The Kasbah Chronicles / Kitty Morse
An amused muse.
Photo Owen Morse
Couscous Stuffing with Almonds
(pomegranate seeds optional!)
(enough for one 12 lb turkey)
1 cup slivered almonds
1⅓ cups water
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup couscous
1 cup (about 2.5 ounces) raisins, plumped in warm water and drained
8 pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a medium skillet, toast almonds, stirring occasionally, until they turn a light gold, 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring water, salt, and butter to a boil. Add couscous in a stream. Stir once. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand until couscous is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer couscous to a bowl. Allow it to cool slightly. Combine couscous with the almonds, raisins, dates, parsley, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stuff the bird or serve on the side.
From Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories by Kitty Morse. La Caravane Publishing 2012.
Photo Dr. Jerry Olivas
Indulge your sweet tooth!
Carole Bloom, pâtissière par excellence, (http://www.carolebloom.com), is known among her friends as The Queen of Chocolate. She has just published a new book called Caramel (Gibbs Smith, 2013). Here is one of her recipes:
Caramelized Roasted Pears with Caramel-Honey Whipped Cream
It’s fine to warm the caramelized pears in the oven for about 10 minutes before serving.
Makes: 8 servings
Special equipment: large roasting pan
Caramel-honey whipped cream:
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup (2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 ½ teaspoons water
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons honey
3 ounces (6 tablespoons, 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups (9 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
4 medium pears (about 2 pounds)
For the caramel-honey whipped cream, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook the sugar, water, and cream of tartar in a 2-quart heavy-duty saucepan over high heat until the mixture comes to a boil.
Brush around the inside of the pan with a damp pastry brush at the point where the sugar syrup meets the sides of the pan. Do this twice during the cooking process to prevent the sugar from crystallizing. Cook the mixture over high heat, without stirring, until it turns amber colored, 6-8 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium and slowly add the hot cream to the sugar mixture while stirring constantly. The cream will bubble and foam. Continue to stir to make sure there are not lumps. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and cool to room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator at least 3 hours or overnight.
For the pears, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the melted butter in the roasting pan and stir in the sugar.
Cut the pears in half lengthwise and remove the core using a melon baller. Leave the stems intact, if possible.
Place the pears, cut side down, on top of the butter mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, turn the pears over, so the cut side faces up, and baste with the caramel mixture. Bake for another 10 minutes, until the pears are golden.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool slightly.
Place the cooled caramel cream in the bowl of an electric stand mixer or a mixing bowl. Add the honey. Use a wire whip attachment of a hand-held mixer to whip the cream on medium-high speed until it holds soft peaks.
Serve the pears on dessert plates or in bowls and garnish each with a dollop of caramel-honey whipped cream.
Keeping: The pears are best served the day they are made. Hold them at room temperature covered with aluminum foil. They can be re-warmed in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Adapted from Caramel by Carole Bloom (Gibbs-Smith). Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved.
A Biblical Feast
Kindle edition is now on Amazon.com
Mint Tea and MInarets
finalist in the San Diego Book Awards 2012
Happy Jour de Merci Donnant
A Taste of Italy on Cape Cod
Recently, the Centerville Museum (Cape Cod, MA) hosted “A Taste of Italy”, an Italian wine and food pairing event, using recipes from Giada de Laurentis, and Rachel Ray of the Food Network and from the late Chef Ciro Cozzi of Ciro and Sals in Provincetown, MA. Wines served were mid-priced (under $20) and sourced locally. Attendees discovered that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to experience a fabulous evening in Italy. Photos by Gus Frederick.
Insalata a Pezzi Italiani
Serves 4 to 6
1 head of Romaine lettuce cut into small pieces
1/4 pound sliced pepperoni, chopped
1/3 cup drained sliced pimientos (one 4-ounce jar)
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 1/2 cups drained, rinsed, and chopped artichoke hearts (one 15 ounce can)
1/2 to 1 cup pitted and chopped black or green olives
3 Tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the Romaine, Pepperoni, pimientos, onion, the artichoke hearts and the olives. Toss to combine. Add the vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and Parmesan to the bowl. Toss thoroughly to combine the Ingredients.
