Apple Galette

Chef Peggy Eagan of Bistro on the Go ( gives us another great recipe!!!

Apple Galette

 1 sheet of ready-made puff pastry
1 to 2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into thin ¼ inch wedges lengthwise
2 tbs white sugar
1/2 cup apricot jam

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Unfold the puff pastry sheet.  Trim the corners of the pastry to make a 9 ½ inch using a large plate or round pan as a guide.  Place the round pastry on the baking sheet.  Leaving a 1/2 inch border, arrange the apple wedges in an overlapping circular pattern.  Sprinkle evenly with sugar.  Bake the galette in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the pastry edges are brown and the sugar on the apples caramelizes but does not burn.

While the galette is baking, heat the apricot jam in the microwave until it has melted.  Run the jam through a sieve to remove any apricot solids.  Using a pastry brush, brush the apricot jam over the apples but not the border of the galette.  The galette can be served warm or at room temperature.

Buen provecho!

The Kasbah Chronicles March 2014/Kitty Morse



Meanwhile, a ocean and a continent away, I came across a marmalade recipe my mother typed out for me years ago. She, in turn, told me she had obtained it from my English grandmother. And so, I have been perpetuating family tradition with the fruit from my blood orange tree, and the four other citrus varieties that make up our “family fruit trees.” When I was growing up in Morocco, my parents planned an annual jaunt to Marrakech so we could gather the Seville oranges that fell from the trees lining the streets. I don’t grow the Seville oranges used for Dundee’s “traditional ” English marmalade, but common American fruit does just fine.

A word to the wise: Two fruit trees of the same variety in one garden is TOO MUCH! I may have to open up a fruit stand at the bottom of our driveway!

It’s official (1)

Chefs Press ( of San Diego will produce a brand new edition (with many new recipes) of Edible Flowers, originally published in 1995 by Ten Speed Press. Look for the new, illustrated paperback in early 2015.

It’s official (2)

To celebrate the TENTH PRINTING of Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen (Chronicle Books 1999), here is one of my favorite SPRING dips excerpted from the book. I purchased fresh favas at my local Mexican market, though they are often sold at Italian and Middle Eastern markets. When I find young pods, I simply slit them open, and dip the raw beans in a little salt.


Fresh Fava Bean Dip

Makes about 2 cups

 Every man believes that his fava beans are the best.

                                        –Moroccan Saying

 A fresh fava bean dip is a delightful alternative to hummus. Once shelled, young fava beans don’t need to be peeled. Peeling is recommended for tougher-skinned, mature beans.

2 pounds fresh fava beans, shelled
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons minced parsley, for garnish
Pita bread wedges, for serving

Fill a medium saucepan with water, and bring it to a boil. Blanch the beans for 2 or 3 minutes. Drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Peel if the beans are large

In a blender or food processor, place half the beans, reserved liquid, and lemon juice. (Add more liquid for a thinner dip). Process, scraping down the sides with a spatula, until mixture is fairly smooth. Add remaining beans and the oil, and process until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and stir in salt and cumin. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with pita bread.

Kitty in the media: Imagine my delight when I woke up to a friend’s e-mail forwarding  a link to the March issue of Sunset magazine along with a recipe featuring one of my spice blends and fava beans (p.78)!

and another:


As well as a blog post from an American blogger living in Marrakesh.

Who carries Mint Tea and Minarets?

Thanks to many of you I am still adding stores to my list: A BIG SHOKRAN you to all of those who have stores.



Bismillah and Bon Appetit

A Thai Cooking Class

At Bussaracum Restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, the chef demonstrated the ease of Thai cuisine.  He used fresh ingredients readily available in the US.  He shares with us his recipe for Cho Muang, flower-shaped dumplings filled with minced chicken.






The chef used a tweezers to shape the flower petals.








Serves 4
½ Cup Rice Flour
¼ teaspoon tapioca flour (available in Asian food stores)
¼ teaspoon all purpose flour
½ cup of water
1 tablespoon lavender food coloring
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon mixed chopped garlic, pepper and coriander roots
2 tablespoons onions, chopped fine
¼ cup ground chicken meat
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoon sugar

Mix the rice flour, tapioca flour, water and lavender food coloring and heat over a low flame until the mixture is thick and smooth.  Knead until firm. 

Mix oil with chopped garlic, pepper and coriander root over medium-high heat till the mixture turns yellow, then add onions, chicken, salt and sugar and stir-fry for about thirty minutes and set aside.

Shape the dough into small balls about one inch in diameter and roll each ball into oval shaped medallions.

Place the chicken mixture in the center of the oval and form into flower shapes.

Steam for 3 minutes and serve with Chinese parsley, lettuce and chili.


Another dish in this fabulous Thai meal was Som Tam, a spicy papaya salad, served with sticky rice and vegetables.

Serves 4
5 cloves garlic
2 fresh red chilies (or to taste)
2 pieces string beans (long beans)
3 tablespoons palm sugar (or brown sugar)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons tamarind juice
2 tablespoons dried shrimp
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts
¾ cup shredded fresh carrots
2 cups shredded green papaya
5 cherry tomatoes
With a mortar and pestle, blend garlic, chili and long beans.  Add in fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind juice and lime juice and mix well, making sure the sugar is dissolved.
Add the dried shrimp, peanuts, tomatoes and mix well.  Add papaya and carrot and mix well.
Serve on a platter with a choice of fresh vegetables: cabbage and string beans.


