Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mediterranean Fare, by popular request for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy

The following dishes were presented for the Foodie Series of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy on the theme of Mediterranean.  Karin Lind from the Conservancy, presented on prominent plant products of the region, extensively on olive oil, and Scot Strizic, of the MLCC, presented perfect beverage pairings.  Enjoy!



1. Turkish Imam Bayaldi

There are two stories behind the name, "Imam Bayaldi" which means, "The Imam fainted dead away". One is that the olive oil used to prepare this dish was so expensive that he fainted from the extravagent use. The other story is that the food was so good that he died completely satisfied and joyful with the tastes of such a dish. I'm hoping that you'll have a similar experience to the latter story.

4 Japanese eggplant (peel off 3 slices of outer skin length-wise around the eggplant)
olive oil (for frying and flavour)
Rich tomato sauce (recipe follows)
cilantro (optional)

Rich Tomato Sauce

1 tin crushed tomatoes (organic fire roasted is nicest)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp brown sugar (to reduce acid of tomatoes)

Preheat oven to 350�F. On the stove top, preheat olive oil in saut� pan. Carefully brown egplants on all sides. This takes some time. One option is to prepare the eggplant on a BBQ by drizzling olive oil over the eggplants prior to grilling. Remove eggplants from pan and place in a baking dish. Let eggplants rest. Split open the eggplants and spoon in the rich tomato sauce into each eggplant. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and drizzle with good olive oil. Bake for up to 30 minutes. Imam Baldi can be enjoyed hot, cold or room temperature. Serve with bread.

Enjoy!

2. Spanish Tapa Potato wedges with roasted garlic dip

3 lb potatoes
2 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tsp salt

Roasted Garlic Dip
2 garlic bulbs, roasted
1 tbs olive oil
5 tbs sour cream
4 tbs mayonnaise
hot smoked paprika, to taste
salt

Roast the garlic for 25 minutes at 350�F until caramelized. Let cool enough to handle. Squeeze out and mash. Mix in a bowl with the sour cream and mayonnaise. Season with salt and paprika. Chill.

For the potatoes, cut each potato half into 3 wedges and place in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, garlic and salt and toss well. Transfer to a roasting pan and arrange in a single layer. Roast for 1- 1/14 hours, or until crisp and golden.

Serve immediately with roasted garlic dip.

Enjoy!

3. Moroccan Beef Tajine

1 lb beef roast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbs ras el hanout
1-2 tbs olive oil
1-2 tbs butter
good pinch saffron
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 green peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 - 1 cup prunes
2-3 tbs honey
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup red wine
salt, to taste

Slowly saut� onions on medium-low heat with olive oil until they begin to caramelize. Stir in Ras el Hanout spice blend. Turn up heat to medium-high and add butter and saffron. Brown meat well on all sides and add tomatoes and other vegetables. Add broth, prunes and honey. Add red wine and salt and let simmer for 1-2 hours, depending on using the tajine and toughness of the meat. Meat should melt in your mouth when done.

Serve with flat breads, rice, couscous or bulgur.

Enjoy!

4. French Profiteroles

Ingredients

1 cup milk
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat the milk, butter, and salt over medium heat until scalded. When the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and beat it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the eggs and pulse until the eggs are incorporated into the dough and the mixture is thick.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1 1/2 inches wide and 1-inch high onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should have about 18 puffs. With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use 2 spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.) Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Make a small slit in the side of each puff to allow the steam to escape. Set aside to cool.

For the chocolate sauce, place the cream and chocolate chips in a bowl set over simmering water and stir just until the chocolate melts.  Set aside.

Cut each profiterole in half, fill with whipped cream or lemon curd or ice cream.  Close and drizzle with chocolate sauce. 

Read More

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Lamb & Beet Sauce, aka Pink Pasta

Untitled

A quick weekday dinner - my kids really enjoyed this!

