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Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Moroccan Cooking Class at Susan's

We are a group of international women living in and around Z├╝rich, and we have one thing in common. We all love to cook! Susan hosted our October cooking class, and she chose the following menu:

Eggplant and Goat Cheese Parcels

Harissa Chicken with Cous Cous and Peppers

Baklava


The recipes are from the numerous cooking classes she attended, while living in Hong Kong. The eggplant parcels were the high point of our lunch. Bold, creamy, goat cheese and sweet tangy sun-dried tomato, wrapped in strips of lightly fried japanese eggplant are served on a bed of zesty rocket. Our main course, Harissa Chicken, spicy and succulent, is a wonderful contrast to the steamed cous cous and roasted peppers. Baklava, deliciously flaky, nutty and buttery, was the perfect finishing note.


Hilda - with the beautiful Japanese eggplant

GRILLED EGGPLANT AND GOAT CHEESE PARCEL WITH BLACK OLIVE, BASIL, SUN-DRIED TOMATO DRESSING
For 4 servings

INGREDIENTS WEIGHT
Japanese Eggplant: 280 g or 4pcs
Soft French Goat’s cheese: 12O g or 4pcs
Sun-dried Tomatoes: 40 g or 4 pcs
Fresh Basil Leaves: 5 g or 4pcs
Rocket Leaves: 10 g

For Black Olive, Basil Sun-dried Tomato Dressing

Olive Oil: 1 cup
Balsamic Vinegar: 50 ml
Sun-dried Tomatoes: 20 g
Chopped Greek Black Olives: 15 g
Fresh Basil chopped: 5 g
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method: To make dressing, whisk all ingredients in a bowl with olive oil and vinegar, adjust seasoning to taste.

Method:
(1) Remove the stalk from the eggplant and slice length ways into thin slices.
(2) Season with salt and pepper and pan fry in olive oil till soft.
(3) Place four slices of eggplant on board ("weave" the eggplant strips together: one over, one under). Top with goat’s cheese, sun-dried tomato and a basil leaf.


Robyn loved making these eggplant parcels!

(4) The eggplant strips are folded over each other, either clock-wise or anticlockwise, to make a small parcel. Wrap in plastic wrap, twisting to form a tight ball, refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

(5) When ready to serve place in 150 °C oven for six minutes to warm. Place on a plate with rocket leaves.

(6) Drizzle dressing around plate, serve immediately.



HARISSA MARINATED CHICKEN BREAST WITH COUS COUS AND ROAST PEPPERS

For 4 servings

INGREDIENTS WEIGHT

Cous Cous: 220 g or 2 cups
Red and Yellow Peppers: 2
Chicken Breasts: 4
Chinese Parsley for Garnish: 1 handful

For Harissa Sauce

Cumin: 2 Tablespoons
Chopped Red Chili: 1
Lemon Juice: 2 Tablespoons
Tomato Paste: 2 Tablespoons
Chinese Parsley: 1 bunch
Whole Garlic: 4 cloves
Olive Oil: 1 cup
Black Pepper
Salt

Method: Place all ingredients in a blender, mix well till smooth.

Method:
(1) Marinate chicken in harissa sauce for two hours.
(2) Place cous cous in a pan with 1/4 cup of water and steam for 10 minutes.
(3) Roast slices of pepper in pan with olive oil till soft.
(4) Bake chicken in oven for 20 minutes at 160 °C
(5) Arrange peppers on a plate with cous cous and chicken. Baste chicken with some of the harissa sauce and serve.



BAKLAVA

Ingredients:

1 packet Phylo dough for baklava
250 grams butter
2 packets walnut

Syrup:

3.5–4 cups water
3.5 cups sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Layer the pieces of dough in a large baking pan.


Warm the butter and pour between each layer. We used a baby bottle, with extra large holes made in the teat. After layering 6 pieces of dough in a baking pan spread the walnut pieces and continue putting the rest of dough on top.

Cut the dough in diagonal slices. Bake until light brown and remove from oven.


Susan: pouring the cooled syrup over the cooked hot pastry/walnut mixture.

Syrup: Put water to boil and add sugar, stirring until sugar is melted. Boil 10 minutes more. Just before removing from stove, add lemon juice. Set aside to cool. Pour syrup over the hot baklava, just after it comes out of the oven.



Photos, courtesy of Leticia, thank you!
Susan - thanks for hosting this fabulous lunch! Fani, Sally, Viviana and Angela, you were all missed!

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