Posts tagged ‘Morrocan’

March 16, 2014

Lamb Kofta with Sweet Tahini Sauce

Lamb Kofta

And just like that, the legislative session is over!

As I mentioned in the last few posts, I have been working down in the state capitol since the beginning of the year. But on Thursday the legislature adjourned Sine Die (Latin for “without day”) and finished its work for the year. That means I’m back in Seattle – and catching up on blogging all the iron-chef style dinners that my coworkers and I did over the past few weeks!

I posted the first challenge of the year a few weeks back: a Moroccan eggplant wrap with chorizo and pickled mangoes. This time around the three ingredients were ground lamb, eggs, and sweet condensed milk – which resulted in this delicious fusion dish that incorporates a cuisines from across the Mediterranean.

The kofta is really the star of this recipe. These middle eastern-style meatballs are crispy on the outside but tender on the inside, and packed full of flavor throughout. The slightly gamey lamb is balanced with a rich gravy reduction and accented with Moroccan spices and pine nuts. Meanwhile the rest of the pita is full of earthy garbanzo beans, robust cherry tomatoes and a silky, slightly sweet tahini sauce.

These pitas are wonderfully bite sized, so you can serve them as heavy appetizers or in groups of two or three as an entree. Either way, they’ll impress friends, family, or simply your own stomach.

Look for more culinary challenges from the past few weeks coming soon!

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February 9, 2014

Eggplant Wraps with Moroccan Rice and Pickled Mango


As I mentioned in my last post, I’m down in the state capital these days for work. My day job – when I’m not cooking and writing here – is working for the state legislature, and during the legislative session that means a southward migration to our state’s capital, Olympia. It also means pretty long hours and fewer new posts here, but I do my best to keep things fresh (pun absolutely intended).

One of the best parts about the legislative session though is the return of my Olympia dinner nights, which my friends affectionately refer to as “Quinnsmas.” Aside from a welcome reminder that there is a life outside of politics, these dinner nights are a blast because they are loosely modeled after an Iron Chef challenge. I don’t have an opponent, but every week I get three surprise ingredients with twenty four hour notice that I have to incorporate into my dish.

My friends like to find odd pairings to throw me off, and I love a good challenge – which makes for some fun and elaborate dishes!

This past week the ingredients were chorizo, eggplant and mango, which resulted in this wonderful new Moroccan-inspired recipe. Eggplant and chorizo are a perfectly serviceable combination, so the only trick was figuring out how to shoehorn mangoes into the mix. As it turns out, pickling them brings the flavor profile in line perfectly!

The mangoes retain some of their sweetness, but also pick up some of the acid and vinegar notes as well as aromatic spice. Paired with salty, paprika-infused chorizo sausage, hearty spiced rice and full-bodied eggplant, it forms a delicious winning combination.

This is definitely a dish that requires some planning ahead – the mangoes should be done 24 hours ahead of time and the eggplant needs about an hour of work by itself – but the results are definitely worth it!

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