I ate in my first Moroccan restaurant in high school. My girlfriend had her “Sweet 16” at Dar Maghreb, a local restaurant in Hollywood. I immediately fell in love with the tile, the large, upholstered covered benches, and the short, small tables. The waiters, dressed in traditional Moroccan garments, served us dish after dish of Salades Marocaines(cooked and marinated vegetable salad), B’Stilla(a filo pastry stuffed with chicken, almonds, eggs, and spices), Brochette of beef and shrimp, Couscous, and Roasted Chicken. The dinner always ended with tea, dried fruit and Moroccan cookies. Dinner lingered for hours and was always best with a large party.
I loved it all, I loved using the bread as my utensils and especially loved eating it all with my hands. My two favorite dishes were always the salad and the b’stilla. Before I graduated high school I had attempted to recreate the b’stilla at home. Sadly, I was unsuccessful. I kept returning to Dar Maghreb over and over again and each time I would eat double portions of my favorites and savor the textures, the spices, the smells, and the tastes.
When I saw that Dorie’s B’stilla was on the menu this week, my senses immediately returned to the flavors of my past. I was excited to attempt to recreate this recipe from my past. Thankfully, I was happy with the results.
As soon as the spices hit the stock pot, I could smell the familiar scents. I was happy. This recipe, with or without the pastry is a delicious blend of sweet and savory. With each bite I was reminded of old friends, old times, and delicious memories.
adapted from around my french table