MOROCCAN DINNER

Home-made Olives

Mix in a bowl: scant tsp sea salt; 3 cloves garlic, crushed; pinch of pepper (black or chili); 1/2 to 1 tsp paprika; 1 tsp ground cumin; juice of 3 lemons (it is possible to replace some of the lemon juice by orange juice); 6 tbsp olive oil. Add: 400 gr mixed pitted olives (black and green); 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley. Combine well, and leave overnight (or up to several days) in a fridge.


Hummus bi-Tahini

Hummus:
Process in a food processor: 1 x 400 gr (14 oz) can of chick peas with 2 tbsp of their water OR: 250 gr dried chick peas soaked overnight and simmered for 1-2 hours in fresh lightly salted water. Add: juice of 1 lemon; 3 cloves of garlic, crushed; pinch of paprika; salt and black pepper to taste; finely chopped coriander. Mix well.

Tahini:
Mix 1 cup each raw tahini paste and water. Add 2-3 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, a pinch of paprika, salt and black pepper to taste.

To Serve:
Spread some hummus into a ring on the outer part of the plate, fill in the center with some tahini. Pour some olive oil in the center and sprinkle with paprika, decorate with olives and herbs (parsley and/or coriander).


Baba Ganouj

1 large eggplant, broiled, peeled and mashed; 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped; 1 tsp. salt; 1/4 to 1/3 cup tahini; 1/4 cup lemon juice.

Mix all together well. Taste and add more tahini or more lemon juice to taste.


Orange Dal (serve warm or cold)

2 cups orange lentils; 1/4 cup clarified butter or oil; 1 large onion, finely chopped; salt & pepper to taste; 2 tbsp. pureed garlic; 2 tbsp. ginger; 2 3/4 cup water or stock.

Saute the onion, ginger and garlic in the butter or oil. Add all the other ingredients and cook covered until the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft (about 10 minutes).


Fish with Green Olives and Preserved Lemons

Mix together: 1 preserved lemon, shopped (see recipe below); 2 tomatoes, chopped; 1 onion, chopped; 4 tbsp. chopped cilantro (or 2 tbsp. coriander paste); 3/4 cup pitted green olives. Spread some of the mixture on the bottom of a baking dish.

Rub 3 lbs. fish fillets (snapper, halibut, whitefish) with 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sprinkle with: 1 tsp. coarse sea salt; 1/2 tsp. pepper. Place in a baking dish. Surround and cover the fish with the remaining lemon mixture.

Dissolve and mix: 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika (or more to taste); a pinch of saffron threads; 1/2 cup hot water. Pour over the fish.

Roast the fish in the preheated 350-degree F / 10-degree C oven for 20 minutes. Serve warm with rice or couscous.


Preserved Lemons (can be used in a variety of Moroccan chicken, lamb or fish dishes, as well as for flavoring couscous, rice, etc.)

4 lemons, quartered to within 1/4 inch of the bottom; 8 tbsp. coarse sea salt; 1/2 cup lemon juice.

Sprinkle some salt in the bottom of a jar. Open the lemons and place as much salt inside as possible, and then reshape the fruit. Pack the lemons in to the jar, pressing down to release the juices. Pour in the lemon juice and any remaining salt. Let the lemons ripen un-refrigerated for at least two weeks (up to 4 weeks in the fridge), shaking the jar every day to redistribute the salt and juice.

To Use:
Rinse the lemon with cold water, cut out the flesh (to be discarded) and use the yellow rind only.