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Moroccan Cooking with the Culinary Queens

January 26th, 2010 by Pamela Murski

Moroccan food is  redolent with aromatic spices and seasonings such as garlic, tumeric, saffron, anise, chilis, cardamom, cumin, lemons and more.  The food is delicious, fun to make and better when  shared around the table with friends.  The is another example of what guests might encounter during one  of our cooking  classes.  The Tagine, though a staple cooking vessel in  Moroccan homes, is not an absolute necessity to have.  You can subsitute a good quality covered clay pot or heavy cast iron covered pot.  We made the following items for our luncheon menu  (The Shish Kabob recipe is included as it is fabulous!)….. 

Eggplant and Red Pepper Tapenade
Shish Kabobs Marrakesh Style
Tomatoe Salsa
 
Bread
Pita Bread
Moroccan Hearth Bread
(for appetizers & salads)
 
Salads
Chopped Spinach with Preserved Lemons & Olives
Caramelized Carrots with Sweet Paprika
Minty Cucumber and Tomato
Hearts of Romaine, Orange and Date
 
Entrée  
 Tagine of Fish with Preserved Lemons & Olives 
 
Dessert
Pudding with Orange Flower Water & Lemon
Coconut Fudge
Give the Shish  Kabob recipe a try.  Once  off the skewer, serve it mounded into the pita bread stuffed with fresh cilantro, parsley & mint leaves and top it off with a good fresh  tomatoe salsa!  Eat out of hand and enjoy!!!
Shish Kabobs Marrakesh Style
(Serves 6)
1 3-lb leg of lamb
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup onion, grated
1 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp pepper
Fresh mint leaves or lettuce leaves for garnish
Fresh Tomato Salsa for serving
Warm pita bread for serving
Ground cumin for serving
Salt for serving
Harissa for serving (harissa is a hot sauce)
 
Trim the lamb of fat and cut the meat into ¾-inch cubes.  In a large bowl, combine the meat, oilive oil, cilantro, parsley, onion, paprika, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
 
Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat the broiler.  Thread 8-10 pieces of meat on metal skewers.  Grill over a medium fire, turning occasionally, for about 6-8 minutes for medium rare.  To serve, line a large platter with mint or lettuce leaves and top with the skewers.  Serve with tomato salsa, plenty of warm bread, and little saucers filled with cumin, salt, and harissa on the side for dipping.
 
Fresh Tomato Salsa
Makes ¾ cup
 
2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 green onions, tops included, finely chopped
4 fresh mint leaves, minced
¼ tsp sugar
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

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