Lamb & Beet Sauce, aka Pink Pasta

500 g minced lamb
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp tomato pur�e
1 tbsp oregano
1 beef stock cube
200 ml water
400 ml crushed tomatoes (one can)
100 ml red wine
2 beets, coarsely grated
salt
black pepper

to serve:
Crumbed feta cheese

Heat the oil in a large pot and brown the lamb. Finely mince the garlic and add to the pot with tomato pur�e, oregano, stock cube, water, tomatoes and wine. Bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the beets and cook for another five minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Serve with pasta and top with crumbed feta cheese.
Read More

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wild Caught Shrimp two ways on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

This morning I had the pleasure of presenting the following shrimp dishes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.  The wild caught Argentinian shrimp is available at Gimli Fish and works perfectly for these two dishes. Turkish Baharat is available at Pollock's Hardware Co-op.   Hot smoked paprika is available at Millad's on Notre Dame in Winnipeg.



(From Left, Spanish Smoked Paprika Shrimp, Porcini Basmati rice, Turkish Baharat Shrimp)




1. Spanish Smoked Paprika Shrimp

1 lb peeled, wild caught shrimp
1 tbs butter
Drizzle olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
Pinch sea salt

Heat butter and oil in saut� pan. Add shrimp and toss well. Add garlic and then paprika. Serve with bread when shrimp is firm and pink.

2. Turkish Grilled Shrimp

1/2 lb shrimp, cleaned, tail off
1-2 tbs Turkish Baharat*
3-4 shallots, grated or one small onion grated
2 tbs lime juice
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 tsp paprika (can used smoked)
pinch salt and pepper

Combine Turkish Baharat, grated shallots, lime juice, olive oil, paprika and salt and pepper in a bowl. Place shrimp in the bowl and cover completely with the marinade. Place in fridge and let marinate for 6 hours. Grill 2-4 minutes a side on a very hot BBQ grill.

To enjoy in a Pide ,grill Naan or Pide** on BBQ and spread on a bit of yoghurt tahini sauce (recipe follows).

Yoghurt tahini sauce

1/2 cup good plain yoghurt
1 clove garlic, minced
3 heaping tbs tahini
2 tsp lemon or lime juice
pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together. The tahini will cause the sauce to thicken quickly. Use on grilled Pide or Naan or as a crudit� dip.
Read More

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Happy birthday blog!

Untitled

So, ten years. Huh. Time sure flies. I'm not going to write a lot about this, except to say that I'm so happy that I have this blog. Sure, I don't write every day, but it's still a lot of fun and I'm so super thankful for all my friends and readers that I've met - irl and digitally - over the years. The blog is an important part of my life and I can't really grasp that it's been this long.

Now, have some cake.

This is an amazing cake. I found the original recipe in Swedish food magazine Allt Om Mat, and it was created by Anicka Larsson who's a talented Swedish pastry chef. It has three components: hazelnut meringue layers, a coffee-infused chocolate mousse, and a cherry compote.  All favorites of mine so I was pretty certain it would turn out great. There was, originally, a fourth element as well - a fairly heavy chocolate frosting. I was pretty sure that would overpower the balance of this cake so I skipped it.

The original was a lot prettier than mine - but frankly, I love the rustic look of this as well and totally dont' care.

Mocha Cherry Hazelnut Cake
serves 10

Hazelnut layers:
200 g hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
180 g confectioner's sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
250 g egg whites (about 7)
70 g caster sugar

Chop the nuts - fairy fine, but they should still be identifiable as nuts, not ground to a powder. Mix with the powdered (confectioner's) sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl.

Beat the egg whites until frothy, and add the sugar. Beat into a glossy meringue. Fold in the nut mixture.

Transfer to a piping bag and pipe four layers, about 20 cm in diameter. (Think spirals - start in the middle and slowly move outwards.) Bake at 200�C for about 12 minutes. Mine sank quite a bit so I either didn't beat my meringue well enough or that was how they were supposed to turn out. (I'm going with the latter.)

Let the layers cool completely.

