We're pleased to present to you the menu (appetizer, entrée, and dessert!) of The Dinner Series' first major event. But don't let this ceremonious language fool you, we're really not too formal around here. A friend put together this delicious meal drawn from Hassan Msouli's cookbook Moroccan Modern. More to come later on delicious and beautiful gathering of friends, gourmets, and fans of design.

Moroccan grilled vergitables

Moorish Kebabs (Serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 8 oz. boneless lamb loin, cut into 2 in. cubes
  • 8 button mushrooms

Directions

  1. Mix oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Add lamb pieces and coat thoroughly. Let stand for 2 hours.
  2. Thread the lamb onto two skewers, alternating with the button mushrooms.
  3. On a preheated grill, cook the kebabs for 10-15 min until they're brown on the outside and a nice pink medium rare/medium on the inside, turning occasionally and basting with the marinade.
  4. Serve with a couscous salad.

Grilled Vegetables with Yogurt Dip (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • Grilled Vegetables:

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 green bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 3 medium zucchinis
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 16 snow peas
  • 2 leeks

Marinade:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Harissa
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Dip:

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped dill

Directions

  1. Wash & dry all vegetables. Cut eggplant, sweet potato, bell peppers, and zucchinis into 1/2 in. thick lengths.
  2. Snap the fat woody ends from the asparagus and remove the tops from the snow peas. Trim leeks and cut into 2 or three pieces, then cut in half lengthwise. Push a toothpick through the leek pieces to hold them together while cooking.
  3. Whisk all the marinade ingredients together. Toss vegetables with the marinade.
  4. Grill vegetables for 5 minutes on each side. Serve hot on platter with yogurt dip.

Dip:

  1. Place yogurt into a cheesecloth lined sieve over a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Do not squeeze. Discard liquid from yogurt.
  2. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Scoop out, discard seeds, and coarsely great the flesh. Place into a medium bowl, mix with yogurt, and stir in the remaining ingredients.

Mhancha (Serves 8-10)

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 1 lb. blanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 tbsp. orange blossom water
  • 10 1/2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 16 sheets filo pastry (or warka pastry)
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly whisked
  • 7 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp honey
  • confectioner's sugar and cinnamon, to sprinkle

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Blend almonds and sugar in a food processor to a paste. Add the orange blossom water and blend briefly.
  3. Place butter in a saucepan with the almond paste and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes, taking care to not let it burn.
  4. Let the mixture cool, then add the egg yolk and cinnamon, and mix thoroughly.
  5. Shape the filling mixture into 8 long sticks about the thickness of your thumb. Brush a pastry sheet with egg yolk and place another sheet on top. Place one of the almond logs in the center of the sheet and roll it around so that it looks like a snake.
  6. Continue until you have 8 long snakes and join them end-to-end, shaping them into a tight spiral. Place the spiral onto a buttered baking tray. Brush evenly with butter and bake until golden brow.
  7. Remove from oven and brush slightly with warmed honey. Cool before serving and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and cinnamon.