SPICE PIT - EXOTIC SUMAC, MIDDLE EASTERN ZA'ATAR & MOROCCAN CITRUS BLEND:
LAMB, CHICKEN AND/OR VEGETABLE FATTAH
This Middle Eastern dish can be made using all cuts of lamb or chicken, including pieces with or without skin. Chicken thighs are particularly suitable. It is a visually stunning dish when laid out in layers on a large platter with the rice and lentil Mujedrah on the bottom, followed by the meat, and/or vegetables, Moroccan Tomato Sauce, Tahini sauce, herbs, nuts and other condiments.
Now, this may seem a complex dish, however, when the components are broken down, it makes a stunning one dish meal to impress your guest but does not stress out the hosts!
First, marinate the meat and/or vegetables and make the Moroccan Tomato Sauce and Tahini Sauce. This can be done the day before along with caramelizing the onions. As well, toasting the nuts and chopping the herbs can be done ahead. This leaves cooking the meat and/or vegetables and making the rice with lentils for the meal on the day of serving.
MUJEDRAH: Caramelize 3 large sliced onions in 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil with 1 Tablespoon of butter along with 1 tsp fine kosher salt. You may use a rice cooker to cook 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup brown or green lentils together with 4 cups chicken broth or water, but they can be cooked separately as well.
LAMB, CHICKEN and/or VEGETABLES: Marinate overnight the lamb chops, steaks or roast, or chicken pieces in 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1-2 tsp kosher salt, 2 minced cloves garlic and 2 tsp Spice Pit - Exotic Sumac spice and 2 tsp Spice Pit - Middle Eastern Za'atar. For vegetarian or vegan guests, you can marinate peeled carrots chopped in large chunks, broccoli, eggplant, zucchini and red pepper for 4 hours.
MOROCCAN TOMATO SAUCE: 2 Tablespoons olive oil and butter. I chopped onion and 4 minced cloves garlic. 1 tsp toasted ground cumin, 1-2 Tablespoons Spice Pit - Moroccan Citrus Blend, salt and pepper, 1 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp lemon juice. 28 oz can plum tomatoes (fire roasted is good). Make a double batch of this.
TAHINA SAUCE: 1/3 cup tahini, water to obtain desired pouring consistency, 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice or to taste, salt and pepper, 1 large clove minced garlic, hot sauce to taste, 1-2 Tablespoons of plain yogurt to taste if desired (leave out for vegan guests) Grill the chicken.
TOASTED NUTS: Toasted pine nuts, almonds and/or pistachios in a dry fry pan until fragrant and very lightly browned. Be careful with this step as it is easy to burn these elements of the dish. They do add to the flavor. Chop roughly.
CRISPY GARLIC: In addition, thinly slice large cloves of garlic (2-3) and fry in a small amount of canola oil until lightly browned. Again, be careful with this step as the garlic will continue to brown after removing from the heat. You may also lightly fry small pieces of pita bread for around the edges of the platter.
HERBS: Top the platter with a variety of herbs such as chopped scallions, parsley and cilantro or perhaps some mint.
PLATING: Layer on a large platter, starting with the rice and lentils with a generous topping of caramelized onions. Follow with grilled lamb, chicken and/or vegetables and then the tomato and tahini sauces. Provide additional sauces if desired in separate containers. Decorate with toasted nuts, herbs and garlic as well as pita if desired. Serve additional pita breads with the meal. Also, provide additional nuts, herbs and garlic for those guests who would like additional condiments with their meals.
This meal can be organic, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free depending on ingredients chosen.
SPICE PIT - TENDER TURKEY RUB AND DRESSING:
Under the Skin Rub: Soften ¼ cup unsalted butter. Mix in 2 Tablespoons Spice Pit -Tender Turkey Rub. Using small amount for each area rub mixture beneath loosened skin on breasts and thighs of an entire turkey.
Afterwards, massage outer skin of turkey with 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle entire turkey with 1-2 Tablespoons Spice Pit Tender Turkey Rub. Cook as per recommendations for size of turkey:
Dressing: Cube one loaf of bread of choice. Melt ¼ cup butter and sauté 1 finely chopped large onion, 2 cups finely chopped mushrooms and ¼ cup finely chopped celery until onion is softened. Add to cubed bread along with ¼ cup chopped parsley and 2 Tablespoons Spice Pit -Tender Turkey Rub. Mix with one egg or chicken or vegetable broth until moistened. Bake in covered casserole for 40 minutes and serve with sliced turkey.
SPICE PIT - PUMPKIN PIE BLEND:
Preheat oven to 450. Prepare 2 - 8 inch pie plates with pastry. Do not prick the crusts!
11/2 cups whole milk
1 28 oz. can pumpkin
1 tsp fine salt
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp Spice Pit - Pumpkin Pie Blend
Pour into prepared shells and bake for 10 minutes in preheated 450 degree oven. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and cook for approximately 50 minutes or until baked through to the centre. Cool and serve with whipping cream or ice cream as desired.
SPICE PIT - SICILIAN ITALIAN SEASONING:
Garlic Lentil Soup
Sauté in 3 Tablespoons olive oil: 2 chopped leeks, 1 small chopped onion, 2 stalks chopped celery, ½ chopped fennel bulb, 2 large cloves finely minced garlic and 3 chopped carrots until vegetables are caramelized and onion transparent.
Add 2 chopped potatoes, 1 chopped turnip and 1 bunch chopped kale. Cook until kale has cooked down. Add 2 Tablespoons of Spice Pit - Sicilian Seasoning and 1 tsp salt. Add 6 cups broth or water and 1 cup green or brown lentils.
Simmer for 45-50 minutes until lentils and vegetables are tender. May add 1-2 Tablespoon sized parmesan rind prior to simmering soup.
Serve on top of a slice of day-old crusty bread and sprinkle with grated parmesan to serve.