Mocca mousse:
225 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
125 ml cream
2 tbsp honey
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
350 ml cream

Place the chocolate in a bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the 125 ml of cream, honey, egg yolks and coffee until it's just about to boil. Pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then stir until smooth. Leave at room temperature to cool a little before the next step.

Then, beat the remaining 350 ml cream until fluffy (but not too stiff!). Fold into the chocolate - first a little and then the rest. Place in the fridge if not finishing the cake at once.

Cherry Compote:
350 g frozen sour cherries (or fresh and pitted, I suppose)
190 g sugar
2 star anise

Place in a saucepan. Heat, while stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Cook on medium heat for about five minutes. Leave to cool completely (I did this the night before I made the cake.) Drain off the syrup and reserve for something else (like stirring into carbonated water - yum!) and there you have your cherries.

 To complete:
Start with one cake layer. Add about a quarter of the mousse. Top with another layer. Add a little mousse and then your cherries. Add some mousse around the edges to act like a dam so the cherries aren't visible from the side. Add another cake layer. Add half of the remaining mousse and then the final layer. Add the remaining mousse. Chill until you're ready to serve (or freeze for that matter). Decorate as you see fit, I just added a little bit of powdered sugar.



Read More

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Italian Countryside for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy at the MLCC


Tonight I will be presenting the following dishes for the Foodie Series for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy at the Madison Square MLCC.    I'm really loving this Bruschetta recipe (see tomato coulis).  Roasted tomato/shallot focaccia is rising in the pan.
(Tuscan Squash Salad)

1. Tuscan Squash Salad

1 lb squash (butternut, hubbard, or any small firm variety except spaghetti), peeled, seeded and cut in 5-inch slices
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs honey, warm and divided into two parts
� cup chopped walnuts
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs walnut oil
� tsp kosher or sea salt
� tsp ground black pepper
~ 6 cups mixed baby greens, lightly packed
� cup crumbled feta

Preheat oven to 400�F. Toss the squash and olive oil in a large bowl. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and lightly brush with half of the honey. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn and brush with the remaining honey. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the squash is cooked through. Some varieties take longer to cook.

While the squash is baking, toast the walnuts lightly. Whisk together the lemon juice, walnut oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Toss the greens with the vinaigrette in a large bowl and place on serving plates. Top with 3-5 slices of squash. Sprinkle with the walnuts and feta, season and serve while the squash is still warm.

2. Bruschetta
4 medium tomatoes
4+ oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 clove garlic,
2-3 tbs. olive oil
small bunch basil
dash of crushed red chilies
salt and pepper

Blend all ingredients and chill.  Spread over Italian bread that has been toasted with olive oil and garlic. 

Enjoy!

3. Karen's Beef Lasagna

1 pkg lasagna noodles (or make fresh pasta)
2 lbs ground beef
1 tbs olive oil
8 large oven roasted tomatoes or large can of tomatoes
1 head roasted garlic
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
salt, to taste
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (or 2 tbs dried)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried chilies (optional)
1 tsp fresh or dried rosemary
1/2 - 1 cup red wine
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 500 ml package ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375�F. In a large saucepot, brown ground meat in olive oil over medium high heat. Remove meat from pot and set aside. Add olive oil to pot and slowly brown onions. Then add tomatoes (with water or juice), spices, roasted garlic, brown sugar and red wine. Pur�e sauce and add dried porcini mushrooms and meat back to the sauce. Simmer until well incorporated.

In a 9x13 inch baking dish, place 2 layers of noodles on the bottom of dish; layer 1/2 of the ricotta cheese, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 of the sauce; repeat layers.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes; let stand for 10 minutes before cutting; serve.


4. Drunken Figs

1 package of dried figs
red wine such as Lambrusco works great as it is a sweet wine to begin with, but merlot, shiraz, zinfandel or pinot noir would work great too!


