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The Daring Cooks: Mezze

February 15, 2010

The 2010 February Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid.

Do you ever have one of those times where you open a can of re-fried beans and it tastes like a salt lick?  All that six sigma, and random taste tests still can’t completely stop the inevitable screw up.  And that screw up scars you for life?  (I’m not kidding–I learned my lesson, and this girl now always makes her own re-fried beans.  Plus that way you can may re-fried black beans, which by the way are so much better.)

What does this have to do with mezze?  Well, not much to be honest.  Except that about a year ago, I opened a brand new thing of tahini for making my own hummus.  Yes, it was rancid. Rancid tahini.  Ruined my whole week.  (Well, not really, but it should have!)  Especially since I didn’t notice this until after I soaked my chick peas.  Peeled my chick peas.  Lovingly combined all of my ingredients.  Then the rancid tahini.  I have not made hummus since.

Until now.  Thank you, Michele!  This is one fear I have been dying to conquer since about 5 minutes after the aforementioned incident. Although, I admit, I did go with canned chickpeas.  I was just too afraid of repeated heartbreak.

For the mezze, I made the pitas and hummus (these were the required elements of the challenge) along with the raita.  Then, because lamb sounded especially good that evening, I also went with lamb over couscous.  The lamb was seasoned with a rub of cinnamon, cloves, marjoram, nutmeg, pepper, and salt.  Oh, and see those lovely slow roasted tomatoes up there?  Also seasoned with my mezze spice mix.  Slow roasted tomatoes are so versatile, they have fast become a staple in my kitchen.

This meal, I would say, was a definite hit!   And my tahini fear?  I have conquered that several times now.  Quick, easy, delicious hummus is one of my favorite things!

…when your tahini is not rancid…

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2010 9:17 pm

    Wow, everything looks awesome! I’ve had the rancid tahini experience as well – I honestly just omit it from hummus when I make it now. And now I’m super jealous of your lamb over couscous…

  2. February 16, 2010 10:24 am

    I can only imagine how awful rancid tahini must taste… Good thing history didn’t repeat itself!

    That lamb sounds delicious, and your pita bread looks perfect. Good job!

  3. February 16, 2010 1:13 pm

    OMG that lamb rub sounds just splendid! And a perfect accompaniment to the pitas. It looks perfectly cooked as well – great mezze!

  4. February 20, 2010 11:09 pm

    Loved this challenge. Have made both before, but these are much better recipes. Yours looks perfect.

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