Wine selection: Cantina Zaccagnini Cerasuola d’Abruzzo 2012
1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp. (3/4 & 1/4) freshly ground black pepper
6 Chicken cutlets (3 ounces each pounded to flatten evenly)
6 slices of paper thin prosciutto
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Squeeze the frozen spinach to remove the excess water. In a small bowl toss the spinach with 1 tablespoon of the oil to coat. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Place the chicken cutlets flat on a work surface. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and 3/4 teaspoon of pepper. Lay 1 slice of prosciutto atop each chicken cutlet. Arrange an even layer of spinach atop the prosciutto and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over each. Beginning at the short tapered end roll up each cutlet as for a jelly roll and secure with a toothpick. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over a high flame. Add chicken rolls and cook just until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Add broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to 6 plates and set aside. Increase the heat to high and cook the sauce until it is reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken, and serve.
Wine selection: Pighen Friuli Pinot Grigio 2011
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 onion peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 leeks, chopped white parts only
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese for serving toasted bread crouton/or ciabatta rolls/or day old bread
Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it is golden brown. Add the carrot, garlic, celery, leeks, and salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and stir until dissolved. Add the tomatoes and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release all the brown bits. Add the drained beans, chicken stock, and rosemary. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Place toasted croutons or bread in each serving bowl and ladle the soup over the toasts. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.
Wine Selection: Ruffino Chianti Superiore 2011
Polpette di Agnello
Makes 16 meatballs
1Tbsp. olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup roughly chopped golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1/3 cup chopped finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. ground lamb
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Coat the bottom of an 8×8 inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, golden raisins, parsely, mint, bread crumbs, walnuts, salt and pepper. Crumble in the lamb. Using your fingers, mix just until the meat and the egg mixture are thoroughly incorporated. Roll the lamb mixture into 16 meatballs. Place in the prepared baking dish in grid formation, making sure the meatballs are touching. Bake until the meatballs are firm about 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving.
Wine Selection: Masciarelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2012
Serves 4 to 6
Unsalted butter for greasing
2 cups (12 ounces) red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups (12 ounces) yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 pound ziti or other short tube shaped pasta
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8×8 glass baking dish. Set aside. Combine the tomatoes, capers, olive oil, salt and pepper in the prepared baking dish. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the tomato mixture. Drizzle the top with olive oil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden. Cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the pasta. Add the cheese and toss well. If needed, thin out the sauce with a little pasta water. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Wine Selection: Michele Chiarlo Barbera D’asti Superiore 2011
Tostato Torta con Amartetto
1/4 cup sliced almonds
3/4 cup apricot preserves
3 Tbsp. Amaretto Liqueur
1 Pound cake cut in 12 slices
2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the almonds on a large, heavy baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are fragrant and light golden brown, about 7 minutes. Let cool completely. In a small bowl, stir the apricot preserves and Amaretto to blend. Working in batches, toast the Pound cake slices in a toaster, (in the oven or on the grill) until golden. Place 1 cake slice atop each of six plates, and spoon the mascarpone cheese atop the cake slices. Arrange the remaining cake slices offset atop the bottom cake slices. Soon the apricot mixture over. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and serve.
Wine Selection: Cupcake Vineyards Moscato D’Asti 2012
Food and Travel News from Around the World
Oceania Cruises and Bon Appetit Magazine created the Bon Appetit Culinary Center on the Oceania Cruise ships Riviera and Marina. It’s the world’s only hands-on culinary studio at sea, a distinction that elevates the onboard gourmand experience to a level of participation far beyond even the grandest expectations.
Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly is the Master Chef in charge of the Bon Appetit Culinary Centers which are the only cooking schools at sea to offer hands-on cooking instructions.
As someone who experienced this program on the Riviera last fall I can tell you first hand that it is an amateur cook’s dream to shop and cook with these outstanding Chefs.
Here is a sample of one of the delicious recipes from Chef Kelly.
Chef Kelly’s Pasta Primavera
1 carrot, julienned
½ zucchini, julienned
10 snow peas
¼ cup clam juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ cup minced shallots
¼ cup dry white wine
6 shrimp, shelled and deveined
¼ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon lemon zest
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
4 ounces fresh pasta
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 basil leaves
Heat medium pot of generously salted water over high heat, and bring to a boil.
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, cook the carrot, zucchini, and snow peas in the clam sauce. When al dente, remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.In the same pan, melt the butter. Add the shallot and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until it is soft and translucent. Add the wine and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the wine almost evaporates and the mixture is nearly dry, or “sec”.
Add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp on one side for about 3 minutes, until pink. Turn over the shrimp. Add the cream, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Allow the mixture to come to gentle boil. When the liquid begins to reduce, add the cooked vegetables.
