May 19, 2010

Hosting a Birthday Dinner at my Home

My very close friend, Michael Rips, was celebrating a birthday and I decided to host a dinner party in his honor.  Michael is a lawyer, an op-ed page editor, and author of 'Pasquale’s Nose: Idle Days in an Italian Town’ and ‘The Face of a Naked Lady: An Omaha Family Mystery.’  I called another good friend, Chef Pierre Schaedelin, who said he would be available to prepare this meal.  Pierre and I settled on a Moroccan theme and came up with a menu of bisteeya, Moroccan ‘pigeon’ pie - couscous served with lamb, Merguez saucisson, and garden vegetables – harissa, Moroccan hot sauce and preserved lemons – passion fruit sorbet served with almond tuile and salade d’oranges.

Morocco, located in North Africa, has been influenced by the trade routes that pass through it, creating the unique Moroccan culture.  Moroccan food is very distinctive as it melds the flavors of savory and sweet, using rich and fragrant spices, dried fruits, and nuts.  It also makes for great party fare, providing guests with something quite unexpected.