Place dried figs in a glass bowl, cover with wine. Place in fridge. DONE

Enjoy on their own, with ice cream, pound or angel food cake, etc.
Read More

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Caramelized Pineapple, creamy caramel sauce, salted peanuts

Untitled

I had some new friends over for dinner the other day. I wanted to make a simple but fun dessert, and something adaptable - I wasn't sure what they would like. So, I began with vanilla ice cream - always a favorite. Popular with the kids, too. I bought some, but you could certainly make your own. I have recipes for vanilla ice cream here, and here.

I then made a batch of Creamy Caramel Sauce. An eternal favorite, and so simple to make.

I chopped up some salted peanuts.

And then, for the actual cooking part - I took a fresh pineapple and cut into wedges. I fried them in a pat of butter and with a sprinkling of dark muscovado sugar, for about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Absolutely delicious - I highly recommend this.
Read More

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cookbook Watch - bake, bake, bake some more!

I find myself cooking less (at least less exciting blog-worthy stuff) and baking more. Or well, less than I used to, but the balance is at least leaning that way. And I'm drawn to baking books. Lucky for me, that's also what's in the stores this fall. Let me tell you about four new books, all in Swedish (albeit with English titles, most of them).

breadexchange

The Bread Exchange is about bread - obviously - but it's mostly about travelling. And about exchanging bread for other things  - for stories, and also for food. There are loads of recipes, and not just for bread. An interesting read, and lots of photos!

johansson-br�d

Br�d, br�d, br�d by Martin Johansson (I think you can guess how the title translates) is fourth book. He's a dedicated home baker (and blogger), who has gone from a very labour-intensive search for perfection to striving for good results through little effort. This book is his most extensive to date, and I can't wait to get baking. His recipes are very dependable - they really work.


royfares

Delicious by Roy Fares. Roy is one of the most famous pastry chefs in Sweden, and is the host of our version of "Top Chef: Just Desserts". He is also gorgeous... and just like in his previous books, there are plenty of photos of Roy himself. But don't think this is just about a pretty face - because no, he's really talented. His pastries are gorgeous, and delicious too. This book has a special focus on fall and winter goodies.

lomelino

Sweet Food & Photography by Linda Lomelino is another book with cakes and pastries by Linda, who also started out as a blogger. This book also has a lot of photography tips, and I'd say a must have for anyone wanting to learn more about food photography.
Read More

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Turkey Schnitzel and Tomato Coulis for CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

This morning I had the pleasure of presenting the following dishes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.  

Make Thanksgiving easy but full of flavour!  
(from top:  Turkey schnitzel, garlic roasted potatoes with yoghurt tahini, squash and pear with Frangelico, Carrot Thoren, tomato coulis and centre cranberry relish)

Turkey Schnitzel

1 turkey breast (for 3-4 servings) (available at Millad�s)
~1 cup Corn Flakes crumbs or Panko or combination
� tsp grated nutmeg
smoked paprika (optional) (available at Millad�s)
salt and pepper
1-2 eggs
� cup milk
2-3 tbs butter
drizzle olive oil

Cut the turkey breast into even slices across the grain, cover with wax paper or plastic wrap and pound flat without shredding the meat.

Mix egg and milk in one bowl and crumbs and seasonings in another bowl. 

Dip pounded meat into egg/milk wash and then cover in crumbs.  Saut� in medium-high heat pan with butter and olive oil. 

Serve immediately with your favourite toppings, cranberry sauce, chutney or try a tomato coulis.

Enjoy!

Tomato Coulis

4 medium tomatoes
4+ oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1 clove garlic,
2-3 tbs. olive oil
small bunch basil
dash of crushed red chilies
salt and pepper

Blend all ingredients and chill.

Enjoy!

Cranberry Relish

 In a food processor or blender, combine the following ingredients until a fine relish consistency.

