The Kasbah Chronicles July 2014 / Kitty Morse

Next month is a MOMENTOUS one for my mother and for me. On August 15th, we will celebrate our 50th year as residents of the United States. We emigrated here in 1964. And we are indeed PROUD to be American citizens!

Destinations:

Weekend getaway in the mountains of San Jacinto Mountains.

My mother purchased two nights for us at the Quiet Creek Inn in Idyllwild, CA so we could celebrate our anniversary.

What a treat to discover the quaint mountain town using the aptly named Quiet Creek Inn as home base. Our charming log cabin (with working fireplace and log!) opened onto a deck that overlooked the dry creek bed shaded by clumps of trees housing dozens of Western Scrub Jays and squirrels. A nice touch upon check in was a small bag of peanuts to feed the hungry critters. We spent several hours relaxing on the deck feeding birds (just look at that blue jay eating peanuts!) and squirrels (who come knocking on your door) and even purchased a refill of peanuts. The room, log cabin style, was lovely.  We obtained coupons for breakfast from the hotel, to use at the Mile High Café, a short distance away (walk- able, but along a busy road.) Breakfast was nondescript and we were charged for coffee refills. Can’t wait to go back to the Quiet Creek, and bring my own breakfast, or head for Café Aroma (http://cafearoma.org) the most popular local hangout, open from dawn to evening. A rotating array of professional musicians performs live music nightly Al Fresco,  on the wide deck, from jazz, blues, and classical guitar, to ukelele.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                Photo by Romula Yanes

                 A quick recipe for a summer dinner!

 Egg Briks

Briks are deep-fried filo turnovers of Tunisian origin which are very popular in Morocco.  Briks are usually filled with an egg, a little diced onion, and chopped parsley and cilantro to taste.  They make a wonderful light supper.  Briks are meant to be eaten with the fingers, and part of the fun is having a little egg yolk dribble down your chin!  For best results, briks should be assembled immediately before serving, which means the cook will have to spend time in the kitchen at the last minute.  Count on two briks per person.

1 package frozen filo dough
vegetable oil for deep frying
For the filling:
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley per brik
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro per brik
12 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
wedges of lemon

         Thaw the filo overnight in the refrigerator, or two hours at room temperature.  Unfold filo. Using an 8-inch bowl or plate as a template, cut filo rounds with a sharp knife.  Each sheet of filo should yield two rounds.  Place the rounds on a plate, and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Use two filo rounds per brik. Rewrap and refreeze any leftover filo for future use. Stack the rounds you are going to use.

Pour 1 inch of oil in a large skillet, and heat until a piece of phyllo sizzles.

Break one egg in a bowl.  The yolk must not break.

Have the chopped herbs, the chopped onion, and the spices ready.  Separate two rounds. Gently place them in the skillet, half in, and half hanging over the side.

Carefully place the egg on the half inside the pan, sprinkle with cilantro, onion, parsley, and salt and pepper.  Quickly fold over the other half of filo to form a turnover, and hold the edges sealed with a fork.

Using two spatulas, turn the brik over gently to fry the other side until golden brown.  Remove immediately, drain well on paper towel, decorate, and place on serving plate with a wedge of lemon.

Variation: Try a little Mexican salsa over the egg, instead of the herbs.

 From The Vegetarian Table: North Africa by Kitty Morse.

 Just for fun:

This just in!

BEWARE OF dating French-style, on Match.com

https://www.youtube.com/v/_CwHrJt8Oz8

 

Off to make more fig jam:

I am not joking when I say my figs are as large as tangerines.

Bismillah and Bon Appétit!

 

Cape Cod Tabletop Treasures

When you think of summer on Cape Cod, you always think of food…briney oysters, fried clams, and gorgeous lobsters.  On your way to the beach, take a look at the great take out options to take with you: http://www.capecodrestaurants.com/dining-guide/take-out/page/1/.

If, however, you are saving your appetite for a fabulous dinner at one of Capecodrestaurants.com restaurants, maybe you just want a snack to get you through the day.  And maybe you want to do a little exploring to see what else you can discover.  One   of the most interesting destinations around the Cape are the little art and antiques fairs at many of Cape Cod’s churches and institutions.  There’s usually lunch available and often little treats baked by members of the church’s congregation.

At a recent fair at the Congregational Church in          Centerville, there were lobster rolls for $10 (with a bag of Cape Cod Potato Chips).  And many of the vendors offered gorgeous little tabletop treasures that any food lover would covet.  One of the offerings was a set of silver cake forks from Mappin & Web on Oxford Street in London.  They were a one of a kind set  that you will probably never see again.  The third and fourth tines of these dessert forks were fused into one thick tine – maybe for cutting your cake?  And we think the implement in the center might have been used for a lemon to squeeze for tea time. You must wonder who brought these lovely treasures to Cape Cod for you to find.

