Red Dory Muhamarra with Faux (homemade) Cloumage, Olives and Crispy Pitas

Pork Cutlets with Caramelized Turnips, Coriander, Cloves, Cumin, and Anise

Fresh-Herbed Couscous with Moroccan Preserved Lemon
Ottolenghi Fig, Arugula, and Treviso Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Easy Lemon Meringue Pie

I’m offering this menu twice — because I LOVE it and because I know that September 28 is short notice for some of you who want to attend. Please do come on the 28th if you can and otherwise, if interested, ink in November 1 and let me know.

If in search of a menu replete with full-bodied, slightly exotic/off-beat flavors, you’ve come to the right place. Each recipe in this Turkish/North African repast is particularly special (full disclosure: the couscous though an utterly delicious — and requisite complement — to the more robust muhammara, pork and salad recipes, may not exactly fit into the category of “special.” That being said, fluffy whole wheat couscous enhanced with lots of fresh herbs and preserved lemon is, without doubt, an easy, versatile side dish you’ll prepare again and again). This menu is ideal now through May. If fresh figs become unavailable, substitute pomegranate seeds.

For those of you who don’t already know it, Muhamarra, a roasted red pepper and walnut dip from Aleppo is heaven on earth. Other ingredients include pomegranate molasses, breadcrumbs, olive oil and garlic. Traditionally eaten as a spread for toast, it is also used as a spicy sauce for kebabs, grilled meats and fish. This recipe that I’ve made for years is adapted from Paula Wolfert. However, last summer when I ordered Muhammara at the wonderful Red Dory in Tiverton RI, it arrived accompanied by cloumage and a scattering of olives. Though you can order cloumage online, I find it’s easier, cheaper, fresher and no less delicious to make a faux version from yogurt and fresh ricotta. Seriously, this dish is a real eye-opener. I love it!!

The pork cutlets with caramelized turnips, coriander, cloves, cumin, and anise dish is a pork version of an Alain Senderens/Lucas Carton duck magret recipe. If enough of you prefer, we can make it with duck in class (or maybe do both?) but I’ve found that though I myself ADORE both roasted duck and the magrets (large breasts), many people don’t and sadly don’t sign up for duck classes…

Anyway, it’s equally delicious with pork. The combination of richly caramelized pears, turnips, and a Middle Eastern spice melange is marvelous and unexpected. The turnips can also be served as a separate side dish with duck, goose, roast pork, lamb or chicken. I’ve even served it occasionally — and successfully — with pan-seared swordfish.

And you can never go wrong with Ottolenghi. Here his simple salad is made less simple/more enticing by the addition of fresh figs and pomegranate molasses. If serving it as a first course rather than as a side dish, you can toss in mild goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, and/or toasted almonds or pignoli.

And the easy lemon meringue pie finale is a great addition to any culinary repertoire. I’ve combined the simplicity and speed of key lime pie type filling and a graham cracker crust with the delicious-ness of crispy, chewy meringue and super tangy lemon. This recipe, which can be made months ahead of time and stored in the freezer (with just the meringue to finish off day of), is one to cherish.

To register for the September 28 Turkish Delight class, click here:

To register for the November 1 Turkish delight class, click here:

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