La Mimouna, a celebration unique to Morocco’s Jews, is held on the last evening of Passover, after the first stars appear in the sky. Local tradition dictates that Jewish families entertain their Moslem friends, and exchange symbolic gifts of food. This traditional menu is exerpted from The Scent of Orange Blossoms: Sephardic Cuisine from Morocco (Ten Speed Press) and co-authored with my friend Danielle Mamane, a resident of Fez.
Couscous de la Mimouna: Couscous with Onion and Raisin Confit
Roast chicken with chermoula spices and root vegetables
For The California Farm Cookbook (Pelican Publishing 1994) (link to Amazon.com), I travelled the length and breadth of California, searching out family farmers, and recording their stories. I also solicited their favorite recipes for the fruits and vegetables they grew, the cheese they produced, and the beef or chickens they raised. This is one of them.
This is a great dish to take on a picnic. The secret to obtaining tender wild rice is to soak it overnight (the way they do in Minnesota!), and then cook it until the grains pop open.
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup wild rice, soaked overnight and drained
1 3/4 cups bulgur wheat
1 cup raisins
1 bunch scallions, white part only, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
Grated zest of two oranges
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1 cup pecan bits or sliced almonds, toasted
In medium saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil. Stir in wild rice. Return to a boil. Cover and lower heat to simmer. Cook, 40 to 45 minutes or until rice grain "pops" open. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.
While rice is cooking, bring 2 1/4 cups water to a boil. Add bulgur wheat. Cover and lower heat to simmer. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain. Let bulgur cool, and combine with the rice. Add all remaining ingredients. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
From The California Farm Cookbook (Pelican Publishing, 1994)