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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Moroccan specialties tonight with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and the MLCC

Tonight I will be presenting the following recipes with Bonnie Tulloch, Education Coordinator from the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and Jamie Jette, Product Ambassador from the MLCC for beverage pairings.

1. Beet Salad I and II
Paired with Selbach Dry Riesling (#10617) $14.94

1 lb Beets
1 tb Sugar
1 Lemon; juice of
1 tb Olive oil
1 lg Pinch of cinnamon
1 tb Chopped parsley
Salt; to taste

Wash beets well, being careful not to break their skins. Cut off the
tops, leaving a stalk of about 1 1/2". Boil in a 3 quart saucepan
until tender, covered. Allow the water to cool, then slip off the
skins, trim off the tops, and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the beets. Let marinate
for 1 hour before serving.

Beet Salad II: Prepare as described above, but add 1 tsp. orange
flower water, 1/8 tsp. cumin, a pinch of paprika, and a little water
to the sauce.

2. Eggplant Salad, Rabat Style
Paired with Gouguenheim Merlot (#8942) $11.82 and Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale (#496711) $ 2.68

1 eggplant
1 clove garlic, peeled and slivered
2 tbs chopped parsley
2 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbs olive oil (or less)
1-2 tbs lemon juice
pinch salt

Stud the eggplant with garlic slivers, using a pairing knife to cut slits into the eggplant. Bake at 400ºF until very soft. Remove from oven to cool when darkened and "collapsed".

When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the flesh of the eggplant into a sieve. Discard liquid.

Mash or push the eggplant and garlic through a food mill (avoid a blender as it won't give you the desired effect).

Add the chopped herbs and spices and mix well. Fry in the olive oil over moderate heat, turning often until all of the liquid has evaporated and the eggplant has been reduced to a thick black jam, about 15 - 20 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon juice and salt. Serve warm or slightly cooled.

Try with grape tomatoes and good toasted pita bread.


3. Vegetable Tagine
Paired with Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Sauvignon Blanc (#40501) $11.49 and Tamaya Carmenere (#6717)$17.99

(Use a variety of root vegetables on hand. Tonight I used carrots and parsnips with eggplant and red pepper)

2 red peppers
3-4 carrots
1 head garlic cloves
1-2 Japanese eggplants (or 1 large globe eggplant)
1-2 yams
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

4. Grilled Pomegranate Chicken (serves 4 as an entrée or 8+ as an appetizer)
Paired with Inniskillin Okanagan Chenin Blanc (#987907) $15.99 and Blackthorn Cider (#619551) $ 4.32

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup Pomegranate Molasses (Available locally at Halal Meats and Specialty Foods on Maryland, Dino's Grocery Mart on Notre Dame)
1/2 pickled lemon, PEEL only, chopped
2-3 tbs Ras el Hanout
splash rose water
pinch salt
1/4 cup olive oil

In a bowl, combine last 6 ingredients. Split chicken by cutting through breast bone and flatten open. Rub spice/pomegranate mixture over chicken on all sides. Chill for a few hours.

Heat up BBQ to high heat. Place chicken on hot grill and sear on both sides for a few minutes. Reduce heat or place on cooler side of BBQ and cook chicken slower, basting until meat is ready to fall off of the bone. Let rest and serve with flat breads, rice and grilled vegetables.


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