle East for a number of years, if I went to an Iftar during Ramadan I would always find my way to the Uum Ali.

I found a recipe that spoke about the traditional Egyptian bread ingredient, rooa, but gave a great ingredient option for almost anywhere that you may live: croissants.

You can find this recipe over at I Knead to Eat and if you buy croissants that you need to make in the oven, just make sure that they are the large size because if they are too small your Oom Ali will be very soupy. We enjoyed the sliced pistachios and raisins adorning our Oom Ali very much.

Next time, we’ll make our way over to Libya cooking a very familiar Middle Eastern dish in the Libyan style. And, of course, we’ll use Cast Iron!

Until then, keep on cooking in Cast Iron! <3 Kate

Need something to season your Cast Iron and enjoy it a little more when it’s time to clean up? Head over to our shop and find our Kitchen Tallow!