Add the pasta to the boiling, salted water and cook for 1 to 3 minutes, until it floats. Drain the pasta and add it to the shrimp and vegetable mixture. Toss in the cheese. Stack the basil leaves, roll them into a cigar, and slice into a chiffonade. Serve the pasta with a garnish of basil chiffonade.
More Food and Travel News from Around the World!!!! Enjoy!!!!
The Kasbah Chronicles
Photo by Owen Morse. Real pomegranates hang on our bush. The ones above are colorful imitations!
Greetings on a sunny, Southern California, Fall afternoon. Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner, citrus trees are laden with ripening fruit (another record crop awaits!), and golden, apple-sized figs still hang on to our tree for dear life. And birds find our our Pom Wonderful pomegranates bursting open with sweetness irresistible.
I love the onset of Fall, here, in San Diego County, or anywhere else. Nature, it seems puts forth its final burst of beauty, a mature one tinged with the colors of experience, of a brief, sun-drenched life. I can’t explain why, but one of my favorite images of Fall is one of fading anemones in various shades of pink drooping languidly over a blue vase. The artist is long erased from my brain.
And then there is Halloween. Our location, off a busy street, has never been conducive to enticing young children up our steep driveway. Yet, every year, hoping a young visitor might break the mold, I stock up on Snicker bars, Crunch bars, and Reese peanut butter cups (my husband’s favorites!) I would much rather give away a wedge of Vache qui Rit cheese, or a plump Medjool date. That line of thinking according to my husband, is totally “un-American!”
Yet, one of my favorite things about Halloween, is purchasing a pumpkin, not only to carve, but to transform into soup. With this in mind, I would like to share my recipe for Pumpkin, Tomato and Vermicelli Soup, rich with the flavors of an American Fall even though it hails from Morocco.
Kitty’s Pumpkin, Tomato, and Vermicelli Chorba
When Halloween leaves you with pumpkin, make chorba! Chorba is a catch-all word for vegetable soup incorporating vermicelli broken up into tiny pieces. It is usually fairly thick, but you can thin it by adding a little milk.
1 medium onion
4 whole cloves
6 cups broth
2 pounds pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
5 medium tomatoes (or 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes), quartered
12 sprigs cilantro, tied with string
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup broken up capellini, or angel hair pasta
1 to 2 cups milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Wedges of lemon
Stud the onion with the cloves. In a soup pot, combine the onion, broth, squash, celery, tomatoes, cilantro, and turmeric. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until vegetables are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain, reserving broth in a bowl.
Discard the onion, cloves, and cilantro. Allow vegetables to cool somewhat.
In a blender, food processor or ricer, puree vegetables in increments, adding the reserved broth a little at a time to obtain a smooth, thick puree. Return the soup to the pan. Bring to a simmer. Break up the pasta into 1-inch pieces and add to the soup. Simmer until pasta is cooked, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1 cup milk or more for a thinner soup, and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Adapted from The Vegetarian Table: North Africa by Kitty Morse. (Chronicle Books, 1996)
REVIEWS FOR MINT TEA AND MINARETS:
I entered Mint Tea and Minarets in the following contest, and though it didn’t win, I appreciated the critique:
21st Annual Writer’s Digest Annual Self-Published Book Awards
Entry Title: Mint Tea + Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan Memories
Author: Kitty Morse
Judge Number: 54
Entry Category: Nonfiction
Mint Tea and Minarets Moroccan customs and cuisine are vividly captured in this absorbing memoir that also offers an intriguing familial history involving property. Chapters are interspersed with abundant recipes for choice appetizers, entrees and drinks. The colorful blend of Arabic and French influences, as well as languages, deepen the sweeping cultural interest. One can get the feel and pulse of Moroccan life through the eyes of the author, who was born in Morocco. The dialogue enhances the style and pace of Moroccan life. Many fine atmospheric photos – of places, people and foods – grace the pages of the oversized book. The writing is personal and filled with many revealing insights while deftly describing the author’s many experiences in her homeland with a variety of people. Chapter breaks enable smooth reading. Many of the photos, though, lack captions so the reader doesn’t know what destination is shown or other pertinent information. A World War II message from President Roosevelt, signed by General Eisenhower, is only shown in French and Arabic but not in English (Author’s NOTE: It doesn’t exist in English! it was meant for “locals.”) The recipes with accompanying photos have all the needed ingredients spelled out in clear detail. Maps — one historical – offer another dimension but another map showing Morocco’s place in North Africa would be useful. A glossary of terms and foods used in the book is an excellent touch. The cover design is very visual and the clever title is a tongue pleaser.“
Commentary may be quoted as: “Judge, Writer’s Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book Awards
And speaking of reviews, a special thank you to the following subscribers for their unsolicited accolades (used with permission.)
