not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Morocco Round One

Here are recipes from the first round of food that was put out:

  • Fresh Tomato and Caper Salad
  • Orange and Olive Salad
  • Grilled Red Pepper Salad
  • Eggplant Zaalouk
The beauty of Moroccan feasts is that because there are many dishes served, there are certain things that are meant to be made and/or prepped a day ahead of time. All of this was made the day before, with the exception of the tomato salad. These are MY adaptations of Paula Wolferts recipes from her book "Food of Morocco". I've put my spin on them, so enjoy...

Fresh Tomato and Caper Salad

6 medium sized tomatoes (peeled, seeded and diced)
*the way that you peel a tomato...bring water to a boil, place the tomato in the boiling water. Remove in about a minute, once you notice that the skin has a crack in it. voila.
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 large handful of medium to large capers (rinsed and drained)
sea salt
ground white pepper
3 tablespoons EVOO
Juice of 1 lemon and zest of one lemon

This was probably my most favorite thing of the whole evening -- and it was the EASIEST thing to make. This will definitely be a regular on our dinner table.

Orange and Olive Salad

6 navel oranges
24 oil cured black olives

4 tablespoons EVOO
4 tablespoons orange juice (from the oranges youre peeling)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
pinch of cayenne
drizzle of honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
handful of chopped flat leaf parsley

Section the oranges but slicing the top and bottom off the orange. Then cut the peel off. Then slice the sections out. Easy. I made this the night before by sectioning the oranges and then making the dressing separate -- tossing it all together and throwing some parsley on just before serving.

Next up were the peppers. Again, I did things my way more so than Wolferts', but it tasted good and thats all that matters.....

Grilled Red Pepper Salad

3 large red bell peppers (peeled, seeded and quartered)
*an easy way to peel peppers....put them under the broiler and once the skin starts to bubble and char just peel them off.
sea salt
1 medium sized tomato peeled, seeded, and diced
2 garlic cloves crushed ( i just use a zester and zest the garlic, creating a paste)
generous sprinkle of cumin
chopped flat leaf parsley

First I sprinkle the quartered and seeded peppers with salt. I rolled them in paper towels and pressed them, letting them sit for an hour. Once removing the excess moisture I put them under the broiler so that I could remove the skin. Wrapped em up and went to bed. The morning I sauteed them in a skillet with the tomato, olive oil and seasonings for several minutes. Refrigerate. Sprinkle with fresh cut parsley just before serving.

Mindy was in charge of the eggplant zaalouk...and it was delicious! She said that it sucked the day she made it, but luckily for her she followed the recipes instructions that you make this dish atleast 24 hours before consumption....

Eggplant Zaalouk

2 medium eggplants
1/3 cup EVOO
1 pound ripe tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and chopped - or 2 cups drained chopped canned tomatoes)
pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
fresh lemon juice

Halve the eggplant lengthwise, place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet, and broil until blackened and tender (20minutes approximately). Dump into a colander set in the sink. Peel while still hot and allow to drain until cool. Squeeze gently to remove any bitter juices. In a skillet pour 3 tablespoons EVOO, add in tomatoes, sugar, garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne and salt. Cook, stirring, for about 20minutes. Crush the eggplant with a fork and add to the skillet. Stir in the chopped cilantro and continue cooking for another 10minutes. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. LET COOL AND THEN COVER AND REFRIGERATE OVERNIGHT. Toss with a bit more olive oil before serving.

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