1 pkg cranberries
1/2 cup orange juice or 1-2 chopped peel-on oranges
2-4oz Frangelico or Disorrono liquor
scant cup sugar

Chill and serve with Turkey, sandwiches, curries, etc.
Read More

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Teriyaki Chicken with veggies

Untitled

Well, I'll just come out and say it. I barely cook anymore. Certainly nothing new. Or from scratch. Or well, that's what it feels like. This is about the only just barely blogworthy thing I've cooked for ages, and even then.. well.

This uses shortcuts. But I prefer to think of it as a way to spruce up a store-bought teriyaki sauce which in itself can be a little boring. So what I did was take a bunch of veggies, grate lots of ginger on top, place some seared chicken on top of that, and then pour over the sauce. I baked the whole thing for fifteen minutes, made some rice, and voila! Dinner.

Teriyaki Chicken with veggies
enough for two adults & two kids who really don't eat much
(because that's my life...)

2-3 small carrots - sliced
1/2 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 green bellpepper, cut into strips
A thumbsized piece of ginger, grated
2 chicken breasts
teriyaki sauce - homemade or store-bought
a little water if using store-bought sauce

Place all the veggies in an oven-proof dish. Add grated ginger and toss.

Cut the chicken into strips, and lightly sear in butter or oil. Place on top of the veggies. Pour on the teriyaki sauce and water if you feel that the sauce by itself is a little too salty. (Mine was.)

Bake in the oven at 175�C for about 15 minutes. Serve with rice.
Read More

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mediterranean Tour with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy

Last night I had the pleasure of presenting the following dishes for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy Foodie Series with host Karin Lind of the APC and Scott Strizic of the MLCC.   These can be made in advance if you are planning something special for Thanksgiving.


1. Toenail of a dog - K�pegoglu

1 globe eggplant
1 red pepper
1 leek
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbs olive oil
1/3 cup tahini
1 cup yoghurt
1 tbs dried oregano
Salt and pepper

Wash the eggplant and prick all over with a fork. Drizzle oil over eggplant, whole pepper and the white of the leek. Roast in a hot BBQ, turning occasionally. Remove eggplant when soft. Remove red pepper when blackened and leek when soft and caramelized. Cube eggplant with skin on. Peel blackened skin off of pepper and chop. Slice leek into thin rounds. Mix all ingredients together and chill until serving. Serve with French bread or a baguette.

Enjoy!



2. Spanish Tapa Potato wedges with roasted garlic dip

3 lb potatoes
2 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tsp salt

Roasted Garlic Dip
2 garlic bulbs, roasted
1 tbs olive oil
5 tbs sour cream
4 tbs mayonnaise
hot smoked paprika, to taste
salt

Roast the garlic for 25 minutes at 350�F until caramelized. Let cool enough to handle. Squeeze out and mash. Mix in a bowl with the sour cream and mayonnaise. Season with salt and paprika. Chill.

For the potatoes, cut each potato half into 3 wedges and place in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, garlic and salt and toss well. Transfer to a roasting pan and arrange in a single layer. Roast for 1- 1/14 hours, or until crisp and golden.

Serve immediately with roasted garlic dip.

Enjoy!


3. Moroccan Beef Tajine

1 lb beef roast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbs ras el hanout
1-2 tbs olive oil
1-2 tbs butter
good pinch saffron
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 green peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 - 1 cup prunes
2-3 tbs honey
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup red wine
salt, to taste

Slowly saut� onions on medium-low heat with olive oil until they begin to caramelize. Stir in Ras el Hanout spice blend. Turn up heat to medium-high and add butter and saffron. Brown meat well on all sides and add tomatoes and other vegetables. Add broth, prunes and honey. Add red wine and salt and let simmer for 1-2 hours, depending on using the tajine and toughness of the meat. Meat should melt in your mouth when done.

Serve with flat breads, rice, couscous or bulgur.

Enjoy!


4. French Profiteroles

Ingredients

1 cup milk
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat the milk, butter, and salt over medium heat until scalded. When the butter is melted, add the flour all at once and beat it with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the eggs and pulse until the eggs are incorporated into the dough and the mixture is thick.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1 1/2 inches wide and 1-inch high onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should have about 18 puffs. With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use 2 spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.) Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Make a small slit in the side of each puff to allow the steam to escape. Set aside to cool.

