The Kasbah Chronicles November 2014 / Kitty Morse

                                                              Musings

                                                                                 

After my trip to  Morocco

The Morocco Mall

 On the spur of the moment, I flew across the pond to Morocco in early November to take care of Dar Zitoun, our family riad, 90 kilometres south of Casablanca.  My memoir, Mint Tea and Minarets relates the story of this local landmark which I hadn’t visited in FOUR years. Although Dar Zitoun has been in the family for over half a century, it is time to put it on the market and hand over the keys to the next buyer. It is now ready for sale. Please feel free to broadcast the link: www.darzitounriad.com.

In Morocco, I had the pleasure of reconnecting with old friends who always make my trip worthwhile. One of my hosts was Abderrahmane Rahoule, the director of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Casablanca. His art and ceramics adorn many a public building and private collection.

 

 

 

 

 

Abderrahmane Rahoule

 

 

First impressions:

Air France rocks! (Not so Delta Airlines in the US, which treats its passengers like lemmings. Shame on you Delta US for dingy planes and dingy service.) And the AF connections between Paris and Morocco are excellent. I have no idea how the 800 passenger Airbus gets off the ground, but a complimentary glass of champagne and a smiling Air France flight attendant (yes, even in “cattle car”) did much to lessen my fears. While Charles de Gaulle airport is geared to luxury and comfort with soft music, a MUSEUM, and comfortable seating throughout, the Delta terminal at Kennedy is an embarrassment, the “wretched” refuge of “huddles masses,” sitting and lying around on the floor. Is this the impression we want to give our visitors?  Hats off to the TSA, however. Passport control now consists of scanning your passport into a machine. Really?

Morocco sits squarely in the twenty first century. TEXTING is the norm. Freeways, skyscrapers, traffic jams to rival downtown L.A’s, Casablanca’s state of the art train station and sleek electric trams have transformed the landscape (downtown is now a giant pedestrian mall, how cool is that?) I browsed around the Galeries Lafayette, the iconic French store, at the Morocco Mall in AIn Diab, on Casa’s Corniche beachfront boulevard.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                          Ain Diab Coastline

A royal wedding in Rabat topped it all off (I wasn’t among the guests, but I did meet up with Mrs. Chirac, wife of the former French president, in the Rabat medina!) Rabat’s recently opened Musée d’Art Contemporain is definitely worth the detour, as is dining in a riverfront restaurant in the new marina along the Bou Regreg listening to a live rendition of New York! New York!

I am no longer conducting tours, but I can assure you that the country remains a welcoming destination.

                                                     Galeries Lafayette

At the Mall, STARBUCKS, KFC, MacDos and Pizza Huts are leading the fast food  invasion.

 

On se rencontre a Starbucks?

 

 

 

ou a  KFC???

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 A THANKSGIVING TRADITION

Kitty’s Cassolita

Our family tradition dictates that we serve cassolita to accompany our Thanksgiving turkey basted inside and out with preserved lemon pup! My great-grandmother served this alongside a steaming mound of couscous.

1 lb Mediterranean or butternut squash
2 large onions, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup raisins, plumped in warm water and drained
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Place unpeeled squash in baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F until soft, about 1 hour.  Let cool.  Peel, seed, and cut into serving pieces and place in baking dish.

Heat olive oil over medium heat, and cook the onions with the cinnamon, sugar, salt, and pepper, until very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the raisins and cook 5 minutes longer. Spread the mixture over the squash, sprinkle with almonds, and heat in the oven for 20 minutes.

Bismillah

and

Happy Jour de Merci Donnant

Chef Peggy’s Dressed Oysters

Bistro on the Go ( http://www.bistroonthego.com/) is a personal chef service that opened on Cape Cod in the spring of 2011.  Behind the cute logo is a personal chef named Peggy Eagan, who owns the business. “Basically, I’m a lawyer who likes to eat and loves to cook,” she says with a smile.  “I’ve always loved being in the kitchen, cooking, and feeding people.  When I was growing up with my family in Mexico, cooking and eating were a big part of the culture. My grandmother taught me to appreciate fresh ingredients, as well as the art of cooking those ingredients in a way that nourished the body and soul.”

I admit – I’m a foodie.  I’m an adventurous eater and I do a good deal of research on food.  I love to share what I learn with others.  Bistro On The Go has really allowed me to pursue my passion for cooking and food.”   Indeed, her business has grown over the past year and she is expanding into more catered events.

What kind of people become her clients?  Peggy is adamant that  personal chefs are not just for the rich and famous.  “My clients range from busy professionals to families-on-the-go, who want to eat home-cooked dinners.  I always love working with vacationers, who really want to sit back and enjoy the bounty that the Cape has to offer.”

                                                  Chef Peggy’s Dressed Oysters

1 dozen shucked oysters*

In a shallow baking dish, spread kosher salt on the bottom of the pan to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch.  Place the shucked oysters in the pan, set aside.

* You can also use oysters that have been open by baking in the oven or on the grill.

