Middle Eastern Dinner Party

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We had two Italian friends over for dinner and I went all out with a Middle Eastern-themed dinner.  Luckily, they are adventurous and well-traveled Italians so they weren’t offended or repulsed by the non-Italian menu.  Here was the menu:

Appetizers

Hummus – I sprouted the chickpeas and used this recipe for the hummus.  I ran out of time and didn’t have time to make the parsley olive oil, but it was good topped with olive oil and pine nuts.  I served the hummus with some cut up piadina.

Marinated aubergine with tahini and oregano from The Ottolenghi cookbook – this was hands-down the top dish of the night.  I’ll be making this again and again.

Main Course

Moroccan Seven-Vegetable Couscous with chicken – I combined a couple of recipes’ techniques but used The Food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert as a guide.  I also referenced Alicia Silverstone’s recipe.  I was a little disappointed with how this main dish turned out.  I think it would have been more flavorful if I used a meat broth instead of the mediocre vegetable broth that I made and used.  I steamed the couscous three times as the Morocco cookbook suggested.  I’d be interested to make it again and cook the couscous the instant way to see if all the extra effort was worth it.

Red pepper sauce from The Food of Morocco by Paula WolfertMakes – We served the couscous with this sauce made from harissa paste.  It certainly helped liven up the dish.

Dessert

Strawberry sorbet, lemon sorbet, and yogurt gelato from La Sorbetteria

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