Mireille (pronounced Mi-ray) Salama Cohen is Chef Lisa Schroeder’s ex-mother-in-law. She was born in Tangiers, Morocco, in 1938. She married Albert at the age of 18 and went to live with him and his mother who taught her everything she knew about cooking. When Morocco gained independence from the French in 1960, Mireille and Albert emigrated to France, where they raised their two children.
They didn’t forget their heritage, however, and continued to cook the foods of their youth, from bisteeya to tagines. Everyone’s favorite (and most of Morocco’s, too) was cous cous – not just the grain, but the slow-cooked stew replete with chicken, lamb, sausage and vegetables served on top of cous cous, the semolina grain.
Since it took all day to prepare, the stew’s aromas beckoned you to the soup pot to take them in. Once at the table, the enticing and exquisite flavors were always a welcome treat at family gatherings.
Mireille became Chef Lisa’s mother-in-law back in 1975. Both she and her husband Albert were great cooks and happily showed Lisa how to make their specialties. It did get a bit confusing, though — Mireille would show Lisa her way of doing things, and then Albert would proceed to correct her methodology and show Lisa his way. Between the two of them, Lisa learned how to make some of the delicious Moroccan dishes we are offering you this month.
Moroccan Mezze Platter
compote of tomatoes, roasted green peppers, garlic & hot peppers
Moroccan Chopped Salad
finely diced cucumber, tomato, green onion & lettuce with a lemon vinaigrette,
sliced cooked carrots with garlic, cumin, parsley, lemon & olive oil,
sliced beets with harissa (Moroccan chili paste), spices & olive oil
grilled Moroccan lamb sausage (slightly spicy) served on french bread with Moroccan chopped salad & a side of french fries
Moroccan Poached Wild Salmon
slightly spicy, poached in a broth of garlic, lemon, hot peppers, parsley & cilantro, served with cous cous & sautéed spinach
Cous Cous Royale
slow-cooked stew with lamb, chicken, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, cabbage, turnips, leeks, garbanzo beans & tomatoes, served on a bed of cous cous with a grilled merguez sausage & a side of harrisa (spicy chili sauce)
Almond & Orange Flower Baklava
phyllo dough layered with toasted almonds & a hint of orange flower water
phyllo layered with walnuts & cinnamon, served with house-made vanilla ice cream
Smirnoff Vodka, Mandarine Napoleon liqueur, Pama Pomegranate liqueur, muddled fresh mint, pineapple, lemon & lime juice, orange blossom water, orange bitters, served on the rocks