Mo' Roccan

By staff March 1, 2004

According to Peregrine Armstrong-Jones, of, Morocco is famous for its mosaic and tiles, so stock up on some cheap versions at your local home supply store. Spread them about the table as centerpieces or even plate settings, then serve dinner in the most colorful dishes you can find.

Speaking of color, Morocco is famous for its bold use of bright hues, so head down to your local thrift store and grab as many cheap silk scarves as you can. Then drape them about the room, over lamps (careful not to burn them on the bulbs), seat cushions and the dining room table. If you can find inexpensive fabric, buy a few yards and create some romantic, tent-like entrances in and out of each room.

For entertainment, Armstrong-Jones suggests some soothing, exotic Arabesque music, easily located in the international section of your favorite music store. Finish the room with candles and fresh flower petals, and enjoy your Moroccan evening.

To create the perfect menu, try these tasty treats.

Peasant Pancakes

4 bananas

1/2 cup apricot liqueur

1 cup pancake mix

1/4 inch cooking oil

1/2 cup soft bread crumbs

3 Tbsp melted butter

4 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp. ground ginger

In a 1-pint bowl: cut 4 bananas (peeled) in 1/2-inch slices. Add

1/2 cup apricot liqueur and marinate for 1/2 hour. In a 1-quart bowl: place 1 cup pancake mix following package directions to make a thick pancake batter using the above liqueur drained from the bananas as part of the liquid. Add bananas to the batter and stir thoroughly. In a 9-inch skillet: heat < inch cooking oil. Drop the mixture by tablespoonfuls (2 or 3 pieces of banana in each spoon) into the hot fat until golden brown on both sides. In a 1-pint bowl: Combine 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs made by grating fresh bread,3 Tbsp melted butter, 4 Tbs. sugar and 1 tsp. ground ginger. Place3 or 4 peasant pancakes on dessert plates. Sprinkle 1 to 2 Tbsp crumb mixture over the pancakes.

Note: Crystallized ginger may be used instead of ground ginger, in

which case use 2 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp crystallized ginger, minced finely.

Moroccan Orange Salad

3 oranges, peeled and sliced crosswise

1/2 cantaloupe, thinly sliced

2 cups carrots, shredded

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbs chopped fresh mint

Divide oranges, cantaloupe and carrots among 6 salad plates. In a

small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and

mint. Drizzle over salads.

Moroccan Meatball Stew

1 lb ground lamb

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 onion, peeled and finely chopped

1/4 tsp cayenne

salt to taste

2 tbsp olive oil for pan frying

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1 small bunch of parsley, chopped

2 lbs tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp cayenne

1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

6 eggs

Combine all the ingredients for the ketfa and form into 1 inch balls with wet hands. Heat a 6- to 8-quart stove-top casserole and add the olive oil. Brown the meatballs in the oil, then remove, leaving the oil in the pot. Set the meatballs aside, covered. Add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper to the reserved oil and sauté until the onion is clear. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and simmer, covered, 30 minutes until the sauce has cooked down to a thick gravy.

Return the meatballs to the sauce and simmer uncovered 10 minutes more. Carefully bread the eggs into the sauce and poach for a few minutes (don't overcook the eggs.) Serve at once directly with the pan.


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