You can find many of these fairs on our Events Feature: http://www.capecodrestaurants.com/info/events.php.  In August, as part of Centerville’s Old Home Week, the Centerville Museum will host a Yard Sale where you just might find that treasure you have been looking for.

Chill Out With These Cape Cod Treats!

While the Cape Cod Package Store (Route 28, Centerville) is known for its Wine                 Geography (you can taste fabulous wines from all over the world at any time), they also      have a new surprise.  The famous Four Seas Ice Cream (Jackie Kennedy’s fave ice cream shop) has introduced some fabulous new flavors that are now available at the Cape Cod Package Store.                                                                                                                

 

 

How about Honey Jack Daniels, Limoncello, Peppermint Schnapps, Malbec Chip or       several other rotating flavors that are just as exciting.  Have a scoop of Limoncello with a shot of Limoncello on top.  Or how about a drizzle of warmed honey with some toasted pecans on a few scoops of Honey Jack Daniels (omg – you would not believe how good this is!)  Plus it’s also a “no-work” dessert to wow all those summer visitors.  How good can  it get?

Barnstable Association of Recreational Shellfishing (BARS) / July 2014

For 33 years, Bob Silva worked with International Packaging in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, ultimately as Corporate Vice President heading up the International Accessories Division. In 1992, Bob and his wife purchased their home in Hyannis Port where, every weekend after a full and hectic week, they would come down to the year round summer house and, as Bob puts it, “recharge his batteries.”  After making the decision to retire in 2003, Bob and his wife renovated their summer home so it would have a new kitchen for Bob’s cooking pleasures and a Great Room to relax in.

Bob’s passion for cooking soon became a retirement commitment.  He took over the day to day cooking in his new kitchen complete with a Viking range (a commercial range made for residential living) and has been making gourmet meals ever since.  Bob testifies that he can actually taste a meal before he even makes it.

Shellfishing was an early childhood requirement for Bob as his grandmother would task him to go and dig up steamers as well as periwinkles before they started to cook together.  This is how he combined shellfishing with his cooking skills.  Bob remembered some of the ingredients to an Oysters Rockefeller recipe his grandmother had and, expounding on this, he came up with the recipe for Bob’s Oysters Rockefeller.

Over the next few months we will be posting a sampling of recipes from “The B.A.R.S. Book of Favorite Shellfish Recipes”.  These recipes are from members of the B.A.R.S. Board of Directors, their families, friends, and associates.  The cookbook includes Appetizers, Soups, Main Courses, Desserts and This & That.  There are helpful cooking hints throughout this very unique Cape Cod cookbook.

“The B.A.R.S. Book of Favorite Shellfish Recipes” is available for $17.00 by clicking this link to the B.A.R.S. website . http://shellfishing.org.   All proceeds from this cookbook go to  scholarships and the promotion of the BARS Mission Statement.

For further information on BARS and its Mission Statement go to http://shellfishing.org/.

Now enjoy the recipe for Bob Silva’s Famous Oysters Rockefeller!

                                                 Bob Silva’s Oysters Rockefellerappetizer

36 fresh oysters on the half shell
6 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons finely minced fresh spinach (you can also use frozen spinach)
3 Tablespoons finely minced onion
3 Tablespoons finely minced parsley
5 Tablespoons homemade bread crumbs (you can use Panko)
Tabasco Sauce to taste – a couple of small shakes
½ teaspoon Pernod or use Sambuca
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup dry white wine
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped – Optional
1 cup fine bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Rock Salt or Aluminum trays with ridges –they hold the oysters in place beautifully
Lemon wedges for garnish

-Using an oyster knife, pry open the oyster shells and remove the oysters and their liquor to a bowl.  Discard the top shells and scrub and dry the bottom shells.
-In a large saucepan, melt the butter; add spinach, onion, parsley, bread crumbs, Tabasco, Sambuca and salt.  Cook, stirring constantly , for 15 minutes.
-Remove from heat.  Press the spinach mixture through a sieve or food mill; let cool.  Note: mixture may be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.  Can be kept for 2 days in an air tight container.
-Preheat oven broiler.  Set oysters in the shells in the rock salt or in aluminum trays making sure they are level.
-Place a little of the reserved oyster liquor on each oyster.  Spoon an equal amount of the prepared spinach mixture over each oyster and spread to the rim of the shell.
-Broil approximately 5 minutes or until the edges of the oysters have curled and the topping is bubbling.  Note:  Watch carefully!
-Garnish the plates or platter with the parsley and the lemon wedges.  Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings or 36 appetizers.

Bon Appetit!!!

