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!

 

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

 


Barnstable Association of Recreational Shellfishing (BARS) / May 2014

This month we introduce you to the Barnstable Association of Recreational Shellfishing (BARS).  Founded in 2001, the purpose of BARS is to discuss issues relating to recreational shellfishing in the Town of Barnstable and to promote the welfare, propagation, conservation and protection of the existing shellfish habitats. BARS has grown quite a bit since 2001 with over 200 members currently. The group has focused on conservation of the shellfishing habitat, water quality, and ways to water.

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.

Meet  Joseph Doolin of Osterville, author of “South Boston Boy” and “Death in Copley Square” (now working on his third book) and contributor to ‘Prime Time’ magazine.  Joe was the founding Executive Director of Kit Clark Senior Services in Boston and has taught at both UMass Boston and Boston University.  Joe was born in Boston but traveled to the Cape for 25 years.  After he retired as CEO of Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Boston, he and his wife Mary moved to Cape Cod full time 12 years ago and Joe became an avid shellfisher.  Joe often cooks for his 3 sons and 4 grandchildren; in addition to fish and shellfish, he makes his own pasta and bread.  To work off all those calories, Joe also likes to kayak and bicycle.
Joe shares with you his recipe for Sole Meuniere from the BARS cookbook:

SOLE MEUNIERE (4 servings)
4 flounder sole fillets                                                                                       
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbls. Butter
2 Tbls. Olive Oil
2 Tbls. Freshly chopped parsley
4 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. capers (optional)
Grated lemon zest (optional)
1 cup flour
Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper.  Dredge fish in flour and shake excess off.  Heat oil and 2 Tbls. butter in large skillet until it begins to brown; add fish and cook 1 ½ to 2 minutes each side.  Put fish on a warm platter and sprinkle with 1 Tbls. chopped parsley.  Melt remaining 2 Tbls.  butter, add lemon juice, capers, grated zest, and remaining parsley.  Stir 1 minute.  Pour over fish and serve.

Bon Appetit!!!!!



Apple Galette

Chef Peggy Eagan of Bistro on the Go ( http://www.bistroonthego.com/) 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

 

                                                                  Musings  

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 (www.chefspress.com) 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.

Bissara

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)!

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/fava-egg-salad-sandwiches-50400000133931/

and another:

http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/02/18/3632944/lamb-kabobs-moroccan-fast-food.html

and

http://www.goerie.com/article/20140219/LIFESTYLES04/302199995/Lamb-kebabs-a-fast-food-favorite

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

http://marocmama.com/2014/02/guest-post-dar-zitoun-azemmour.html

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.

Maine:

http://www.RabelaisBooks.com

Massachusets

http://www.nantucketbookworks.com

Bismillah and Bon Appetit

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oceania Cruises Bon Appetit Culinary Center

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

Ingredients
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

Directions

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.

Bon Appetit!!!!

Chicken Espanola

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.” 

Indeed, there is a lot of talent underlying her humble roots.  Although Peggy would someday like to own a restaurant, becoming a personal chef/caterer has given her a way to combine her passion for cooking, with a way to work with people on a more personal basis through food.  “It’s exciting to work with individual clients to create food that is designed to satisfy their personal needs,” Peggy said,  “Every client is different, which has really helped me grow as a chef.  I conduct a personal interview with each client to determine what they like to eat and how often they will need my service.  Then, I customize recipes and design  a custom menu that satisfy their needs and desires.  On the designated day, I shop for fresh ingredients and prepare healthy dinners for my clients in their own home.  All my clients enjoy a break from not having to spend their time shopping, cooking or cleaning up the kitchen.  Some clients schedule my service for special occasions and other rely on me for weeknight meal preparation during busy days.    Flexibility is very important to me and my clients.”

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.” 

Over the past year, Bistro On The Go has expanded to include other services in addition to weeknight meal preparation.  “I’ve been catering dinner parties and cocktail parties,” the chef states. “ I love parties because I get to cook more complicated menus—sometimes with a special theme.  Because I’m doing all the work, my clients can enjoy mingling with their guests instead of being stuck in the kitchen,” Peggy added. “I also offer private cooking classes for individuals or groups.  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.

                                                  Chicken Espanola

 

Serves 4 

2 ½ – 3 lbs chicken pieces with skin and bone intact, washed and patted dry
2 tbs olive oil
3-4 cloves of oil, minced

1 large white or Spanish onion, sliced
1 shallot, minced

2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 1 canned crushed tomatoes
½ cup pimento stuffed olives, sliced and set aside 1/8 cup of olive brine

½ cup raisins or currents
1 bay leaf

½ cup sherry
1 cup chicken stock

Salt and pepper

 Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.  Large chicken breast halves should be quartered for even cooking.  Set aside.

In an ovenproof deep sauté pan or heavy-bottomed pot (with a lid), heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Working 3 to 4 chicken pieces at a time, sear chicken for 2 minutes on each side, or until chicken develops a golden brown crust. Set aside seared chicken pieces. 

Lower heat to medium and add onions and shallots.  Cook until softened.  Add garlic and cook until the smell of the garlic fills the pot.  Add tomatoes, olives, raisins, bay leaf, sherry and chicken stock.  Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.  Allow it to come back up to a simmer.  Add chicken pieces into sauce.  Cover and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of the chicken pieces.  Bake for an addition 15 to 20 minutes uncovered. 

Serve over white rice or polenta for a hearty meal.

Buen provecho!

Braised Short Ribs and Jumbo Scallops

Another fabulous recipe from Chef Yves Bainier (scroll down for bio).  Beautiful Nantucket scallops on a succulent short rib – how’s that for Chef Bainier’s take on surf and turf!  This one will make you drool.

