My beautiful and talented friend Reem Mouazzen was kind enough to host our New Year's celebrations in her gorgeous Marina flat. She was able to whip up some delectable goodies before we began our long night of party hopping. It was an eclectic mix of canapes and traditional Middle Eastern goodies, all of which really hit the spot as a pre-party primer.
When Reem throw's a party she does it right, the buffet was complete with Caramelized Onion Phyllo Tarts, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Foie Gras with Toasted Brioche and Onion Jam, Garlic Shrimp just to name a few items. My contribution was the Guacamole with Tortilla Chips plus the Goat's Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta all washed down with Spiced Lychee Juice.
No party would be complete without a fine selection of cheeses; Gouda, Parmesan, Cheddar, Boursin, and some cured meats as well. Don't those grapes looks divine!
Reem even went a step above and made these cute little finger sandwiches with smoked salmon, dill cream cheese and sliced lemon, garnished and plattered perfectly. The touch of sliced lemon was refreshing in these tasty little bites, I will be sure to use that trick in the future, Thanks!
This is a traditional Middle Eastern dish known as Bamieh, an Okra stew. It can also be made with Lamb or Beef, but I much prefer the vegetarian version. The stewed okra balances well with the pomegranate molasses, and with a touch of tomato, a veggie that often gets overlooked (Okra) was able to shine in this dish.
Not that we had any room for it, but some sweets were also on offer. Reem "imported" these special M&M's from the states and shared them with us as a great way to finish off the meal. They were pretzel and peanut butter stuffed......made me miss home, just a little:)
I guess you could say we started the new Year off with a BANG! A beautiful evening with beautiful friends. I'm going to miss you Reem, but also support you as you begin a new chapter in your life in London. Thanks again for being such a wonderful hostess, and I look forward to more of our "Culinary Adventures" abroad!