I love recipes that can be made in advance so that when I have people over for dinner, I am not trapped in the kitchen but that are still total show stoppers. We should be sitting with our friends, enjoying ourselves and making our guests comfortable, right?
All of the elements of this elegant main course can be made in advance and everything, except for the shrimp, just has to sit out on the counter for an hour or so to come to room temp. You can even assemble the plates (seafood stays in the fridge though) before your guests arrive. Right before serving, you take the shrimp out of the fridge, fish them out of the marinade and pop them on the top of the carrots and dinner is served.
Ras el Hanout is a fiery, North African spice blend. I actually love the PC Black Label version so you don’t need to find any kind of specialty store to get your hands on some. Labneh is just super thick yogurt. If you can’t find it, you can make your own by draining plain Greek yogurt in the fridge. Mix a splash of lemon juice and a pinch of kosher salt into some Greek yogurt. Put that into a cheesecloth lined strainer set over a bowl in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours. The whey will strain out and you will be left with thick, creamy labneh.
This is a dish that is adaptable as far as using THC infused oil goes. If you have a guest who doesn’t want any THC, just use regular olive oil on their portion. I prefer to just drizzle the infused oil directly onto the labneh, straight up, as opposed to mixing it into the charmoula because it’s difficult to dose precisely with chunky sauces. If you don’t want to make this dish infused with cannabis, just make it and don’t bother using any infused oil at all…. it’s your call.
Moroccan Shrimp, Ras el Hanout Carrot and Labneh
You will need:
*Charmoula Shrimp (12 jumbo shrimp)
***Ras al Hanout Carrots
approx 3/4 cup Labneh
infused Cannabis Olive Oil (if not using infused oil, use about 1 tbls extra virgin olive oil per plate to drizzle onto the labneh)
1/4 cup toasted, finely chopped pistachios
For four people, use 12 jumbo shrimp. If you use smaller shrimp, obviously you can use more per person but the presentation is nicest with larger shrimp.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add a big pinch of kosher salt and cook the shrimp for 2 minutes, until they just turn opaque. Drain and rinse in cold, running water. If your shrimp are the shell, remove the shell but leave the tail on if you want to get fancy.
Put 3/4 of the charmoula in a glass jar or non reactive bowl and add the poached shrimp and give it a good shake to mix well. Put this in the fridge for at least 8 hours or even overnight.
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 bunch mint
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated on a rasp
hot chili to taste ( I use a couple hot thai red chilis but it’s up to you)
1.5 small, preserved lemon, seeds and flesh removed, lemon rind chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of two lemons
1 tbls ground cumin
1 tbls ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
pinch kosher salt
Put everything in a good processor and buss until you have a mildly chunky paste – don’t over puree until it’s liquid.
***Ras el Hanout Roasted Carrots:
1kg (2 lbs) multi coloured carrots, halved horizontally and then halved again vertically
2 tbls olive oil
1 tbls ras el hanout
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 450F and move a rack to the bottom third of your oven.
Toss the carrots in the oil, ras al hanout and salt and lay out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for about 25 to 35 minutes (after 25 minutes, keep on eye on them) until they start to brown and are tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
To serve, let the labneh, carrots and charmoula come to room temperature.
Spoon a a few tbls of labneh on the bottom of each plate, spread it out a bit and drizzle with cannabis infused olive oil in desired dose.
Add a pinch of maldon salt ( or some other chunky finishing salt). Top with a nest of the roasted carrots and then arrange 3 jumbo shrimp on to of the carrots. Spoon a bit of reserved charmoula over the top of the shrimp and finish with a tbls of chopped pistachios and a sprig of mint.