1 In Morocco, colors are never shy and for my Moroccan dinner party, I brought out the bold orange enameled cast iron round casserole pots from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's.
2 These pots are all about good looks and great taste. In addition to orange, the collection also comes in blueberry, cranberry, and buckwheat.
3 The heavy-duty construction and durable details of each piece provide even heating for moisture-rich flavor. Plus, there's a lifetime warranty.
4 This is my collection of Moroccan tagines. A tagine is a type of dish named after this special pot in which it is cooked. It has a low-sided bottom dish and a conical cover, which is designed to return all condensation back to the bottom dish.
5 Moroccan tagines are flavorful and aromatic slow-cooked dishes braised at low temperatures. I bargained for these brown tagines in the souk on my very first trip to Morocco forty years ago and paid 90¢ each. On my recent trip to Morocco, the price was $25 each.
6 The dinner menu: Bisteeya - Couscous Royal with Chicken, Lamb, Merguez, and Vegetables - Tagine of Lamb and Eggplant - Assorted Citrus Sorbets - Coffee and Tea
7 The guinea fowl was simmered in broth with onions, garlic, lemon juice, herbs, cumin, and saffron until it was falling off the bone. This bowl contains all of that boneless, skinless meat.
8 Eggs were scrambled in butter with lemon juice, salt, and pepper until fairly stiff.
9 Plenty of fresh chopped coriander and parsley from the garden was stirred into the egg mixture.
10 Blanched slivered almonds were sauteed in olive oil until slightly browned.
11 The almonds were tossed with confectioners sugar and a bit of ground cinnamon.
12 The almond mixture was then crushed slightly in a mortar and pestle.
13 The almonds, guinea fowl, and scrambled egg mixture were ready to be assembled.
14 I melted and clarified butter, which is made by pouring off the clear liquid butter, separating it from the milky solids.
15 I started the assembly by brushing a sheet of good-quality Greek phyllo dough with the clarified butter.
16 Phyllo, of course, is paper-thin sheets of dough used for baking pastries in Middle Eastern, Balkan, and Moroccan cuisine.
17 I carefully placed that first buttered sheet in a buttered round pan, draping the excess over the edges.
18 I layered another buttered sheet of phyllo to completely cover the bottom of the pan.
19 Brushing each sheet of phyllo with butter is important so that it bakes golden, crisp, and flaky.
20 I placed about five layers of phyllo over the bottom of the pan.
21 I then placed a layer of guinea fowl over the bottom.
22 I sprinkled the meat with some of the sweet almonds.
23 Next, a layer of the scrambled egg mixture
24 Then, I repeated the process, layering more meat, nuts, and eggs.
25 I folded the excess phyllo up and over the filling.
26 I had enough filling for three bisteeyas.
27 Next, it was time to cover the bisteeyas with more sheets of buttered phyllo.
28 I draped each one with five more layers.
29 I carefully tucked the overhanging layers down the inside edges of the pan, sealing the bisteeyas.
30 A final brush with clarified butter
31 I then used a very sharp paring knife to score the tops in a diamond pattern.
32 The bisteeyas were baked at 425º until the tops became golden brown.
33 The tops were sprinkled with confectioner sugar.
34 The bisteeya was sliced into pie-shaped wedges and served. It was so savory, sweet, and fabulous!