For the chocolate sauce, place the cream and chocolate chips in a bowl set over simmering water and stir just until the chocolate melts.  Set aside.

Cut each profiterole in half, fill with whipped cream or lemon curd or ice cream.  Close and drizzle with chocolate sauce. 

Read More

Friday, October 3, 2014

Moroccan Fare for the Foodie Series


On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of presenting the following recipes for the Foodie Series for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy at the Madison Square MLCC.  Bonnie Tulloch presented on the country's rich vegetation and spices and Jody Twomey, of the MLCC, presented beverage pairings and a welcome beverage.
The recipes are from Paula Wolfert's, The Food of Morocco.  It is an invaluable resource.

Reception Beverage; Moroccan Cider

1. Beet Salad I and II
Paired with Pelee Island Pinot Noir VQA, $13.95 and XYZin Old Vine Zinfandel, $15.99

1 lb Beets
1 tb Sugar
1 Lemon; juice of
1 tb Olive oil
1 lg Pinch of cinnamon
1 tb Chopped parsley
Salt; to taste

Wash beets well, being careful not to break their skins. Cut off the
tops, leaving a stalk of about 1 1/2". Boil in a 3 quart saucepan
until tender, covered. Allow the water to cool, then slip off the
skins, trim off the tops, and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the beets. Let marinate
for 1 hour before serving.

Beet Salad II: Prepare as described above, but add 1 tsp. orange
flower water, 1/8 tsp. cumin, a pinch of paprika, and a little water
to the sauce.

2. Eggplant Salad, Rabat Style
Paired with Junta Momento Res Viogner/Sauv Blanc, $14.99

1 eggplant
1 clove garlic, peeled and slivered
2 tbs chopped parsley
2 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbs olive oil (or less)
1-2 tbs lemon juice
pinch salt

Stud the eggplant with garlic slivers, using a pairing knife to cut slits into the eggplant. Bake at 400�F until very soft. Remove from oven to cool when darkened and "collapsed".

When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the flesh of the eggplant into a sieve. Discard liquid and skin of eggplant.

Mash or push the eggplant and garlic through a food mill (avoid a blender as it won't give you the desired effect).

Add the chopped herbs and spices and mix well. Fry in the olive oil over moderate heat, turning often until all of the liquid has evaporated and the eggplant has been reduced to a thick black jam, about 15 - 20 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt. Serve warm or slightly cooled.

Try with grape tomatoes and good toasted pita bread.

Enjoy!

3. Chicken Tajine with prunes and almonds
Paired with Shock Top Spiced Pumpkin Ale, 12 pkB, $22.26

1 chicken � (3 1/2 lbs)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup prunes
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cup whole blanched almonds
vegetable oil for frying

Rub all the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and cumin. Let stand for one hour.

Soak prunes if very dry.

Place onions in a wide shallow casserole with turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 cup water, cover and steam for 15 minutes.

Brown the almonds in 4-5 tbs oil in a large skillet and drain on paper towels. Brown the chicken evenly on all sides in the oil and transfer to the steamed onions. Cover with parchment paper and cook in tajine on the lowest heat for about 1 1/4 hours.

Discard the parchment paper. Add the prunes and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat. Serve with almonds sprinkled on top.

4. Moroccan Haroset (Charoset)
Paired with House of Mandela Cab Sauv, $12.15

1 lb blanched almonds
1 lb pitted dates
2 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
1 tsp ground good cinnamon, plus � cup for rolling
� tsp ground ginger

The day before, finely grind almonds in a food processor. Add the dates, apples and 1 tsp cinnamon and the ginger and continue pulsing until the apples are chopped into tiny pieces and the mixture comes together. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, shape the mixture into balls the size of a large marble. Put the � cup cinnamon in a bowl and roll the balls in it.

Enjoy!
Read More