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Recipe: Moroccan M’hanncha (The Snake) Cake

Recipe: Moroccan M’hanncha (The Snake) Cake

Ingredients

6 oz (12 tbsp) butter, melted plus another cup for brushing phyllo dough
4 oz (1 cup) sliced almonds, toasted
4 oz (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
11 oz (2 3/4 cups) almond meal
2 oz (1/2 cup) powdered sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
1 ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp orange flower water, divided
12 oz phyllo dough
1 egg yolk lightly beaten with some water
¼ cup honey

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle. Let the phyllo dough thaw if you have not already.

Place the sliced almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat, mix often and toast until the nuts are golden fragrant, about 5 minutes. Watch carefully as the almonds can burn easily. Transfer nuts to a heat safe bowl to cool.

Pulse the toasted almonds with the granulated sugar in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. The sugar will help prevent the nuts from turning into almond butter. Add the 6oz melted butter, almond meal, the whole egg, powdered sugar and cinnamon to the food processor, keeping almond/sugar in the bowl. Process until the mixture is well combined, scraping down the edges as needed.

Grease the 12 inch cast iron skillet with butter. Unroll the phyllo dough, place on a large clean work surface. Have the 1 cup melted butter handy. While you are working, keep the stack of unrolled phyllo dough lightly covered with a clean damp cloth or plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. Carefully take one sheet of the phyllo dough and place it longways in front of you. Lightly brush with a layer of the melted butter. Continue to layer in this way with two more sheets, brushing butter in between each layer and on the top most layer.
Roll a golf ball sized piece of the almond mixture in your hands until you have a 1/2 inch snake. Piece the snakes together until they are long enough to fit the entire length of the stacked phyllo sheets. Place the almond snake at the edge of the phyllo dough, lay the snakes across the dough so they fit end to end. Starting at the side closest to you, roll the dough until you have a long coil. Continue to make these coils in the same way until you have enough to make a single layer in the skillet. They will resemble cinnamon buns. Place the coils in the skillet, they can and will touch.

Brush the tops of the pastries with the egg yolk wash. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Gently heat the honey and the 1 tbsp of orange flower water, drizzle it over the pastry. Serve warm or at room temperature.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Grilled Salmon with Couscous in Foil Packets

Recipe: Grilled Salmon with Couscous in Foil Packets

Ingredients

2 cups cooked pearl couscous
1 lb boneless salmon filets (skin on or removed)
olive oil
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 yellow summer squash. sliced
1 red onion, sliced
¾ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced
¾ cup sliced Kalamata olives
2 lemons, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt
4 fl oz vegetable broth
½ cup chopped Italian parsley

Directions

Prepare couscous to package directions. Pre heat the grill to medium high (400-450 degrees.) If cooking over an open flame, place a grill grate over the fire.

Place a large piece of tin foil on a work surface. Drizzle some olive oil on the bottom.
For each salmon slice, layer on the following (remember to divide all ingredients into four portions): 1/2 cup cooked couscous, one slice salmon, yellow summer squash, zucchini, tomato, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, lemon slices, garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper & parsley. Drizzle some broth and a little more oil over the top. Fold the foil edges over the salmon making a packet. Leave a little room in the packet for air to circulate.

Place the wrapped salmon over the grill or open flame and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the salmon and your desired level of doneness. You can test salmon while it’s cooking by opening up the foil, but be careful of the steam! Using a sharp knife peek into the thickest part of the baked salmon. It’s almost done when it’s beginning to flake, but still has a little translucency in the middle. Once your salmon flakes easily with a fork, it’s done. If you like it a bit more on the rare side take it off the grill at the very slightly translucent phase and let it rest off the grill for a few minutes before serving.

You can also bake this in the oven! Simply follow all of the prep work and preheat the oven to 375˚F. Place the wrapped salmon on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the salmon is done to your liking. See Step 4 for how to judge doneness.

This salmon can also be enjoyed the day after you cook it. Simply reheat in a lightly oiled skillet or in the microwave.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Sheet Pan Roasted Veggies with Feta

Recipe: Sheet Pan Roasted Veggies with Feta

Ingredients

2 broccoli crowns, sliced into florets
1 pt cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
½ red onion, sliced
½ zucchini, sliced into half moons
½ lemon, cut into slices
1 8 ounce block of feta cheese
6 mini bell peppers, sliced in half
¼ cup olive oil
sea salt, pepper and dried oregano

Directions

Pre heat oven to 400˚ Fahrenheit.

Slice all the veggies, lemon and feta. Place on an unlined sheet pan in a single layer.

Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with quinoa, rice or pasta.

~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Beef Kofta Kebabs with Cucumber Salad & Tzaziki Sauce

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~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Mediterranean Salad Platter

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~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Greek Quinoa Salad

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~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Lemon Garlic Shrimp Skewers

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~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Butternut Squash Couscous Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

We love this light couscous salad with winter squash served as a holiday side or weekday lunch.

Ingredients

2 cups couscous, cooked to package directions
1 1/2 – 2 lb butternut squash
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
handful of fresh mint, chopped
Orange Vinaigrette
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Cook the couscous and toss with some olive oil.

Cook the butternut squash: pierce the squash several times with a sharp knife. Place on a plate and microwave on high for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the microwave and let cool until you can handle it. Cut in half, remove seeds, cut into bite sized pieces trimming off the skin as you go.

Prepare the dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a blender or whisk until you have a smooth dressing. Adjust any ingredients to taste. Combine the couscous with the squash, pomegranate, and mint. Toss with dressing or serve the dressing on the side.

~ Marla Meridith

Avgolemono Soup (Greek Egg, Lemon & Chicken Soup)

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~ Marla Meridith

Recipe: Veggie Couscous Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

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~ Marla Meridith

Salmon en Papillote with Summer Vegetables

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~ Marla Meridith