- Table - after scouring the house for exotic table setting items, we ended up going with an animal print undercloth topped with smaller red cloths. Then, we used animal print napkins (found for just a few dollars at Home Goods) in red napkin rings (Dollar Store). From my Real Simple cookbooks, I've learned the lovely simplicity of using multiple clear hurricanes filled with candles and small items - for our table, I used a mix of earth-toned stones (Dollar Store again) under cream candles.
- Apertif - I couldn't find Anisette (I think I'm going to need to begin making the trip to Nejaimes when I have parties; my usual liquor store seldom knows or has the off-beat things I'm looking for.) Anticipating this from past experience, I looked up substitutions online before going to the store and learned that Sambuca would work, so I used that instead. A bit of the liqueur is poured into the bottom of the glass, a few ice cubes are added, then it's topped with cold water. It's an interesting and light drink to begin the evening and to set the ethnic tone.
- La Kemia - the appetizer table was so pretty and fun to create. In Moroccan homes, this is served on a round table in the center of the room and everyone gathers around the many small dishes. No utensils are used - it's all finger food. Our coffee table just happens to be round, so it worked out perfectly! Everyone's favorite were the Lamb Kabobs, ala Alaskan Dave. Dave - thank you so much for spice rub recipe - it couldn't have been more perfect! Anyone interested in the spice rub mix, just check out the Comments section on the original Moroccan Night post.
- Dinner - the cucumber and mint salad was light and refreshing - we used lots of mint from our garden. Warmed flatbread made a nice accompaniment. Then, we had Chicken with Olives...large chunks of potatoes are also cooked with the chicken, along with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and spices, so it's an entire meal in one pot. We also had a tasty spinach souffle. And, one of our guests, who was smart and DID go to Nejaimes, was able to find a lovely Spanish Montecillo Crianza red wine for us to share - very smooth and delicious.
- Dessert - I was sadly unable to find Turkish Delight during my shopping, so substitued baklava, and served dates along with it. And, no Moroccan meal would be complete without sweetened Mint Green Tea, which is served in glasses rather than cups. (I happened to mention my search for Turkish Delight at dinner, and one of our guests brought us a box of it the next day as a thank you gift - yum!)
For anyone interested in more photos, here's a slideshow:
We all really enjoyed the exotic fare. We had our tea and dessert as we learned to play Royalty - my uncle won both rounds. Can't wait for the next theme dinner - I'm waiting to be inspired by another culture. Any great ideas?