I presented the following recipes at the lovely demonstration kitchen at the Madison Square MLCC for the Assiniboine Park Conservatory. Beverage pairings were by MLCC Product Ambassador, Stephen Moran.
Pickled vegetables and olives were paired with Strawberry and Sambuca Crème
Ramazzotti Sambuca (323972) $19.72, Pink Lemoncello Rossi D’Asiago Lemoncello (9221)$24.73
Dessert of fresh dates and Baklava was paired with Samos Muscat – (44578)$13.92
Ouzo #12 & Coffee – (123133)$21.95
Opening Beverage: SnowBall Cocktail w Metaxa 7 Star Brandy (116038) $26.68
Vegetable Tagine with Bulgur Pilaf
Paired with Shandy Gaff, Morocco Ale & spiced lemonade(512576)$3.63, and Mas Neuf Blanc (8829)$15.95
2 red peppers
1 head garlic cloves
1-2 Japanese eggplants (or 1 large globe eggplant)
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup olives
1/2 pickled lemon RIND ONLY*
2-3 tbs olive oil
2-3 tbs Ras el Hanout*
splash rose water*
1 tbs turmeric
salt and pepper and some water
2 cups bulgur*
2 tbs. olive oil
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup Afghani Tut* (aka yellow berry)
good pinch Saffron in a few tablespoons milk*
3 cups Water
salt and pepper
Thinly slice eggplant and salt if necessary. Seed and chop peppers into medium sized pieces. Peel and slice carrots. Slice onions into thin slices. Peel garlic and cut into large chunks if cloves are very large or keep whole if smaller sized. Peel and cube yams. Pit dates and olives if necessary. Remove lemon flesh from the peel and chop peel finely. Discard lemon flesh. Combine vegetables, dates, olives, lemon, olive oil , Ras el Hanout, rose water, turmeric, salt and pepper and about 1/4 cup of water in a large bowl. If you have salted the eggplant, rinse in cold water and squeeze out slices. Place vegetable mixture in a casserole dish or tajine. Cover and cook on stove top over medium heat, checking and stirring occasionally.
OPTIONS: cauliflower, zucchini, cooked chick peas
For the bulgur, slice onions thinly and sauté in olive oil until just browned. Add bulgur and mix in well with onions. Add water, almonds, tut, and salt and pepper. When it comes to a boil, add the milk/saffron mixture. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Fluff bulgur and plate as timbales with vegetable tagine.
Lamb with Ras el Hanout and Prunes
Paired with Tenute Robino Negroamaro (8633) $15.26 and Mont Tauch Cotes du Rousillon (395)$15.50
1 leg of lamb, boned out (shortens cooking time)(Fresh Manitoba Lamb at DeLuca' at 950 Portage Ave.)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
a good pinch of saffron*
Salt, to taste
2 tbs ras el hanout*
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large onion, grated
1 bunch green coriander, tied together (optional)
1 lb pitted prunes
2 cups finely sliced onion
1/2 cup honey
4 tart apples
1-2 tbs toasted sesame seeds
Trim meat of excess fat. Cut meat into chunks or leave whole. Melt butter and mix with the oil, saffron, salt, ras el hanout, cinnamon, grated onion and coriander. Dip each chunk of meat into the mixture or coat meat entirely and place in a medium heated casserole dish. Turn meat being careful not to burn the meat but allowing the aromas of the spices to be released. Add water to almost cover the meat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour. If the bone is in, roast in the oven at 350º until coming off of the bone.
After the meat has cooked for 1 hour, add the sliced onion to the casserole and cook 30 minutes longer.
Add prunes and stir in 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 of the honey. Simmer, uncovered until the prunes swell and the sauce has reduced.
Quarter and core the apples. Sauté in a skillet, flesh side down with a tbs of butter until soft and glazed.
To serve, arrange the lamb on the serving dish, pour the onion-prune sauce over, decorate with the apples and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Serve at once.
* Products available at Halal Meats and Specialty Foods at 206 Maryland, Dino’s Grocery Mart at 460 Notre Dame and DeLuca’s Specialty Foods at 950 Portage Ave.