Cheese topping:
4oz cream cheese
2 scallions, sliced thinly
Using a hand mixer, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Fold in the scallions.  Place a dollop of the whipped scallion cream cheese on top of each oyster.

Tangy Tomato topping:
2 to 3 fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2  tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
In a medium saute pan, heat 1 tsp of vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add tomatoes, onions, and red pepper flakes.  Saute for 5 to 10 minutes until the tomatoes are tender and soft.  Add the sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the vinegar and continue to cook 5 more minutes or until the tomato juices are reduced and thickened.   Place a generous teaspoon of the tomato sauce over each oyster.

Bake the oysters under the broiler until the toppings bubble and slightly brown.  Remove from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.  Serve warm.

Buen provecho!

 

Jack Daniels Whiskey Dinner

Chef Dave Woodbury of the Old Yarmouth Inn, along with the Cape Cod Package Store, presented a fabulous Jack Daniels dinner on November 12.  Diners were treated to several different whiskeys from the Jack Daniels distillery along with a menu that even non-whiskey drinkers will drool over.  Take a look at the menu and then enjoy Chef Woodbury’s recipe for Bourbon Pecan Bread Pudding.

Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Dinner

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The Old Yarmouth Inn ~ 6:30pm
Reception
Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack with cider
First Course
Slow cooked Kansas City Style Ribs
smothered in Jack Daniels BBQ sauce w/Jalapeno Corn Bread
Second Course
Baby spring medley greens, dried cranberries, candied Jack Daniels Pecans,
aged balsamic vinaigrette & toasted panko goat cheese
Third Course
Maple & Jack Glazed Scallops
wrapped in smoked bacon over sweet corn puree
Fourth Course
Tolley town Short Ribs of Beef
smashed potatoes w/mushrooms, carrots & cipollini onions
Dessert
BourbonPecan Bread Pudding
w/Four Sea’s Jack Daniel’s Honey Ice Cream
$70 (inclusive of tax and gratuity)
Call the Old Yarmouth Inn at (508)362-9962

Bourbon Pecan Bread Pudding
from Chef Dave Woodbury at the Old Yarmouth Inn.

4 eggs
1/4  loaf pullman bread                                                                              
3/4 cups Sugar
1/4 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 quarts heavy cream
8oz  light cream
3/4 cups chopped pecans
1/4 cup Jack Daniels

Cut bread into 1 inch squares and spread into a 9×12 baking dish. Pour the Jack Daniels over the bread and let it soak for 10 minutes

In a large bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Add heavy cream and light cream and mix well. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the bread mixture and then pour the blended ingredients from the bowl over the bread. Cover and soak at least 8 hours. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 30 minutes.

Be sure to visit the Old Yarmouth Inn, the oldest Inn on Cape Cod, during the holidays for a memorable dining experience.

And, if you’re looking for a special gift for the whiskey lover on your list, The Cape Cod Package Store owners have traveled to the Jack Daniel’s distillery and hand-selected a barrel of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Whiskey.
The Single Barrel Whiskey has been hand-bottled in elegant 750 ml. decanters that bear Jack’s signature in raised glass. Each decanter displays the individual barrel number, the rick from which it was taken in the barrel house, and the date when the whiskey was bottled. A medallion around the decanter announces that this whiskey was bottled exclusively for Cape Cod Package Store Fine Wine & Spirits.
The decanter can even be customized with your own personalized engraving, making it a perfect gift.  Click here to check it out!

A French Wine Dinner

Cape Cod regulars flock to The Barnstable Restaurant and Tavern, a cozy neighborhood place where you can always get great food and service at a reasonable price.  But once a month, off-season, the Barnstable Tavern offers fabulous wine and spirits dinners that rival the big guys in Boston and Manhattan. Chef Bob Calderone really shows his incredible talent with memorable dishes that will leave you licking your lips.  And Diane Slater of the Cape Cod Package Store pairs Chef Calderone’s dishes with fabulous wines or spirits.  Take a look at last month’s menu, watch our Events page for the next wine or spirits dinner, and then salivate over Chef Calderone’s recipe for Sauteed Sea Scallops with Sherry, Mushrooms, Pearl Onions and Cream.

5 Course French Wine Dinner with Wines from the Languedoc Region of France
The Barnstable Restaurant and Tavern, Barnstable, MA, October 23, 2014

Domaine Felines Pic Poul de Pinet
“Starter”

 Domaine Frigoulet
Sautéed Sea Scallops with Sherry, Mushrooms,  Pearl Onions and Cream

 Domaine de Boisee “Carignan”
Grilled Marinated Branzini (Mediterranean Sea Bass) with Stewed Mussels, Bouillabaisse Sauce and Garlic Aioli

 Domaine de Boisee “1905″
Crispy Duck Leg Confit with French Green Lentils, Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

 Domaine Collin Cremant de Limoux  Brut Cuvee Tradition
Baked Apple Tart Tatin with Crème Anglaise and Vanilla Ice Cream

              Sautéed Sea Scallops with Sherry, Mushrooms,  Pearl Onions and Cream

Preheat a 12 inch heavy duty saute pan.  Add 3 oz. olive oil to the pan.
Add 1 Lb. dry sea scallops. Season with salt  and pepper.  Cook On First Side For 1 Minute. Turn scallops and continue cooking for 30 Seconds…Remove scallops from pan and Reserve.
Add 2 tbls. butter and 1-2 tbl. chopped garlic, 8 oz. pearl onions (thaw 1/2 of a frozen package) and 8 oz. sliced porcini or other mushrooms.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Deglaze with 8 oz. sherry.  Add 1 cup extra heavy cream and bring to a boil…Add and incorporate 4 oz. unsalted butter.
Finish with 3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tbls. each chopped basil, parsley and chives. Add scallops and their Juices to pan and reheat and serve.