Sent: Friday, June 28, 2013 2:02 PM
Subject: Mint Tea and Minarets
“Three hours ago, . . . I started reading your new book and suddenly I realized thatI had forgotten lunch!
What a treasure of a book, fascinating text, engaging photos, old maps – that was a big job!!”
“You are also a great inspiration to many and, as your #1 fan on the east coast, I’d like to say you fall in the same category as our beloved friend Julia. I would love to meet you if you ever do a trip to the Baltimore-Washington area.
My best as always!”
Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 1:53 PM
“May I order another copy? A friend is having a birthday and this book is perfect. I’ve been sharing it and everyone loves it. Write another!”
“Just finished your latest book. Loved it . . . Each page led to the next delicious recipe. Tantalizing!”
On Jun 2, 2013, at 3:34 PM, Bill wrote:
“I read your book’s narrative and found it fascinating and enjoyable. My wife, Bea, of 47 years had ordered it direct from you and you so kindly signed it to her.
Question: Do you still own the Morocco property, after all those years of litigation? (Yes, I do!)
Bea has more than 2,000 cookbooks in her ever-growing collection and yours is among those she prizes the most.
I have been the direct beneficiary of my wife’s great cooking.
I am a retired journalist and presently a freelance writer. You are a superb writer and your laid-back style makes for comfortable reading. Let’s have some more books with a format similar to this one.”
“Just a note to tell you how much I enjoyed ”Mint Tea and Minarets”. It was a labor of love on many levels – love of your father, Dar Zitoun and Moroccan cuisine. Your colorful descriptions allowed me to experience the sights and sounds, fragrances and flavors of this exotic and mysterious culture. Thank you to Owen for the vivid photography, so evocative – I have surprised myself and tried a few of the recipes.”
IF you are so inspired, and if you have an Amazon account, would you consider posting a review on the Mint Tea and Minarets page on Amazon.com? You might even find used copies (Amazon rules the publishing world!)
If you would like me to send out signed gift copies of Mint Tea and Minarets or A Biblical Feast, please drop me a line. I will be happy to include a gift card with your name on it.
From November 1 to December 31, 2013:
Mint Tea and Minarets (signed copy). Special discount for multiple copies.
USD30, includes tax and shipping
(in the US only)
A Biblical Feast (signed copy):
USD15.95, includes tax and shipping (in the US only)
All that is left is for me to wish you
and Bon Appétit!
The Kasbah Chronicles/September 2013
The Kasbah Chronicles
Ruminations on ratatouille
Eggplant tagine. Photo by Kitty Morse
Having purchased an eggplant the size of a football at my local supermarket, I pondered ways to prepare it: in a tagine? in zahouk (the Moroccan version of baba ghaanouj)? I yearned for ratatouille.
Just the sound of “ratatouille” is enough to enliven my tastebuds. According to Wikipedia, “The word ratatouille comes from Occitanratatolha and the recipe comes from Occitan cuisine. The French touiller means to toss food. Ratatouille originated in the area around present day Occitan Provença (French: Provence) and Niça (French: Nice);” . . .
Though easy to prepare, ratatouille calls for a certain amount of attention. Forget shortcuts, such as combining all the vegetables in a pan. NON! NON! For ratatouille to attain its characteristic sweetness tinged with rosemary, the eggplant, zucchini, tomato, bell pepper (in my view, only red will do) prefer to perform solo before being tossed (“touiller” in French) into a communal dish.
Ratatouille keeps well, in a covered container in the refrigerator for several days. (Cook’s confession: I eat ratatouille anytime, including breakfast.)
1 medium unblemished eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 or 2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 small onions, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced or 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 yellow crookneck or zucchini squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary
More salt, to taste
Place eggplant cubes on a clean towel, and let sweat 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse under running water. Pat dry. (You can omit this step if the eggplant is very fresh.)
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring occasionally until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted soon, discard garlic. To the same pan, add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden.
Add eggplant, and cook, stirring until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a bowl and set aside.
To the same pan, add red bell pepper, and cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add to bowl and set aside.
To the same pan, add squash, and cook, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add to bowl and set aside.
To the same pan, add tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf and rosemary. Cook, partially covered, until mixture thickens somewhat, 10 to 15 minutes. Add reserved vegetables and cook, uncovered until ratatouille thickens. Discard bay leaf and rosemary. Add a pinch of salt, if desired. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
If by chance you have leftovers, give them a Moroccan twist by adding a couple of pinches of ground CUMIN to the mixture:
Eggs in a Nest of Ratatouille
Simmer the ratatouille in an ovenproof pan until most of the liquid evaporates.
