Monthly Archives: July 2013

Ras el Hanout at the supermarket! We are a global foodie culture!


A friend in Arlington VA,  found a jar of Ras el Hanout (meaning “top of the shop” or “the best that the shop has to offer”)  Morocco’s most famous spice blend, at her local commissary. The authentic spice can sometimes contain up to 32 different ingredients, though McCormick’s has pared the list down considerably. I cam quite sure that it doesn’t contain the “secret” Moroccan ingredient and purported aphrodisiac, Spanish fly! 

Try my blend, and make the elegant lamb medallions I once prepared at the Culinary Institute of America in St Helena.

Kitty’s Seared Lamb Medallions with Mourouziya


Serves 6

1  1/2 lbs lamb loin, boned and trimmed of fat

 2 tablespoons ras el hanout

 Olive oil

 Mourouziya (recipe below)


 Cut lamb into 12 medallions (2 ounces each) of equal size. Pound very lightly with a meat mallet. Pat dry. Sprinkle with ras el hanout on both sides. Lightly salt. Set aside.

Lightly coat a large, non-stick skillet with olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Set medallions in the pan without crowding. Sear quickly, 2 minutes or so on each side. Meat should remain pink in the center. To serve: Top medallions with some morouziya. Serve hot.



2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups diced onions

¾ cup seedless black raisins, rinsed quickly under running water

¼ cup seedless golden raisins, rinsed quickly under running water

1/3 cup toasted diced almonds

2 tablespoons honey

1/3 cup beef broth or stock

1 tablespoon ras el hanout or to taste plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Salt to taste

Whole almonds, toasted, for garnish

In a large, non-reactive pan, over medium high heat, heat olive oil. Cook onions, stirring occasionally until golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Add currants, raisins, diced almonds, honey, stock, and ras el hanout. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Note: To toast almonds, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread almonds on a lightly oiled baking sheet, shaking the pan once or twice. Toast until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes.


Ras el hanout:

This recipe yields approximately 2 ounces (about 1/4 cup) for about 8 servings.

2 teaspoons ground coriander seed

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground fenugreek

1  ½ teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Combine ingredients.



Thursday, August 1, 2013. 6:00PM

A Taste of Morocco, presentation and book signing

San Diego County Library. Vista Branch

 700 Eucalyptus Avenue

Vista CA. (760)643-5100

 Sunday, August 11, 2013. 4PM


American Institute of Wine and Food

 San Diego, CA

 Saturday August 17th, 2013. 8PM.

 A Taste of Morocco evening presentation

If you happen to be spending some time at what was just voted “World’s Best Destination Spa” for the 3rd time by readers of Travel and Leisure magazine.

Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Baja California, MX

 Hope to see you there!

Program chairs:

Looking for a program for your organization, book club, or

private gathering? I will be happy to offer my services. Just call me or drop me an e-mail.



Upcoming presentations and book signings! Share with your friends



 A bouquet for the Fourth of July

July 2013:

As some of you know, I have been all over the county speaking at our wonderful libraries. Why not join me at one of the upcoming events? A short demonstration on how to make your own preserved lemons concludes my “chats”.


“Sip a glass of iced mint tea, and discover the culture and cuisine of my native Morocco.

 The 50-minute Power Point presentation takes you inside our family’s historic riad (Moorish mansion), introduces some of my friends and relatives in Morocco, and discloses the history and techniques behind family recipes, from exotic stews known as tagines, to couscous, and bestila, the crowning dish of Morocco’s culinary repertoire. A book signing and food sampling follows the presentation.”

 A Taste of Morocco:

If you are the program chair of a book club or other organization, I would happy to plan a program for you. I can approach my presentation from a number of angles.

For those interested in food and culture:

-A 45-minute Power Point presentation on Moroccan cuisine and culture. A short cooking demonstration followed by a sampling and a book signing.

For those more interested in the literary aspect:

-A reading from the book followed by a discussion, question and answers.


For those interested in WRITING such a book:

Why a memoir with food?

Writing a book proposal/Sketch out your own book proposal

How to write a recipe for the American market



 Friday, October 11, 2013

Presentation, sampling and wine tasting. 7PM

Alliance Française de la Riviera Californienne

4500 Campus Drive #102

Newport Beach CA 92660




Friday, November 8, 2013

Saveurs du Maroc

Alliance Française de Pasadena

34 E. Union Street, Pasadena CA.

(626) 683-3774

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Presentation and book signing

Fletcher Hills Branch Library

576 Garfield Avenue

El Cajon 92020. (619)466-1132


November 15, 2013. Noon to 1:30PM. Free.

Macy’s School of Cooking

Mission Valley, CA.

Kitty cooks with Chef Bernard of the Marine Room in La Jolla.  THIS CLASS FILLS UP VERY EARLY! Come early to get a seat!


 Thursday, July 11th. 6PM

 A Taste of Morocco, presentation and book signing

San Diego County Library- Fallbrook Branch

 124 S Mission Rd, Fallbrook, CA




Thursday, July 18th, 2013. 11AM

Cooking with Kids.


San Diego County Library. Vista Branch

 700 Eucalyptus Avenue, Vista CA.

 (760)643-5100. Registration required.


Saturday, July 20th. 2PM


A Taste of Morocco, presentation and book signing

 Del Mar Library. 2PM

 1309 Camino del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014

 858 755-1666


 Saturday, July 27th, 2013. 1PM

 A Taste of Morocco, presentation and book signing

 San Diego County Library

 Bonita-Sunnyside Branch

 4375 Bonita Road, Bonita CA 91902



 August 1, 2013. 5:30PM

A Taste of Morocco, presentation and book signing

 San Diego County Library. Vista Branch

700 Eucalyptus Avenue, Vista CA.

(760) 643-5100