 

 

 

Pop-Up Dining

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Want to try a different dining         experience?  How about having a Chef find whatever is bountiful this week…fish, produce, herbs…and then putting it all together with a touch of whimsey.  That’s the Gathered Table, a small group dining experience that food lovers will appreciate.  These 7 course pop-up dinners are really special.  You must make reservations (in multiples of 2) and you get all the information on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gatheredtable.   It’s BYOB (Bring your own Beverage) and the cost is $75 & gratuity.  Our foodie friends tell us that this one should not be missed.  Take a look at the plates created by Chefs David Haddad and Corey Phillips from the last dinner; photographs by Stephen C. Atkinson.                                                                                       

Bon Appetit!!

Baked Crab, Lobster and Artichoke Dip

 

 

                                         Baked Crab, Lobster and Artichoke Dip

A Cape Cod summer recipe, “Baked Crab, Lobster and Artichoke Dip”, from Marconi Beach Executive Chef White and Sous Chef Krum.

This recipe serves 6-8 people

Ingredients

2 8 ounce packages Cream Cheese, softened
4 ounces Lobster Meat, chopped
4 ounces Crab Meat, chopped
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 8 ounce can Artichoke Hearts (NOT Marinated),drained and chopped
1 Tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
2 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Scallions
Juice of One Lemon

Directions

Place all ingredients in bowl and mix until combined
Spread in 10” oven safe or microwave safe shallow dish or pie pan
Cooking Options:
1. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until bubbly
OR
2. Microwave for 2-3 minutes or until bubbly
Garnish with lobster claw and chopped scallions
Serve with toasted pita chips or hearty crackers

Bon Appetit!!

The Kasbah Chronicles June 2014/Kitty Morse

June is propelling us into summer!

Get your bathing suits out!

Aside from giving talks about Moroccan cuisine and culture around San Diego County, I am cooking up a storm for the next edition of Edible Fowers: A Kitchen Companion, which Chef’s Press will publish in late Fall.

The luscious picture of Roasted Salmon with Borage Flowers and Cucumber Sauce was taken by Michael Pawlenty, publisher/photographer at www.ChefsPress.com

Interested in the rankings of  MOROCCAN WINES in the US?

I am often asked to recommend Moroccan wines. Here is what the experts say:

OULED THALEB Morocco’s Oldest Winery.

Top Value Brands of the year according to  WINE & SPIRITS MAGAZINE. Moroccan Rose 2013.

Moroccan White Blend 2012 Best Buy 88 points  (W&S)

Moroccan Red Blend 2011 88 points   (W&S)

Syrah 2010   90 points  (W&S)

Chardonnay 2011    89 points (WE)

Medaillon Red 2011  Best Buy 89 points   (W&S)

Medaillon Sauv Blanc 2012 88 points  (W&S) and (WE)

These wines are available through www.nomadicdistribution.com

Bismillah

and

Bon Appetit!

Barnstable Association of Recreational Shellfishing (BARS) / June 2014

Pat Ossen grew up on Cape Cod, where her family owned the general store on Craigville Beach Road.  She can remember the long summer days working at the store and going down to the beach after a winter ocean storm to pick up dozens of scallops that had been washed ashore.  Her father made scallop pie, scallop stew, fried scallops and/or baked scallops so often that she could not even look at another scallop for years.
After graduating from Barnstable High School, Pat completed her education in Boston and was the office manager for several dental practices.  She and her husband returned to the Cape as full-time residents in 2004.  And yes, she now enjoys scallops once again.
Here is Pat’s recipe for Baked Stuffed Quahogs a la Ossen.  For those of you who don’t know what a Quahog is, it’s a very large clam.

Over the next few months we will be posting a sampling of recipes from “The B.A.R.S. Book of Favorite Shellfish Recipes”.  These recipes are from members of the B.A.R.S. Board of Directors, their families, friends, and associates.  The cookbook includes Appetizers, Soups, Main Courses, Desserts and This & That.  There are helpful cooking hints throughout this very unique Cape Cod cookbook.

“The B.A.R.S. Book of Favorite Shellfish Recipes” is available for $17.00 by clicking this link to the B.A.R.S. website . http://shellfishing.org.   All proceeds from this cookbook go to  scholarships and the promotion of the BARS Mission Statement.

For further information on BARS and its Mission Statement go to http://shellfishing.org/.

Now enjoy these fabulous Cape Cod inspired recipes.

                                  Baked Stuffed Quahogs A La Ossen

24 quahogs, steamed and chopped
1 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ package lingucia or chorizo (or more if desired)
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
Dash of white wine
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
Saute butter, onion, garlic, and sausage meat, mixing well.  Add quahogs.  Mix in the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, ½ tsp. salt and pepper and a dash of white wine.  Mix well till the consistency is sticky.  Place mixture into clean clam shells, top with a piece of bacon.  Bake about 10 to 15 minutes or until bacon is crisp.  Serve with lemon and/or hot sauce.