BRAISED SHORT RIBS AND JUMBO SCALLOPS

 

Ingredients:
2 lb of beef short ribs on the bone
1 cup of veal stock (can be found in specialty food supermarkets )
1 small can of tomato paste
1 cup of Pinot Noir wine
1 yellow onion
2 stalks of celery
1 large carrot
2 vine ripened tomatoes
2 tbsp of all purpose flour
8 large scallops  (salt and pepper)

Equipment:
1 large pot with lid
1 sauté pan
1 pair of tongs
1 wooden spoon

Recipe:

Pat the short ribs with a paper towel and coat them with flour.  Remove the excess flour and sautée the ribs in the large pot beginning with hot oil,caramelizing all sides of the short ribs nice and deep dark brown.

Remove the ribs.  Place them on the side on a plate then add to the pot the onion, carrot and celery peeled and roughly chopped in ¼ inch cubes for 2 minutes. Lower the heat under the pot and add 3 Tbsp of tomato paste then the flour and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the wine and cook for 2 more minutes then add the veal stock and 1 quart of cold water. Stir and bring to a boil.  Add a Tbsp of salt and black pepper to taste and the 2 chopped tomatoes. Place the short ribs  back into the pot and simmer for 2 hours with a lid on checking every so often so that the liquid doesn’t evaporate too quickly. I like to place the pot in an oven instead of a stove top (both work).

After 2 hours check to see if the meat is cooked and tender (falling of the bone) .

Remove the meat to another container, taste the sauce which should be dark brown and flavorful, you may need to adjust the seasoning.

Pour the sauce over the ribs and let it cool overnight (it always tastes better when reheated) .

Scallops:  Place the scallops on a paper towel so that they can dry.  Season them with salt and pepper.  Warm the canola oil to a high heat and place the scallops carefully in the pan one by one.  Each scallop should be seared to a nice brown on both sides and kept medium rare depending on your liking.

For more information http://www.chefybainier.com/.

Bon appetit!

The Kasbah Chronicles / Kitty Morse / December 20, 2013

The Kasbah Chronicles / Kitty Morse

Posted on December 20, 2013

We end the year with a recipe from our good friend Kitty Morse.  Kitty is a food writer, cooking teacher and lecturer.

Kitty Morse was born in Casablanca, of a French mother and British father, and emigrated to the United States in 1964. She returns frequently to Morocco to spend time at her family’s riad, Dar Zitoun, the subject of her latest book, Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories.

She is the author of nine cookbooks, five of them on the cuisine of Morocco and North Africa. They include Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen now in its ninth printing from Chronicle Books, The Scent of Orange Blossoms (Ten Speed Press), and The California Farm Cookbook (Pelican Publishing).  Her latest book, Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories published in 2012, was a finalist in the San Diego Book Awards in June 2012.

In recent years, she became author/publisher for the second edition of A Biblical Feast: Ancient Mediterranean Flavors for Today’s Table. She published Mint Tea and Minarets in December 2012.

Here is a portion of Kitty’s newsletter for your enjoyment.

A menu for a “réveillon” celebration (whether Christmas or New Year’s Eve) almost always includes Belgian endives on French tables. This is how we used to greet the nouvel an, new year, in Casablanca:

excerpted from

Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories

    . . . “As a family, we spent many a New Year’s Day at (Madame Simone’s) seamlessly orchestrated dinner parties. She was far and away the most impeccable hostess within my parents’ circle of friends. Madame Simone left no detail to chance when she entertained. That made more humiliating an incident when my slightly tipsy father shattered a few crystals in a chandelier with an errant cork he launched from a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

    The food was always trois étoiles, three star, at Madame Simone’s, even to my then unsophisticated palate. But what I marveled at most was the artistry with which she blindly applied her carmine lipstick. I had plenty of opportunity to study her meticulous technique as she recoated her lips with rouge à lèvres almost as often as we changed plates during the multi-course banquet. While the adults sipped champagne and debated political issues around the starched-linen tablecloth laid with monogrammed cutlery, antique candelabras, and sparkling crystal de Bohème, my brother and I diverted ourselves with the fun-house reflections our faces made in our hostess’s polished silver goblets.

     Cheeks flushed from a fingerbreadth ration of chilled Vouvray wine, we savored plump Belon oysters abducted from their beds in the Oualidia lagoon four hours south of town. Like seasoned gastronomes, we devoured dinde aux marrons, roast turkey with chestnuts, and made piglets of ourselves with the perfectly ripened fromages, cheeses, and salade d’endivesaux noix, Belgian endives with walnuts . . .”

                               Photo Owen Morse. All rights reserved. Coryright 2012.

Salade d’Endives aux Noix

(Belgian Endive Salad with Walnuts)

Serves 4

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons walnut oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons minced tarragon leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried, crushed
4 Belgian endives
¼ cup walnut pieces, toasted
¼ cup crumbled Blue cheese or Roquefort
½ cup bacon bits

            Whisk mustard with vinegar until smooth. Continue to whisk while adding oil in a stream, until sauce emulsifies. Stir in salt, pepper, and tarragon. Set aside. 

            Wipe endives with a damp paper towel. Trim and discard ¼ inch from stumps. Cut 1½ inches from tips and set aside.

             Cut what remains of endives into ½-inch-wide slices. Arrange in the center of a serving platter and surround with separated leaves from the tips. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with toasted walnuts, Roquefort, and bacon bits.

 

from Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories. Copyright Kitty Morse 2012. All rights reserved.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!