Included in this delicious meal was a fried fish dish, spring rolls, crab bites, chicken in a banana leaf, beef curry and a spicy Thai soup.

















Oceania Cruise Lines Gala Tea on the Nautica

Cruise ships are known for High Tea but there is High Tea and then there is the Gala Tea on ship Nautica of Oceania Cruise Lines.  Executive Chef Alban Gjoka and his staff and Restaurant Manager Mauricio Dos Santos and his staff treated guests to an unforgetable “Gala Tea”.
















Where do we start?  The canapes and carved melons were so appealing to all of our senses.

















Only the birds were not edible (or maybe not?)

Fabulous ice sculptures added grandeur to the Gala Tea.


So many luscious desserts to choose from…

















Not props, these cakes were delicious.



Who doesn’t love a macaron, one of the most popular desserts today.

Lunch on the Mekong River in Vietnam

Lunch on an island on the Mekong River was as beautiful as it was delicious.  First there was a whole Elephant Ear Fish that was deep fried.  Our server meticulously boned the fish and put a piece of the fish on a rice paper along with a thin slice of cucumber and a thin slice of pineapple.  It was rolled into a spring roll and dipped in tamarind sauce.  Mouth watering!










Next came the Dragon Egg – also called a Sticky Rice Bowl.  The deep fried egg was sliced in half, then in smaller slices and rolled up to dip in one of the sauces. It was sweet and very delicious.  The “333 Beer”, a local Vietnamese beer, complimented all of the dishes.







Next came a lovely presentation of fried spring rolls and a sort of fried “cherry” – they were on toothpicks on top of a half pineapple.  Under the pineapple skin were slices of pineapple that would be dessert.

The melon with steamed prawns was almost too lovely to eat.











Fresh made noodles accompanied your choices.







Finally the soup with small dumplings was served on top of rice.  The hot soup cooled down your body in the 90 plus degree heat.

Food For Your Soul

While the Asians living in Hong Kong and Vietnam have very little living space, they understand how fresh flowers can elevate their environment.  The Tai Po Flower Market in Hong Kong is busy each day of the week.







Looks like Hong Kong & Cape Cod have some species in common!!!





In Vietnam, the flower arrangements look different but send the same message.  Whether you are rich or poor, the Vietnamese always have flowers in their home.


The national flower of Vietnam is the Lotus Flower.

After all that shopping, if you cannot carry all of your purchases, the Chinese have some interesting delivery options.


As do the Vietnamese…                                                                                                                                           










And finally, in all the world, the greatest transportation bargain has to be the Star Ferry between Kowloon and Hong Kong.  Where else can you travel to your destination while seeing such spectacular views  for a mere 30 cents (that’s for first class; second class is much less).


More Great Recipes from Oceania Cruise Lines Executive Chef Alban Gjoka and Executive Sous Chef Mario Santoro

Gazpacho Shooters
Half a baguette
2 ½ lbs. ripe plum tomatoes
½ peeled and seeded cucumber
1 bell pepper, seeded and cored
2 – 3 cloves garlic
2 Tbls. sherry vinegar
6 Tbls. Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
Dry the bread under a broiler and break into small pieces.  Quarter the tomato and remove the stem end and hard bits.  Blend the pepper in a food processor, then add the remaining ingredients up to the olive oil.  Add the olive oil slowly to achieve a creamy texture.  If required, add cold water to get the correct consistency.  Taste and adjust accordingly.  Allow to chill and rest for an hour and up to a day.  Pour into shooter glasses, garnish and drizzle with olive oil.
You can also turn this dish into a lunch by adding more bread cubes (or even a few shrimp).


Beef Medallion with Three Pepper Sauce
(Serves 4)
4 Beef fillets (6 oz. each)
1 teaspoon butter
2 cups veal demi glace
2 Tbls. each black, green and pink pepper corns
1 shot glass brandy
2 Shallots
Cilantro or parsley for garnish.
Season the beef with olive oil and salt.  In a very hot pan, sear the beef for a few minutes and reserve.  In the same pan, toast the black, pink and green peppercorns; and add the chopped shallots.  Saute for 5 minutes.  Deglaze with the brandy and flambé.  Add the veal demi glaze, and reduce for 5 minutes.  Add the chopped cilantro 5 minutes before serving.

Another fabulous lunch on Oceania’s Nautica













Shopping for Lunch

On our way to the market in Vietnam, we encounter some interesting choices.

Welcome to the Han Market where we see all sorts of unusual lunch options.



















There are always lots of fish and shrimp – have you ever tried a seahorse?

















A turtle??







Noodles or rice to go with your entree?








Yes, we have lots of bananas!!



Time to Shop for Dinner at the Asian Farmer’s Markets

The people of Hong Kong shop daily for their dinner.  At the Tai Po Market, fish is in abundance, especially dried fish.




Octopus is a favorite food as well as a staple.











Maybe you’d like a duck leg for tonight’s stir fry.

More Asian Farmer’s Markets

It took us a while to figure out that these are sea cucumbers – and they taste just like pickles:

Perhaps you’d like a sweet to go with tea time?






The color alone was so enticing.



A humble cucumber cut by an artist…..






Wow!  Big sale – but no one could translate these for us.