3 cups prepared ratatouille
Cumin, to taste
4 large eggs
Paprika, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread a thick layer of ratatouille on bottom of a shallow 1 1/2-quart ovenproof dish. Using the back of a large spoon, make 4 “nests” in the vegetables. Break 1 egg in each nest. Cover with foil, and bake until egg whites set, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle eggs with paprika. Serve with warm, crusty bread.
Adapted from 365 Ways to Cook Vegetarian by Kitty Morse (HarperCollins)
WANT TO EAT LIKE AN EMPRESS?
If Prince Charles can sell the products of his farms, why not Marie Antoinette?
Let them eat cake: Versailles breaks into fancy foods
The Palace of Versailles has unveiled a new line of gourmet produce, sweets and other French food meant to rival luxury food brands Fauchon and Hédiard.
TO END ON a musical note:
A classic French song:
and Bon Appétit!
The Kasbah Chronicles/August 2013
So much has happened this month, I hardly know where to start.
Attending the memorial in Milwaukee for my dear aunt in seems appropriate. She was the first member of our immediate family to immigrate to the US from Morocco to attend college. After obtaining her graduate degrees at UW-Madison and marrying an American, she sent for her parents, then for her sister, niece (yours truly) and nephew. The classic immigrant story!
Next August, my mother and I will celebrate our FIFTIETH year in the United States!
The flights to and from Milwaukee do not call for celebration, however. American Airlines flew us from Los Angeles to Milwaukee. NEVER have I flown on such a dirty plane in the US. Someone else’s garbage filled the pocket in front of me, and the smell of urine floated over those of us seated at the rear of the plane. One woman declared flatly: “I’m not going in there.” Neither did I. Attendants had forgotten how to smile. What HAS happened to American Airlines? Delta fared a little better on the return, though the scent of urine permeated the air during a 3-hour delay on the tarmac because of a stupendous Midwestern storm.
On the lighter side, the TSA at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Field has a SENSE OF HUMOR! Not only were the agents solicitous, but after relieving us of jacket, shoes, jewelry, belts, watch and toiletries, they thoughtfully sent us to a
Boy, did we need to recombobulate!
The American Dialect Society voted “Recombobulation” as the most creative word of 2008.
Think of Mint Tea and Minarets as a program for your bookclub or organization. The event includes a 45 minute Power Point and talk on Moroccan culture and cuisine, a short cooking demonstration (upon request), sampling and book signing.
Friday, October 11, 2013. 7PM.
Saveurs du Maroc/A Taste of Morocco
Presentation, sampling, wine tasting and book signing
Alliance Française de la Riviera Californienne
4500 Campus Drive #102
Newport Beach CA 92660. (949)251-1610
Friday, November 8, 2013. 7PM.
Saveurs du Maroc/A Taste of Morocco
Presentation, sampling, and book signing
Alliance Française de Pasadena
34 E. Union Street
Pasadena CA. (626) 683-3774.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013. 6PM.
A Taste of Morocco
Presentation and book signing
Fletcher Hills Branch Library
576 Garfield Avenue
El Cajon 92020. 619-466-1132
November 15, 2013. Noon to 1:30PM.
Kitty cooks with Chef Bernard of La Jolla’s renowned Marine Room.
MACY’S School of Cooking
MISSION VALLEY HOME
1555 Camino de La Reina
San Diego, CA 92108
Mission Valley, CA
Sampling and book signing. FREE and open to the public. Come early to get a seat! This class fills up VERY quickly.
Need a gift? I will be happy to send out a signed copy to any US recipient in time for the holidays.
Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories
$30 plus $3.50 shipping (media mail, in the US only) California residents add $2.05 tax.
A Biblical Feast: Ancient Mediterranean Flavors for Todays’ Table
$15.95 plus$3 shipping (media mail, in the US only) California residents add $1.30 tax.
Quantity discount if you purchase three of the same title. E-mail: email@example.com
Traveling to Morocco?
I am NOT a travel agent, but I can tell you were to eat and shop! Let me review your itinerary and make suggestions. Sign up at http://www.kittymorse.com/travelling-to-morocco for a sixty minute phone consultation.
Travel-Study Opportunity for Educators.
Funded by the US Department of Education, UCLA’s Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad.
