A Moroccan feast.

20150307_baklava2

Just over a week ago, I catered for a very special event: my sister’s hen’s night. Around twenty-five ladies indulged in a Moroccan-themed cocktail menu, and I was fortunate to have the able assistance of other wonderful women in the preparation and service.

I am featuring the menu here, as it was pretty delicious (if I do say so myself), and I thought it may inspire your kitchen creations this week.

Hen’s Menu
Moroccan theme — 28 February 2015

Platters on the table:

  • Olive and onion Turkish-style bread with tangerine-infused labna
  • Vegetable sticks and hummus
  • Chocolate sourdough with brie and Saint Agur
  • Dried fruits and nuts

To be served progressively:

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Within this menu, I have included links to some of the recipes I used (from me and others), and I adapted the breads from Yoke Mardewi’s Wild Sourdough recipes. My helpers and I made each dish from scratch, with the exception of the baklava; this came from the lovely lady who supplies Bossman with authentic Greek and Middle Eastern sweets (the pashmak nests and pistachios were added on the night).

Rather than just leave you with the menu, I am also sharing three of the recipes that go towards the dishes above because they are ridiculously tasty basics that can add a special sparkle to many meals.

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Recipe #151: Simple hummus. You will need a Thermomix (TM), food processor or a good blender to make this recipe. For a raw alternative, you can try a zucchini or beetroot hummus.

You will need:
► 5+ cloves of garlic, peeled
► 4 cans of chickpeas
► 4 Tbsp of tahini [you can use hulled or unhulled, as per your preference]
► 1 tsp salt
► 4+ lemons, juiced
► olive oil

Begin by crushing or finely chopping the garlic [TM: add the garlic to the bowl and set it to speed 10 for 5 seconds].

Drain 3 cans of the chickpeas and add them to the garlic; drain the final can and save it to one side.

Add the tahini, salt, lemon juice and enough olive oil to allow the mixture to process to a rough paste; add more olive oil for texture/processing if needed. Taste. Adjust the flavour by adding more salt, lemon juice, oil or tahini, as per your personal taste preferences.

Finally, stir through the last can of drained chickpeas; this is for texture. Taste and adjust the flavour again if needed.
>Even if you have a TM, stir this final can through by hand, as canned chickpeas are usually soft.

Serve topped with olive oil and paprika, or fried mushrooms and parsley, and eat with vegetable sticks or your favourite bread.

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Recipe #152: Garlic butter. You can make your garlic butter by hand, but I prefer to use the TM to save on time.

You will need:
► 1 head of garlic, peeled
► 250g butter, cut into 1cm dice
► 1 handful of your favourite soft herb, finely chopped [I am partial to flatleaf parsley]
► 1 tsp of finely-ground salt [you may need less if you have used salted butter]

Begin by crushing or finely chopping the garlic [TM: add the garlic to the bowl and set it to speed 10 for 5 seconds].

Add the butter to the garlic and mix through with a fork [or TM: add the butter to the TM bowl with the garlic and set it to 50°C, speed 2-3, for up to 2 minutes, checking the mixture and scraping down the blade and bowl with a spatula every so often. Stop mixing when the butter is soft].
>If you are not using a TM, you will need to bring the butter to room temperature or heat it in a saucepan over low heat until it begins to melt before adding it to the butter.

Stir in the chopped herbs [TM: reverse speed 3 for a few seconds], until evenly combined–and you’re done!

Apply liberally to thick slices of bread and fry for an awesome garlic bread, or melt 4 heaped tablespoons in a pan with a splash of dry white wine or champagne and 400g raw prawns* to fry up a fabulous garlic prawn dish for two.

*If you’re going to make this prawn dish, please source your prawns locally. According to a recent episode of What’s the Catch? (featuring Matthew Evans, aka ‘The Gourmet Farmer’, and aired in Australia in October 2014), Australian prawns are larger, tastier, and result in less bycatch (ie. accidental capture of other sea creatures) than those from common overseas sources.

*

Recipe #153: Spiced sugar syrup. You will need at least a small saucepan and a wooden spoon to make this recipe–the larger the saucepan, the less time you will take to make the syrup.

You will need:
► 2 cups of brown or muscovado sugar
► 2 cups of water
► 1 cinnamon stick
► 4 cardamom pods
► 1 whole star anise
► 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed [save the seeds for use in another recipe]

Heat all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Keep the syrup over the heat, stirring every so often, until the syrup coats the back of a tablespoon with a fine layer. This should take a few minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat.

Cool your syrup and store it in a jar with its spices. It will keep in the fridge for weeks.

You can use this versatile syrup over fruit with mint, in rice pudding, in cocktails and mocktails, or injected into cakes. Or you can add it to your morning coffee instead of granulated sugar.

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Enjoy and please, as always, let me know how you go with the recipes at home.

H 🙂

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Adrianne says:

    Gorgeous, Hannah! Your menu sounds divine.

    1. Hannah says:

      Thanks, Adrianne! So lovely to hear from you again.

      H 🙂

  2. Geraldine says:

    Oooh! I look forward to trying some of these recipes. They look beautiful and I’m sure will taste divine. Thanks Hannah.

    1. Hannah says:

      Thanks so much, Geraldine. Let me know about how you go with the recipes at home!

      H 🙂

  3. Mar(k) says:

    Sounds divine Hannah! Just wondering if we could chat about you possibly catering an event I am organising?

    1. Hannah says:

      Thanks so much, Mar–and sorry for the delay in my comment. I’ve just sent you an email.

      Have an awesome rest-of-week,

      H 🙂

  4. anukampa says:

    looks good hannah will try sometime

    1. Hannah says:

      Thanks, Anukampa–I hope my menu treats you well!

      H 🙂

  5. Matt says:

    Looks like you put on an awesome feast! My dad and I catered my sisters engagement party loads of fun! 🙂

    1. Hannah says:

      Thanks, Matt. Lots of work & lots of fun!

      H 🙂

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