Family Dinner: A Moroccan Feast

by Andrea on March 31, 2011

Over a year ago, Em and I came together along with another friend and decided to have a monthly dinner for our three families.  While it’s inevitable we’d see each other at other times during the month, these dinners would guarantee we’d see each other at least once a month.  Given everyone’s busy schedules, these dinners allow us to take a break, check-in with each other, see how quickly the kids are growing, AND try new food.

Food is at the heart of these Family Dinners, as they’ve come to be called. After a year of tinkering with the format, I think we organize them in a simple way.  The host family rotates monthly, allowing each family to host four times a year.  The host family picks the overall food theme and provides the main dish and beverages.  The second family provides a side dish, and the third family provides dessert. Easy.

The theme is key, and we all step up to make new recipes to share with the group.  Some past themes include Oktoberfest, Bobby Flay  (where everything was created on the grill using one of his recipes), and Pies and Pints.  This month, it was at my home, and we hosted a Moroccan Feast.  Have I ever made Moroccan food?  No, but I did this month.

We started with an olive flatbread, cured Moroccan olives, and roasted pine nuts.

For side dishes, we had an amazingly refreshing carrot salad. This would be perfect for a warm evening.  We also made a Moroccan couscous.  We mistakenly bought Israeli couscous which is why the grain is so large.

The main dish was an incredible lamb stew flavored with cumin, dates, orange, and saffron.

Finally, we finished things off with M’hanncha (‘snake cake’ picture below) and Pineapple and Banana Couscous Pudding.

The recipes were all a big hit.  I would highly recommend any one of them for a meal you won’t soon forget.




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