Our Gourmet Club met for a Moroccan dinner last night beginning with a very potent Moroccan Cocktail out on the deck.

Mix: 30 ml gin, 30 ml Contreau and 5 ml Curacao Liqueur.

With that we had a delicious appetizer:

Moroccan Carrot Dip

16 ounces carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
1 clove garlic, peeled and left whole
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Sea salt, to taste
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
4 -6 rounds flat bread or 4 -6 pita pocket bread

Cook the chopped carrot and garlic in simmering, salted water, for about 20 minutes or until soft.

Drain well, then return them to the hot, dry pan for a minute or two, over medium heat, to dry them out further.

Tip the carrots and garlic into the food processor bowl, and process until smooth.

Add the cumin, paprika, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, sea salt, honey and lemon juice and whizz again.

With the machine still running, add the olive oil gradually.

Allow to cool.

Spoon into a serving bowl, drizzle with a little extra olive oil, scatter with olives and cilantro leaves, and serve with lightly warmed flat bread for dipping.

For dinner we grilled shish-ka-bobs of chicken, mushrooms, Roma tomatoes and green peppers with a huge bowl of all kinds of vegetables and this rice casserole below:

Mushroom and Garbanzo Bean Rice

1-1/2 pounds small whole white mushrooms
1-1/2 cups brown rice
1-pound can stewed tomatoes
1-pound can garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup diced onions
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1-1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
2-1/2 cups water
2 pinches cayenne pepper

Quickly rinse and dry the mushrooms, and trim off the ends of the stems. Slice.
Coat a large nonstick wok or 12-inch skillet with olive-oil cooking spray and preheat over medium to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, garlic, and Italian seasoning, and cook, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender.
While the mushrooms are cooking, cook rice according to directions on package. Remove from the heat, and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Using a knife, slightly cut up the tomatoes in the can. Add the tomatoes, beans, and cayenne pepper to the mushroom mixture. Stir to mix, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until heated through.
Stir into rice.

Dessert was Gelato, stuffed grapes, orange slices with cinnamon and Almond Ghoribas (cookies).