Myra's Kitchen Blog  

Mediterranean Catering
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I’ve been cooking a lot of Mediterranean food lately, for all kinds of events.

This one featured dukkah-crusted stuffed medallions of chicken. I filled boneless breasts with caramelized onions and garlic-sautéed spinach, then coated the breasts with flour, egg, and dukkah. Dukkah is a combination of toasted pistachios, sesame seeds, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. (It’s a great mix to have on hand to jazz up a meal.) The breasts were sautéed, then finished in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts Coated with Dukkah

I then sliced them with an electric saw to get these beautiful even cuts. Best thing about these breasts is that they stay tender, even when reheated the next day.

Sliced Stuffed Chicken

 

I also made Moroccan-braised short ribs. I had previously been making these with lamb shanks, but the short ribs worked as well. I salted, peppered, and browned the  short ribs first, then sautéed sliced red onions until tender. I added some harissa, garlic, ginger, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cumin, coriander, and cooked the spices for a couple of minutes.  I then added a jar of roasted red peppers and some stock, brought the liquid to a boil, and then transferred the baking pan to the oven. The dish braised at 325˚F. for 2 ½ hours. I pulled the dish out of the oven, added some dried apricots and figs, and returned it to the oven to cook uncovered at 500˚F. for another 30 minutes to brown. The ribs by this time were falling off the bone.

Moroccan-Braised Short Ribs

I tossed carrots, parsnips, and butternut squash with garlic, extra virgin olive oil, chicken stock (vegetable stock is good as well), cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cayenne and place them in the oven to braise at 375˚F. for about 45 minutes.  Then I let the vegetables cook another 20 minutes uncovered so that they could color.

Braise-Roasted Vegetables

For dessert, I made the coconut chocolate mousse from The Healthy Hedonist, layered with berry sauce and cashew cream made from cashews blended with coconut milk, maple sugar, and vanilla.

Coconut Chocolate Mousse Parfaits

I also made the cakes-in-a-jar for gifts, only this time they were topped off with whipped cream.  Thank goodness I had done a test run. (See previous post for how to make these.) They were a hit.

Topped off with Whipped Cream

The salad was an herbed watercress and orange blossom vinaigrette salad with roasted beets and was sprinkled with pistachios. This is how a single serving looked.

Watercress, Herb, and Beet Salad

All of these dishes stored well and could be made in advance, which was, after all, the whole idea.

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Photo: Tess Steinkolk

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