Sunday, June 28, 2009

Moroccan Night Recap

Oooh - exciting to get to travel to foreign lands for the night! Our Moroccan Night event was so much's a quick recap:

  • 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?


Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

Cool! Sounds like it was a lot of fun and I'm glad everyone enjoyed the lamb.

Did you know that Morocco was the very first country to officially recognise the USA?

LoveANewIdea said...

Everyone loved the lamb. I think I'll try the rub again during the get a lot of taste with very little work.

And, as those from Oz would say, "Good on ya, mate," for knowing about Morocco being first to recognize US. I only know about that because of the World of Wonder newspaper story about Morocco that appeared in our local paper just before our party. (I cut the article out and hung it on the living room mirror for the evening!)

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

It's great with chicken too. And lamb roasts. I've also used it on silverside roasts, works great for that too.

I only learned about Morocco being the first country to recognise the USA recently. Someone had posted it in the comment section on Huffington Post article and the author was trying to get trolls to realise that the first country to recognise the USA was (and still is) muslim.

Your next theme night should be somewhere South Pacific. I've got some great, authentic recipes from many of the islands.

Pineapple sherbet... mmmmmmmmm!

Pineapple and coconut pie... Drool!

Banana leaf wrapped pork roast ... seriously good!

Banana jam! A great way to use mushy bananas; quick and easy!

Dang, I'm hungry now.

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

An Aussie theme would be easy: Toss a few snags on the barby and open a bunch of tinnys. Then kick back and watch the footy on the telly.

Alaskan Dave Down Under said...

How's about a South Pacific theme?

LoveANewIdea said...

Oh, Dave, you are so creative! I love the idea of the South Pacific theme, as it's perfect for summer. Hmmm...wonder if I could pull that off in August when our Fresh Air child is here? I think she might enjoy the experience.

If I do that, I'll definitely look to you for recipes, as you came through for me smashingly with Morocco.

I hadn't thought of an Aussie night...maybe good for fall? Again, I'll hope you can coach me through this one. Seriously, you need to come to dinner if you're ever in the lower 48!


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