Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Berber Brunch

My perfect weekend: great food, drinks, and some good company. Never gets old.

A Berber Brunch spread for 10 (The couscous hasn't been brought out yet, hence the empty blue bowl at the top right of the picture).

Orange Salad with Mint, Carrots and Cucumbers

1-2 boxes of Rocket
3 oranges, peeled and sliced thinly into coins
Bunch of Mint
2 Japanese cucumbers (the small, thin ones)
2 Carrots, grated into thin strips

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper

To assemble:

Create layers of rocket with mint, oranges, cucumbers and carrots.

Whisk orange juice, ginger and garlic in small bowl. Slowly add olive oil while whisking. Add honey and whisk until combined, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Either drizzle over salad or put it in a serving bowl and pass around dining table.

Dates stuffed with Goat's Cheese Wrapped in Bacon. They went pretty fast.

1 pack of whole pitted
1 pack of bacon
1/4 cup goat cheese (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to

2. If you choose to use the goat cheese cut a lengthwise slit in the date and stuff the date with a 1/4-1/2 tsp of goat cheese. Pinch the date closed.

3. Cut all the strips of bacon in half. Wrap each stuffed date with piece of bacon and secure it closed with a toothpick.

4. Place all the stuffed and wrapped
dates on a cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until the bacon is cooked through and crisp. Turn the dates every 10 minutes to promote even browning. Let the dates sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving because the center of the dates will be extremely hot

Three Variations of Hummus: Creamy Parsnip Hummus, Avocado Hummus, Chickpea Hummus. Greek Yogurt with Herbs (Mint and Parsley) (top of picture). The Parsnip and Avocado recipes come from Oleana's cookbook in Boston. Recipes will be posted in upcoming entry.
Roast Chicken with Za'atar, Sumac and Lemon (Thank you to Charbel for the Lebanese herbs)

My piece de resistance: A 5.2lb Roast Leg of Lamb, marinated over two nights in a Mint, Parsley, Honey, Soy marinade. It was bigger than my head, and made the ideal weapon of choice in the Coloseum. I could have bludgeoned a spartan to death and stabbed a gladiator with its hoof. Recipe to come in upcoming entry.
Virgie, my hero of the day, helping me out with prep work.

Lemon Squares to feed the addictions of everyone who had been craving them all week. 10 minutes later...

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