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!


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