Inspired by the Middle East

As our President is in the Middle East brokering world peace BIV are following in his footsteps (well, not literally but culinarily). Our meal tonight was inspired by the flavors and ingredients used in Middle Eastern cuisines. We began with a classic appetizer, hummus. Hummus is likely the Middle Eastern food most integrated into American culture. Tonight we made a traditional chickpea hummus enhanced with the flavor of roasted red peppers. We served the hummus with toasted pita chips, carrots and sliced orange bell pepper. We didn't plan on it, but this course was a delightful, monochromatic orange.

Our main dish tonight was again inspired by our favorite food blog 101 cookbooks. Heidi recently posted a recipe for Sweet Potato Falafel and we could not wait to incorporate this into a meal. We paired the falafel with a flavorful couscous enhanced with edamame, tomatoes and feta cheese. The flavors of the slightly sweet, yet spicy falafel with the creamy, peppery couscous were a perfect combination. The only change I would make next time is to add a dollop of cool yogurt to the plate.

The dessert was inspired by the combination of phyllo dough and cheese known as Knefe. Our interpretation was Sauteed Grape Napoleons with Red Wine Reduction which incorporated a goat and cream cheese mixture with toasted phyllo dough sheets. White grapes were sauteed then stacked in layers with the cheese and phyllo. The napoleon was a light cap to a wonderful meal and a dessert that will take a place among our favorites.

SB- What an amazing feast! This menu is one of my favorites that we have done. The flavors came together perfectly, especially serving the flavorful yet mild sweet potato flafel with the spicy couscous dish. The presentation of this dish was easy and elegent.

The dessert blew me away! It is easier than it looks, don't be afraid to try it. It is light and flavorable, and beautiful as well!

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