Friend and e-marketing expert Chris Pemberton came up with the catchy Kasbah Chronicles during a brainstorming session held over a strawberry waffle smothered in an Everest of whipped cream, specialty of the DipSea Café, in Mill Valley (CA). In addition to having brainstorms, Chris manufactures exotic spice blends such Moroccan ras-el-hanout, which he markets through his website, http://www.originspices.com. Merci, Chris!
August took me to a number of venues in California, to give presentations on Moroccan cuisine and culture.
The French Culinary Institute (Campbell, CA)
Seventy participants attended my talk in my hometown library, inVista (CA). What fun to see you all. Shokran to others in the Bay Area, who came to hear me, talk to me, or sample my food, first at the impressive International Culinary Center/French Culinary Institute in Campbell (CA), then at the charming library set among the vines in St Helena (Napa Valley), Le Creuset’s outlet stores in Gilroy and Vacaville (I got to cook with Le Creuset's rainbow-colored, cast iron enamel tagines!) and Omnivore Books, a cookbook collectors' heaven in San Francisco. http://www.omnivorebooks.com.
At Omnivore Books. Stuffed dates? Are you serious?
(If you come up with a better caption, please let me know!)
As luck would have it, I took the opportunity to visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the Contemporary Jewish Museum, both featuring works from the collections of Leo and Gertrude Stein. Gertrude Stein was one of my "literary heroines when I attended study university. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would one day stand in the middle of her recreated "living room" amidst the Steins' awe inspiring collection of early twentieth century art.
I know Fall is finally here because of the prolific crop of figs weighing down our Long Yellow tree. The abundance of fruit provides the impetus for ferreting out recipes that incorporate fresh figs! Please, please, share your ideas with me! Our scottie, Olive, is dedicated to the task: She eats figs that fall to the ground, but not before daintily removing their skin.
THE HOLIDAYS are ALMOST UPON US: Put up jars of preserved lemons! They make a great gift! The best Moroccan preserved lemons are the ones you make yourself! OR fill gift boxes with these Moroccan confections. Many presentation attendees requested the recipe for the almond and sesame seed selloh "truffles" I served as samples.
Toasted Flour, Honey, Butter, Sesame and Almond Truffles
Makes about 50 (one inch) truffles
Selloh, a traditional Moroccan confection made of ground almonds, ground sesame.seeds, and toasted flour, is usually served during the month of Ramadan. Moroccan cooks traditionally present it in a mound. If the mixture is too crumbly to form little truffles, add more melted butter. The recipe appears in my first cookbook, Come with me to the Kasbah: A Cook’s Tour of Morocco.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups whole blanched almonds, toasted
1 cup (about 6 ounces) sesame seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons aniseed, toasted
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Powdered sugar for coating
In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, toast the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours in batches, stirring frequently until the mixture emits a pleasant, toasted aroma and turns light brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the cinnamon and the sugar. Set aside.
In a spice grinder, finely grind in increments, the almonds, sesame seeds, and aniseed. Add to flour mixture. Stir in honey and butter. Mix well with your hands. If the mixture is too crumbly to form little truffles, add more melted butter.
Sift powdered sugar into a large bowl. Roll 1 level tablespoon of the selloh mixture between your palms to make balls 1-inch in diameter. Gently toss the truffles in sugar to coat. Set them in fluted paper cups. Selloh keeps well for up to 4 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Saturday, October 1
I team up with award-winning Chef Bernard Guillas of
The Marine Room in La Jolla
Macy’s Mission Valley School of Cooking
1555 Camino de la Reina
San Diego CA 92108
Reservations: (619) 291-1111
Noon to 1:30PM
Free and Open to the public
Until next time!
NOTE: I am trying to free up shelf space and have posted a list of cookbooks for sale on the page titled:
Cookbooks for sale from my private collection. Please e-mail me for additional information.