Bon Appetit!!!!!

Watermelon Rind Chutney

                                    Watermelon Rind Chutney

Chef Peggy Eagan of Bistro on the Go ( http://www.bistroonthego.com/) gives us another great recipe!!!

Watermelon Rind Chutney

 Makes 2 pint jars and one ½ pint jars
1 small watermelon

½ cup finely chopped sweet red pepper

1 ½ c rice vinegar (not seasoned)

1 ½ c sugar

1 c water

2 tbs fresh minced ginger

2 tsp black pepper corns

6 whole cloves

½ tsp red pepper flakes (Optional)

1 tsp coarse salt

Scrape flesh from the watermelon rind. Cut away outer green skin from rind and discard.  Cut rind into 1-inch pieces.  You should have 9 cups. 

Bring rind, red pepper, vinegar, sugar, water, ginger, peppercorns, cloves, red pepper flakes, and salt to boil in a large pot.  Reduce heat and simmer slowly until the rind is translucent and tender and the liquid is syrupy, about 55 minutes.  Divide mixture into jars and refrigerate.

Note:  The chutney will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.  To preserve for up to a year, use white wine vinegar, cider vinegar or any vinegar with 5% or more acidity.  Then, can jars in a water bath according to jar directions. 

 Buen provecho!

The Kasbah Chronicles May 2014/Kitty Morse


MUSINGS

                                                       AFTER THE FIRES

                                                         Photo Judy Eberhart

                                             This Moroccan cat has the right idea.

The lingering smell of smoke from the terrible fires in San Marcos (about 7miles east of us) has evaporated.  The breeze swept away the film of burnt ash that covered our patio. What a sinking, heartsick feeling to stand on our rooftop terrace and view the macabre fireworks lighting up the string of nearby hills around Cal State San Marcos. The university was evacuated, and their commencement ceremonies put off for a week. Couple that with incessant TV coverage of the worst hit areas around us, and you get the idea: San Diego County suffered.

 The dramatic episode brought to mind our long ago honeymoon: I insisted on taking Owen to the Moroccan oasis of Ouarzazate (now Morocco’s “Hollywood.”) It must have been at least 115 degrees in the (non-existent) shade. Not only did we battle burning “chergui” or “sirocco” winds similar to California’s Santa Anas, but in Morocco they carried clouds of ravenous locusts. Nowhere else would we have met up with young lute players to serenade us! Ha! Memories!

Photo Owen Morse


Events like the fires help put things in perspective. I am always amazed at the equanimity of newly homeless homeowners. “We’re alive, our family is safe, and so are our animals.

That’s what’s important. We will rebuild.”
Would I react the same way? I don’t know. One thing is for sure, I am REALLY going prepare my emergency suitcase, just in case.

 If you were told to evacuate NOW, are you prepared?  What would you put in the “grab and go” boxes before a hurried escape?

 A touch of spring lingers. A mockingbird wakes us up each morning with a concert of chirps, obsessed with the need to attract a mate. The bird, like homeowners with burnt out houses, take the long view.

Tahini Dip with Sugar Snap Peas

Makes about 1 cup

 I didn’t feel much like cooking with all this heat, so I went looking for “munchies” in my own 365 Ways to Cook Vegetarian.  Though tahini isn’t Moroccan (it’s Middle Eastern), I add a touch of home with a dash of cumin. Sugar peas have been so abundant and so sweet this season that I simply string them and use them instead of chips.

1/3 cup tahini sauce

1/4 to 1/3 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup cold water

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

Paprika, for garnish

Snap peas, for serving

In a small bowl, combine tahini with lemon juice.  Stir until well blended. 

Add water, garlic, and cumin. Stir briskly until smooth. Add remaining salt and lemon juice if needed, and a little extra water if sauce is too thick.  Serve in a shallow dish and sprinkle with paprika. 

Note: Tahini is a vegan sesame seed paste used in many ethnic cuisines. Not to be confused with hummus, a dip made by combining tahini, garbanzo beans, and flavoring ingredients. You can find both in specialty food stores, and often in supermarkets.

 

Just because:

I found this link recently, and thought it worth sharing:

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum’s vast culinary literature collection is available to the public at the SoFAB Culinary Library and Archive.  Located at 1609 O.C. Haley Blvd., New Orleans (LA) the new library contains over 11,000 volumes of culinary books, food and cocktail menus, pamphlets, archival documents and other literature and ephemera. Enjoy!

Are you familiar with this wonderful online food journal? Alimentum, The Literature of Food. Do visit! It’s worth your time:

http://alimentumjournal.com, for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, book reviews, all about food.

 

Bismillah and Bon Appétit

Find me on facebook:

Kitty Morse, Vista CA