Friday, February 1, 2013

A Moroccan Feast

A few weeks ago I was having a nightmare day (week) at work and it really knocked me about. I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. On the Friday afternoon when I was close to lapsing into something close to an emotional coma, my Mum delivered me a care package complete with 2 new cookbooks and some very tasty cranberry and white chocolate shortbread biscuits. She sure does know how to keep me distracted long enough to stay sane!

So on Tuesday night this week when Mum and Dad and Mr B's Mum came for dinner, the only appropriate thing to do was whip up a Moroccan Feast fresh from the pages of one of those beautiful books! We had Vegetarian Cigars with Harissa Yoghurt, Spicy Red Couscous and Carrots with Minted Fetta. I'm just going to come right out and say it, it was absolutely awesome. Every single thing on the plate worked together, complimented each other and was just down right fantastic so thank you Mum!!

Vegetarian Cigars with Harissa Yoghurt

1 red capsicum
1 tspn crushed garlic
1 eggplant
1 zucchini
2 tomatoes
1 tspn ground cumin
1 tspn smoked paprika
1 tbsn finely chopped fresh mint
10 sheets fillo pastry
1 tbspn butter (melted)
200g greek yoghurt
1 tspn harissa paste
1 tspn lemon juice

Pre-heat oven to 200C.

Cut the capsicum into quarters, discarding the seeds and membrane. Place the capsicum on a baking tray, skin side up, and roast until the skin blisters and blackens slightly. Stand for 5 mins to cool and then finely dice.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tbspn olive oil. eggplant, garlic, zucchini and tomatoes and cook for 5-7 mins or until vegetables soften. Add the cumin and paprika and cook for a further 5 mins. Stir in the capsicum and mint and allow mixture to cool.

To put the cigars together, take two sheets of fillo and place them on your work bench with one of the long edges facing you. Cut the fillo vertically into 3 sections. Place 1 tbspn of the vegetable mixture along the short end of each rectangle. Roll the pastry over the filling and then fold in the sides and continue to roll up to form a cigar shape. Place cigars seam side down on a baking tray. Repeat to make a total of 15-18 cigars.

Brush the cigars with melted butter and bake at 180C for 20 mins or until lightly browned.

To make the Harissa Yoghurt simply combine the yoghurt, harissa paste and lemon juice in a bowl. Serve drizzled over the cigars or on the side for dipping.

Spicy Red Couscous

1 tbspn olive oil
1 tbspn harissa paste
2 tspns smoked paprika
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup of vegetable stock
1/2 cup water
1.5 cups couscous

Heat oil in a medium saucepan, add the harissa, paprika and half of the onion. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 mins.

Add the stock and water and bring to the boil.

Remove from the heat and add the couscous. Cover with a tea towel and stand for 5-10 mins.

Season to taste and serve sprinkled with the remaining onion.

Carrots with Minted Fetta

6 medium carrots cut into match sticks
200g fetta cheese
2 tbspns finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 tspn ground cumin

Boil the carrots for 10-12 mins or until tender.

Meanwhile crumble the fetta in a bowl using a fork. Gently stir through the cumin and mint. Place in the fridge until your ready to serve.

Serve the carrots topped with a generous helping of the minted fetta.

And just like that - you're done! See it really wasn't that hard was it. I know it might seem like there is alot of steps, but it's all pretty basic and things like the minted fetta and the filling for your cigars can be prepared the day before just to make you'r life that little bit easier!


Mrs B xx

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