MIDDLE EASTERN THURSDAYS
Join Nina June throughout this winter on a romantic tour of the Middle East, traveling to Tehran, Jerusalem, and Casablanca--without ever leaving our comfortable berth overlooking Rockport harbor. We'll turn our menu over to each of these cuisines while keeping our a la carte format, so you can truly feast or just drop in for a small plate at the bar.
Thursday, February 8
First stop Tehran, modern capital of ancient Persia. persian food is rightly considered one of the great cuisines of the world, famous for its use of exotic spices like saffron & fenugreek, nuts, dried fruits & flowers. Its a deeply complex yet refreshing and healthy cuisine based on a lush use of fresh herbs & yogurt in savory applications. We'll be cooking some of the classics, Fresenjan- duck in a complex sauce of walnuts & pomegranates and few lesser known dishes such as fish in Tamarind sauce a dish from the Gulf that almost seems more African than Middle Eastern
Thursday, February 22
Jerusalem the Golden! Leave politics behind, as we go to one of the most historic and exciting cities in the Middle East with its vast conglomeration of creative cuisines. Jerusalem cuisine draws from pilgrims and patriots who flock here from all over the world, but it still has its roots firmly in this place that is holy to three religions. Jerusalem much like the US is a melting pot of cultures from Palestinians who have been there or a few thousand years to the Jews of the Diaspora, who come not just from the shetls of Eastern Europe but also from Yemen, Morocco and Ethiopia bringing with them the culinary traditions of those countries. We will have a Palestinian meatball & herb soup and the ubiquitous felafel & hummus as well as burekas, (flakey pastry stuffed with greens) lamb shwarma and Sephardic braised veal shanks.
Thursday, March 15
Casablanca perched on the edge of North Africa as it curves away from the Mediterranean and turns to the Atlantic is a beautiful town still holding on to its French past while embracing its Moroccan character. We will be cooking a tajine, an iconic stew cooked in an earthenware conical pot as well as plenty of grilled fish marinated in chermoula the distinctive sauce of lemon, cilantro & paprika as well as exploring some of the French influences that remain. Moroccan cuisine differs from other North African and Middle Eastern foods with its complex flavors based on a heavy use of sweet dried fruit and assertive spice mixtures such as Ras al Hanout (a mixture of up to 27 different spices)