Applications are being accepted for a unique six-week opportunity for teachers to study the culture, history, and tradition of Morocco. The program consists of studying Arabic and traveling throughout Morocco, as well as an opportunity to be part of an important musical/cultural festival in the picturesque coastal town of Essaouira. The project will partner with The Africa Channel to film and broadcast participants’ experience on “First Time Africa,” a reality based series. http://www.international.ucla.edu/africa/news/article
September 5-14, 2014.
Friend and colleague Kathi Diamant (whom you may know as a presenter on KPBS television) and author of Kafka’s Last Love, is leading her second Magical Mystery Literary History Tour following in the footsteps of Franz Kafka and Dora Diamant, to the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany.
http://www.kathidiamant.com/research.html for details.
Photo copyright Nancy Zaslavsky
October 26 to November 1, 2013
OAXACA for Day of the Dead Festivities
How long have you been dreaming about traveling to Oaxaca? My friend and colleague Nancy Zaslavsky is the expert to travel with if you want to experience the soul and the foods of Oaxaca during the famed annual celebrations.
I have just returned from a heavenly weekend at the fabled Rancho La Puerta spa, in Tecate, Baja California, MEX. to present Mint Tea and Minarets. I wish you could all experience the lovely spot, with its fragrant grounds, inviting swimming pools, and most important, the gorgeous La Cocina que Canta Cooking School set in the midst of a large organic farm. Southern California residents, did you know you could attend Saturdays at the Ranch for a day? For information on programs, visit http://www.rancholapuerta.com
Another longtime friend has created the website http://www.capecodrestaurants.com/blog/with food information, recipes, travel tips and lots more, relative to Cape Cod.
This is the month when my fig tree starts to work overtime. I have regaled you in previous years with tales of this prolific tree that yields figs until XMAS! You’ll find delicious ideas in Fig Heaven by my friend Marie Simmons. She graciously shared a recipe from her latest book, A Taste of Honey. Writes Marie: “When food is cooked on top of or wrapped in fig leaves, it takes on an intriguing taste best described as coconut or cinnamon.” Who knew?
Photography by Meg Smith
Roasted Honey-glazed figs with Herbed Goat Cheese on Fig Leaves
Makes 6 servings
“If fresh figs are not available, try this with halved ripe apricots . . .“
Extra-virgin olive oil, for the baking dish, plus 1 tablespoon
1 large fresh fig leaf or 2 medium-size fig leaves, stems trimmed (optional)
6 large ripe figs, stem ends trimmed, halved lengthwise
6 ounces fresh goat cheese, cut from a log and into ½-inch chunks
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons honey
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Approximately ½ teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar
1 baguette, warmed and sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly brush a pie plate or 8-inch gratin or other shallow baking dish with a thin film of olive oil. Place the fig leaves in the dish, covering the bottom.
2. Arrange the figs, cut side up, around the outside edges of the dish. Arrange the cheese chunks in a single layer in the center. Sprinkle the figs and cheese with the thyme. Drizzle the figs and cheese lightly with the honey and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season the cheese and figs with the salt and pepper.
3. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until the fig leaf begins to curl and the cheese and figs soften.
4. Before serving, carefully place a tiny drop of vinegar in the center of each fig. To serve, present a basket of sliced baguette. Spread each slice with the softened cheese and top with a fig half.
From A Taste of Honey by Marie Simmons/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC.
Thinking of remodeling your bathroom? Wouldn’t you love this!!!
Capecodrestaurants.com, capecodhotelsandmotels.com and capecodlodgings.com will begin a new feature for our blog. Starting with this posting, we will begin reprinting information and/or newsletters from chefs, foodies and travel professionals from around the world. Visitors to the Cape and Islands come from around the world. Our website users prove that.
Each month we will provide an opportunity for hospitality mavens to speak directly to our website users. Some will provide great recipes, others will provide cooking ideas, still others will give you advice on where to go and where to stay and where to eat when you get to wherever you are going.
Our goal is to provide you, the site user, access to information and newsletters from around the world which would be difficult to find on your own. Marvelous Mavens LLC, owners of capecodrestaurants.com, capecodhotelsandmotels.com and capecodlodgings.com knows that we never get enough cooking tips, recipes and ideas from chefs and foodies as well as hotel and travel information. We all make time to read one more delicious recipe or one more travel tip to an exotic destination.
We hope that this informational blog post provides you with valuable information and that you will return to our blog each month to discover new foodie and travel ideas from around the world.
Meet our colleague, cookbook author Kitty Morse, who shares her newsletter with us and some GREAT recipes. Enjoy!!!!