Sunday, May 17, 2009

Menu 1: Fabulous Moroccan Dinner

I'm going to start posting a breakfast, lunch, or dinner menu to my blog about once a week. I would love for you to try the whole menus or any of the dishes that you find appealing. More than anything else, I want your feedback on how the recipe worked for you, how you changed it to suit your tastes, and how you make the dish your own. I look forward to your comments and thoughts. This first one is from one of my favorite cuisines in the whole world: Morocco. I visited there in 2004.


Moroccan Chicken

Spice mixture:
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground turmeric

8-9 thighs, skin and extra fat removed (kitchen scissors are great)
2 lemons
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
10 dried dates, pitted and halved or quartered lengthwise

1. Combine all the ingredients for the spice mixture in a large bowl. Add the thighs and coat them well with the mixture. Let the chicken stand, loosely covered, for 1 hour. Can refrigerate for longer, even over night.
2. Place a sauté pan over medium heat and add the chicken, skin side down (I know there is no actual skin). Cover and cook for 20 minutes over low heat; the chicken will cook in its own juices. If the pan gets too dry, add a tablespoon or 2 of water or chicken stock.
3. Zest the 2 lemons, avoiding the bitter white pith as much as possible.
4. Turn the thighs over and sprinkle them with the lemon zest, olives, and dates. Cover and cook another 10 minutes, adding a small amount of water if the mixture is at risk of burning. Serve immediately.

4-6 servings
Adapted from Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins’ The New Basics Cookbook

Couscous Salad with Apricots, Pine Nuts, and Ginger

1 cup instant couscous
½ cup water and 1 cup orange juice
1½ cups orange juice
3 tablespoons light olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar, plus a splash for the red onions
8 dried apricots, thinly sliced, about 1/3 cup
2 tablespoons dried currants
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 teaspoon grated ginger
Salt to taste
¼ medium-size red onion, finely diced, about ½ cup
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (watch carefully)

1. Combine the water, orange juice, olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of vinegar in a medium-size saucepan. Bring the liquid just to a boil. Stir in the dried fruit, ginger and ½ teaspoon salt.
2. Pour the couscous grains into a small mixing bowl. Pour the hot liquid over the couscous. Stir together and cover the bowl and let sit for 20 minutes.
3. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and drop in the red onion for 15 seconds. Drain well. Toss the onion with a splash of vinegar to make it pink.
4. When the couscous is ready, gently fluff it with a fork and toss with the pine nuts and onion. Add salt to season and an additional splash of vinegar to brighten the flavor.

4 servings
Adapted from Annie Somerville’s Field of Greens

Cucumbers with Yogurt and Mint

1 medium cucumber
1 cup plain yogurt*
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
Salt to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove, pressed, optional

1. Peel the cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Dice into ¼-inch cubes.
2. Toss the ingredients together, adding the pressed garlic if you desire, and serve. You can also make the dish an hour or two in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve.

* If your yogurt is too soupy, strain 2 cups of the soupy stuff through a double thickness of paper towels lining a sieve, set over a good-sized bowl or pitcher. Allow the yogurt liquid to drain until the yogurt is the thickness you desire. Empty the liquid if it threatens to reach the sieve.

Makes about 3 cups
Adapted from Annie Somerville’s Fields of Greens


Katherine said...

This is the menu that Katharine has made perhaps more than any other over the years. It's not difficult to make, and the flavors work together incredibly well. You will not regret making it! People always ooh and aah.

Katharine's partner Katherine, who counts her blessings every day that she gets to eat whatever Katharine wants to cook!

Kit said...

My problem is simple: I'm going to want to try everyone of these recipes. This menu, which I can say from experience, is particularly fabulous. But then again, that's true of every menu I've had the K&K B&B. I'm so glad you're doing this!

Cynthia Winton-Henry said...

I love this. Love seeing the pic of you and hearing your voice in this way! Might even try one of these! Now if only there was a shopping list.

Cynthia Winton-Henry said...

Will you post an email each week. I'll share. How do people get added to your list?

jean said...

HI! My friend Amine made the Morrocan chicken last weekend for a group of us, and she added cannellini beans as well, to make it more of a chili, was wonderful! I am loving your blog---can't wait for the cookbook!!

Anonymous said...

I made the Moroccan dinner the other night and loved it! Everyone loved the variety of flavors. I added a green salad to the dinner for a hot summer evening. I used 3 cucumbers and the same amount of yogurt.
I used a bit more spice with the couscous.
This dinner has several ingredients, but not hard to make at all. VERY delicious and nice for a dinner party.
Thanks, Katharine!
Barbra Wiener

Deborah said...

I made the whole dinner and it was absolutely delicious. Given that it was my first time cooking this menu, I didn't really know how to organize myself or the dishes so I repeated steps several times unnecessarily - creating a lemon zest.

BUT definitely worth the effort - I was exhausted. Next time will be much better and there will be a next time for sure.

Deborah said...

Oops, my previous comment referred to the delicious Bobotie which had many steps but well worth it.

THIS dish was much easier even for me and was fabulous. An old acquaintance of Katharine's from North Caroina (and the mother of my future daughter-in-law) was here for dinner -small world. EVERYONE loved every dish.
Go Katharine!!