Entertaining: Moroccan Style
While Morocco might be out of grasp to visit, why not use it as inspiration* for your next dinner party. The exotic spices and fragrance will have your guests transported on a virtual getaway.
Where to serve
This is certainly one occasion to let your imagination go. Use bold colors, layers of luscious fabrics, colored glass, dark wooded bowls, and lots of candles. This theme works well inside or if you have fine weather, it could be fantastic outside too.
What to drink
Choose a fresh tasting wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc for a white, or a Syrah/Shiraz for a red. For a non-alcoholic alternative, try traditional mint tea.
3-5 days before:
- Make a list of all the things to be purchased for the meal and the table setting
- Buy non-perishable items including beverages and spices
- Work out what tableware you want to use for each dish and make sure they are clean
- Determine what you are going to dress your table with
1 day before:
- Purchase perishable items.
- If you are having the meal inside, set the table. If not, have everything ready to go.
- Make the syrup for the Persian Rosewater and Aniseed Cakes, cool, cover and refrigerate.
The morning of the dinner party:
- Finish setting the table.
- Make the Smashed Spiced Chickpeas.
- Buy ciabatta bread.
- Make the batter for the cakes, put them in the pans, cover and refrigerate.
- Make the Tabbouleh, cover and refrigerate.
One and half hours Before Guests Arrive:
- Prepare the beef mixture for the kebabs, cover and refrigerate.
Half hour before guests arrive:
- Prepare kebabs and place them on an overproof pan ready to be cooked.
Once guests have arrived:
- Heat broiler.
- Cook kebabs.
- Once the kebabs have cooked, change the oven setting to 320F in order to cook the cakes.
- Just as your about to eat, place cakes in the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
After your main course:
- Remove from the cakes once they have cooked. Leave them to cool for a few minute in the pan while you reheat the syrup.
- Serve warm cakes drizzled with syrup.
* While this is not a strictly Moroccan menu, it will give your guests a taste of the flavors of the Northern African nation.