Hey friends! I wanted to make it up to you for not blogging as much lately, so I made an extra special Fine Dining at Home menu. I put some real effort into picking dishes that complimented each other. I may or may not have spent more than an hour agonizing over the perfect menu. But no matter, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT. Because I think this was my best meal yet!
Time: 20 minutes
While this dish may sound complicated, it was actually fairly easy to put together! The ingredients are simple, but it was an interesting combination. For some reason, the recipe online splits up the peas into two batches, but I had a large pan so I cooked it all at once. After sautéing the snap peas, I added just a sprinkle of the red pepper, green onions, some lemon zest, and chopped mint. The sugar snap peas had a great flavor, but I think the dish would have been improved with some more lemon and salt. It was a great healthy side dish though!
From: Food Network
Time: 45 minutes
As I was looking for side dishes to go with the stew, I kept coming across rice and cous cous recipes. I love both of those, but I wanted to try something new! Our dinner guests were also trying to eat gluten-free, so it was a good challenge for me to make a completely gluten-free meal. Although this meal was super simple, it was SO TASTY!
I prepped the cauliflower the day before our meal, so it was really easy to make. The hardest part was cutting up the cauliflower and blending it into small rice-like chunks, which really wasn’t too bad. A head of cauliflower made quite a bit of “rice”. Matt helped me sauté the cauliflower with onions, and then we just added a bit of parsley and lemon juice. It ended up being more like mashed potatoes in consistency, but I didn’t feel as bad eating it! Who knew cauliflower could be so yummy?
Time: 8 hrs cooking, 40 minutes prep
So funny story, I found a recipe in one of my cookbooks that used lamb shanks to make a similar stew in the crock pot. I wanted to be REALLY ambitious and cook with lamb, so I called a ton of places around me. No one had lamb, go figure. The recipe sounded so good because it had such a unique combination of ingredients, so I scoured the internet for a similar recipe that I could make in the slow cooker. My hard work paid off, because I found one! Beef was much easier to come by, so I decided to give this slow cooker recipe a try.
Along with the cauliflower, I cut up two sweet potatoes and 1/3 cup of apricots for this recipe. The next morning Matt cut up about 1.3 lbs of beef, quickly cooked it, and dumped it in the slow cooker. While he was doing that, I cooked some diced onion with garlic, cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. My apartment smelled heavenly with all the spices. I added this mix, along with the sweet potatoes, apricots, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and beef broth into the slow cooker.
After about 8.5 hours on low, the stew was perfect. I topped it with some grated lemon and mint and voila! Moroccan beef stew. In my own opinion, this dish was wonderful. It was surprisingly sweet and had such a great flavor. It easily fed four people with some extra – yay for leftovers!
From: Food Network
Time: 1 hour
Last but not least, I found this super simple chocolate truffle recipe! While it only has four ingredients, it did take a bit of time to make. First I brought some heavy cream to a simmer, then poured it over dark chocolate morsels in two bowls. I let it sit for ten minutes, then had to microwave it to help the chocolate melt a little more. I added vanilla to one bowl and almond extract to another. I let both bowls sit for another hour, then blended to get it to thicken. The chocolate still wasn’t firm enough to roll into balls, so I put the chocolate in a pan and stuck it in the fridge. After a few hours, I scooped out the chocolate into chunks with a spoon, the rolled it in my hands. I now understand why the recipe recommends wearing gloves because it. was. messy. But so worth it in the end! I covered the almond extract ones in sprinkles and the vanilla extract in cocoa powder.
The truffles turned out so well – they were so rich and yummy! Definitely worth the time and effort to make them. I made about 10-15 of each, and I’m still enjoying them!
I hope you all enjoyed my Moroccan Feast menu! Let me know if you decide to try out any of the recipes!