End of the Summer BBQ in Marrakech
I always love the summertime and August is a very special month. Mostly because it’s my birthday month and I usually always travel in August for a big vacation. This year, I am not traveling anywhere. If you are like me and not traveling this year, why don’t you bring the destination to your home.
Now you can choose any country and design a theme around it. You can go over the top or not, but for me, it has to be all the way. My country of choice for an end of the summer BBQ is going to be Morocco. I have never been to this fabulous country, but I plan to go in the coming years. I am in love with the design, culture and the fantastic food this country has to offer. In fact, years ago, I did a makeover for a couple with a Moroccan inspired theme that was fantastic. It was so much fun to do. It was inspired by a really unique restaurant in Miami Beach called Tantra. When you close your eyes and think of Morocco, what do you see?. I see tons of unique and colorful spices being sold in a market. I see vibrant colors everywhere. I can almost smell the delicious food and see people talking and spending time with each other. This is what I want to bring to a themed picnic or party. Not only the look of the destination, but the feel. Make sure to include music and NEVER forget the lighting if you are holding a party/picnic in the evening time. For my Marrakech picnic, I am seeing this happen more towards the dusk.
A DAY IN MARRAKECH
I would set up little floor tables on a giant outdoor area rug, or even two together if you have the space Put them together to create a large table if you wish. Around each table would be tons of colorful floor/throw pillows to sit on or lounge. Giant Moroccan style candle lanterns in all sizes and shapes that would frame the sitting area filled with cardamom scented candles to set the tone. If you like Moroccan traditional music, have that playing in the background, if not, any type of upbeat lounge music will do. One of my favorite’s is Buddha Bar’s lounge music, so sexy!
A MOROCCAN INSPIRED MENU
When i think of a BBQ in Marrakech, the obvious comes to mind and that’s lamb and couscous. In Morocco, cuisine always starts with some type of bread with each meal. Although they use utensils to eat, sometimes the bread is used as the utensil to scoop and eat the food. They also use olives often, not only in cooking, but as an appetizer or side dish. Meals are often finished with a sweet mint tea that’s always refreshing. The tea is served from these gorgeous ornate servers that always impress me. Take a look at my simple Moroccan inspired menu below.
APPETIZER PLATTER TO SHARE
• Grilled Pita bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with finely ground rock salt and lemon zest.
• Assortment of fine olives
• Lentil bean salad
• Grilled tomatoes or Peppers sliced thin
• Ground Lamb burgers (You can add yogurt, fresh mint, sautéed onions, cardamom and some salt and pepper to the mix before you grill. It’s fantastic.)
• Lamb Meatballs on a stick
• Lamb Kabobs
• Grilled marinated rack of lamb if you have some extra cash to spend
ONE OF MY FAVORITES
• Cold Couscous salad with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, touch of mint and roasted diced zucchini and tomatoes
Always love small finger desserts because you don’t feel so guilty. This is a simple dessert you can do ahead of time and it’s really delicious.
MOROCCAN STUFFED DATES
Pit the dates and cut a slit lengthwise. Make a mixture of soft cream cheese (room temp.) sugar, honey, cinnamon and chopped walnuts. Stuff the inside of the dates with the mixture and place on a platter with some fresh cut fruit. Simple and delicious
Have a blast and if anyone has created a themed picnic/party, please send me the pics. I would love to see them.