Anyway, back to tonight's dinner. An Algerian markode is like a thick meatless, crustless quiche, similar to a Spanish tortilla. This one uses potatoes and artichokes. I love artichokes. Joe does not. I've had this long sort-of back-burnered quest to convince him that artichokes are gifts from heaven. Tonight I've finally managed to convined him that artichokes are harmless. I count that as success. It means I can cook with them and he won't turn his nose up. As long as I don't cook with them too often.
This makes a simple dinner or a nice first course to a larger meal.
Markode Aux Pommes de Terre (Algerian-style Frittata)
From Kitty Morse's The Vegetarian Table: North Africa
She says it serves 4-6 people as a first course.
3 Tbs olive oil
about 1lb potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/4 inch dice
1 small onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. sweet paprika
6 artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped (canned are fine)
1 Tbs preserved lemon peel, minced
15 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, minced
lemon wedges for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and add the potatoes, onions, and garlic. Cover and cook until the potatoes are almost tender (10-12 minutes). I stirred it occasionally so the potatoes didn't glue themselves to the pan.
Add paprika, artichokes, and lemon peel. Cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
In a bowl, beat the eggs and add parsley.
Generously grease a 2 quart souffle dish. Spoon the potato mixture into the dish and pour the eggs over the potatoes. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto a serving dish. (To unmold, loosen the markode and put a plate (a large pie pan works well) over the dish, flip it over. If the markode doesn't drop, it needs additional loosening. Then put the serving plate over it and flip again.) Cut into wedges or small cubes. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.
You can also cook this on the stove top like a Spanish tortilla. In a skillet, cook the vegetables per above. Add the beaten eggs. Cook until the eggs are set on the bottom, taking care to not let them burn. Flip the markode: place a large plate over the skillet and carefully turn it upside down. Gently side the markode back into the skillet. Cook until set. Slide onto a serving platter. Serve with lemon wedges.
Kitchen Chick's notes: Kitty Morse thinks that it doesn't need additional salt because of the salt in the preserved lemons. Maybe my preserved lemons aren't as salty as hers, because mine needed salt. Next time, I'm going to cut a round of parchment paper to put on the bottom. I think it will make it much easier to remove from the souffle dish. I lost a bit of the tasty browned bottom that stuck to the souffle dish. I might also try using half-sharp paprika for a bit of zing.
The finished markode, just before unmolding it onto a serving platter.