But ManO and I don't care. We have far more romantic plans. Our daughter gave us tickets to the NC Symphony's Pop Series: An Evening with Casablanca. The symphony plays the score live as the story of Rick and Ilsa's WWII love story unfolds.
Our daughter knows us too well. We're Casablanca obsessed. Everyone knows it. No coincidence one of ManO's friends was born in Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco.
|We have multiple copies and formats of the classic movie.|
|The Paris train station set of Casablanca where Rick waits for Ilsa.|
|"We'll always have Paris." and "We go together like Rick and Louis." Yep, obsessed.|
What is that? Well, we've talked to our friend, been to enough cosmopolitan places, that I have an idea. The best part is this meal is budget-friendly, simple to cook, gluten-free, and corn free. I used chicken instead of the traditional lamb, because I watched Lamb Chop the puppet growing up. ManO loves lamb and I love ManO. But I just can't go there. Plus, chicken thighs are so cheap!
"Here's Looking At You, Kid" Casablanca Feast
Appetizer : Hummus and veggies. Since it's Valentine's weekend, I'll be purchasing rather than making my own hummus. We have so many good restaurants and marts with homemade hummus around here I'm taking advantage. And folks have started producing gluten free pitas in their Mediterranean bakeries. Yay! But we are keeping it to low carb veggies for dipping because of the fruit in the main dish.
Entree: Chicken Tagine for Two (makes enough for leftovers the next day)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and sliced into rings
2 pounds chicken thighs cubed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
Enough water to cover meat
4 pears peeled, cored and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 cup raisins (crasins or dried cherries are also tasty, especially if you use pork instead)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
(Numerous recipes include coriander and far more pepper but we are going for mild here)
Cooked rice or couscous
Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Fry the onion in the oil until soft. Add the chicken to the pan, and fry until just browned on the outside. Season with cumin, ginger, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Pour just enough water into the pot to cover the meat. Cover, and simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until meat is tender and the mixture is stewlike. Check at an hour and slightly uncover if there is too much water, stirring occasionally.
Add the pears, golden raisins and almonds to the stew, and cook for a few more minutes.
Serve over cooked rice if you are GF or couscous if not.
Salad: Romaine with feta cheese and olives. Keep the salad simple. A dressing of vinegar and
olive oil is just fine. After all, this is Valentine's so who wants to work too hard in the kitchen.
Dessert: Honey and cinnamon drenched orange slices. How easy is that? I'm also adding dark chocolate chips on top. Not quite traditional Moroccan but what Valentine's dessert doesn't have chocolate? Love the orange and chocolate combo!
So, are you a Casablanca fan? What is your favorite romantic movie? Do you like meals that have a theme? Is Valentine's Day all about chocolate, conversation hearts or something else?