Thursday, November 13, 2008

SPICE Dinner


For my gourmet club this year, my partner and I came up with the theme SPICE showcasing Moroccan food.  It was quite an ambitious undertaking since I didn't know much about Morocco nor have any of the items to complement the dinner like serving pieces, ingredients and decorations.  I wanted to be challenged so I plugged along with researching and practicing recipes and ideas with Mayumi.  We even went to the local Moroccan restaurant Zitoune in Mamaroneck and talked at length with Alain, the owner. Then we came up with a menu that was beautiful and delicious! My rad friend Diane had visited Morocco last year so I picked her brain all about the Souk with it's sights and sounds. My friend, Nicole who is a TV gourmet maven in Westport, CT told me about Moroccan preserved lemons that take 4 weeks to cure.  I knew it was a must to make these for our take home gifts.  I washed, sliced open and stuffed with kosher salt over 130 lemons and then watched them brine in 3 large jars on my counter for an entire month. They are a great flavor for chicken or stews.  And so pretty!



 The night was a cold and rainy night, but we still put out paper lanterns that lined the walk and invited our guests in with Moroccan music playing.  We set up my sideboard in my dining room with all sorts of fruits, spices and herbs like you would find in a Souk in Morocco.  The aromas of the spices were so intense and inviting.  My favorite part of the dinner was the Persian Love Cake with flavors of cardamom, lemon zest, rose water and saffron!  It was such an unusual array of flavors that worked so well together.  I also loved the couscous with the carmelized onions, raisins and pinenuts and the bisteeya was unusual and delicious too.  

Go here for the recipes and more photos!  If anyone wants to have a Moroccan night, I'm an expert now.

It was so great to get together with my girlfriends who share a passion for good food and cooking!  Can't wait for next month and the next and so on and so on!



And a shout out to Evan who was an absolute superstar throughout it all!  He was so great with helping with ideas, practicing, getting ready and of course keeping the kids at bay!  I love you, Evan!

12 comments:

tenacious d said...

Oh! It looks lovely! You did a wonderful job!

tenacious d said...

Appreciate the shout out! You really took the theme and ran with it. Your house looked amazing and must have smelled just as fantastic.

Kyndra said...

The name of the evening was Spice, but in hindsight I think you should call it Moroccan Magic. I loved every minute of it!

Daniel said...

Wow! This looks amazing Liz! I'm sure it tasted as good as it looked....

lisapow said...

Great job!!

Michelle said...

I wish I could have tasted it all! I looked at the recipes and am making that couscous at first opportunity. You took so much care with your beautiful presentation; it looks like such a fun time!

binders said...

Ah Man! It's too bad we live so far away. The whole gourmet club sounds awesome- Greg and I love to EAT!

I'm not at all surprised you've created such a group though, I remember you making some awesome pasta salad for us 'back in the day' when we were all newlyweds.

It's fun to see the kids and how BIG they've gotten. You tend to think only your own kids get older! LOL!

binders said...
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Jenny said...

Hey Anne! How cool! Love your blog! I am very impressed. My kids are lucky if I break open the mac n cheese box....I am not much of a cook.:(

Allison said...

Loooks soooooo cool. Wish I could have shared it with you.

Anonymous said...

Liz you are amazing! It was so fun to read about your adventures in cooking. Come on over to Germany and cook us a Morroccan Thanksgiving this year!! Miss you, Juleen

Lynita said...

Wow, you did such an amazing job, the table alone was so beautiful. I am sure it was an exciting and enjoyable evening for your club!