You may want to lick the plate and have lots of napkins as you drool.

Gourmet Goodies for Fido

For all you dog lovers out there, we have some interesting shops on our new “Cape Cod and Islands Marketplace” (http://www.capecodrestaurants.com/info/cape-cod-marketplace.php).  With the holidays approaching, wouldn’t Fido love some Gourmet Cookies – maybe a lobster cookie or even a shark cookie?  Or how about a Mermaid leash?  If you want to make the treats yourself, here’s a recipe for “Turkey Day Treats” from “The Ultimate Dog Treat Cookbook” by Liz Palika.

                                                      Turkey Day Treats
2 cups diced sweet potato, cooked until very tender
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup warm water
2 large eggs
1  2.5-ounce jar turkey baby food

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together all the ingredients (mixture will be sticky).  Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool thoroughly and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Makes 40-50 teaspoon -size treats.

Fish Tacos

                                                                  Fish Tacos

A recipe for Fish Tacos from Chef/Owner Kim Premny of the Beacon Room in Orleans.

Serves 2 – 3

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs. Haddock or Cod (any white flaky fish)
6 Flour tortillas
2 cups Shredded iceberg lettuce
1 cup cooked jasmine rice
1/2 cup Salsa (we make ours but you can buy what you like)
1 cup Black Bean Salad (again store bought will work)
1 Ripe Avocado
1 cup Sriracha creme fraiche (see recipe below)
1 cup of cooking oil

Sriracha creme fraiche:
1 cup of sour cream
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
3/4 Tbl Cajun seasoning
1 Tbl Sriracha hot sauce
Dash of salt
Blend ingredients in food processor or mix well by hand.

Directions

In deep pan bring cooking oil to a temperature of 350 degrees.  Place lightly floured fish in 4 oz pieces into oil.  Cook approx 3 to 4 min. on each side (you may also bake fish in 450 degree oven for 15 min. instead).  Pull fish from pan and let rest on paper towels.

Place 6 flour tortillas out (you may grill these if you like), layer each with shredded lettuce, salsa, black bean salad, warmed jasmine rice.  Then place your six pieces of fish on top.  Top each with a slice of avocado and plenty of Sriracha creme fraiche.

Bon Appetit!!!

http://www.capecodrestaurants.com/dining-guide/all/11_beacon_room/

 

The Kasbah Chronicles September 2014 / Kitty Morse

                                                                               MUSINGS

I am sending this newsletter in the middle of a heat wave. I will be making this drink as soon as I send this off! I have sent this out before but it bears repeating. Drink up! And use orange blossom water

                                      Moroccan Watermelon and Strawberry Drink

Serves 1

1 cup watermelon cubes
3 sliced strawberries
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Sugar to taste
A sprinkle of orange blossom water
Ice cubes
Mint leaf for garnish

Place watermelon, berries, water, lemon juice, and sugar in a blender and liquefy. Strain through a medium mesh sieve, pressing the pulp with the back of a large spoon to extract all the juice.     Transfer to a tall glass and add a sprinkling of orange blossom water. Add ice cubes. Garnish with a mint leaf.

Note: Orange blossom water is available in Middle Eastern markets, and sometimes, liquor stores.

Adapted from Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen by Kitty Morse (Chronicle Books 1999).

REVIEW MY BOOKS:

Thank you so much to those who have already done so. If you are so inspired, you can write up a review for one of my books on Amazon.com. They are anonymous, and VERY  SHORT. A line or two are enough!

The latest farm-to-fork craze calls for a new look at The California Farm Cookbook (Pelican Publishing 1999.) I interviewed over 250 California farmers and obtained THEIR recipe for THEIR product from the ocean, family farms, ranches, desert oases and northern Baja California. I cook from that book regularly, inspired by a treasure trove of authentic farm recipes.

http://www.amazon.com/California-Farm-Cookbook-Kitty-Morse

Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories:

http://www.amazon.com/Mint-Tea-Minarets-Moroccan-Memories/

A Biblical Feast

http://www.amazon.com/Biblical-Feast-Ancient-Mediterranean-Flavors

Just because: FUN! and WILD!!!

A new wave of Moroccan artists:

These Portraits Of Moroccan Hipsters Are More Nuanced Than They Look

http://huff.to/1D1P6gP

A bientôt!

Kitty