Tag Archives: Moroccan

The Kasbah Chronicles/Tagine of Quince

 

October 2011

 

Nothing surprised me more two or three years ago, than to learn from one of my “foodie” cousins in Paris, that “Alloween” (with silent "h", sic) had taken root in France. Dozens of sites initiated novices to la soirée d’Halloween, from cooking sites featuring cupcakes called “les caries de la sorcière” (the witch’s cavities) to other web pages giving step by step directions on how to carve your “citrouille” (pumpkin). Go to [1]http://www.2travelandeat.com/France) if curiosity gets the better of you!

 

Meanwhile: In the Moroccan kitchen!

IN SEASON: QUINCE!

 

Purchasing a quince is a great way to start up a conversation at the farmer’s market. Questions range from “What is this funny looking fruit?" to "What do you make with it?”

 

"Membrillo (quince paste), or quince jelly!" might be the input of Hispanic and Italian cooks. In Morocco, the seasonal appearance of “sfergel” (as quince is called in local darija dialect) is cause for rejoicing. Bouchaib, the cook/caretaker at our family riad, Dar Zitoun, couldn’t wait to head for the souk to purchase the first sfergel. Our dear friend passed away a few years ago, and in his memory, I offer you the dish he used to prepare. This tagine is an adaptation from the one featured in my first cookbook, Come with me to the Kasbah: A Cook’s Tour of Morocco.

 



Tagine of Rabbit with Quince

Tagine de Lapin aux Coings

Serves 4

 

Sweet “pineapple” quince is the variety most commonly available in the United States. You can substitute chicken legs and thighs for the rabbit.

 

2 quinces

½ cup honey

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons turmeric

3 pounds rabbit, cut up

2 onions diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup broth or reserved quince cooking liquid

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

Core (do not peel), remove seeds, and cut quinces into fairly thick wedges. Place in a bowl of acidulated water to prevent darkening. Drain.

 

Transfer quince to a saucepan over medium heat, and barely cover fruit with water. Add honey and cinnamon. Cook until quinces are tender. Drain, reserving liquid.

 

Meanwhile, in a tagine dish placed over a heat diffuser, or in a medium casserole, heat olive oil and turmeric over medium-high heat. Cook,

stirring, until spices begin to foam. Add rabbit pieces and stir to coat, 4 to 5 minutes. Add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth (or quince cooking liquid) and salt. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook until rabbit is tender, 50 to 55 minutes.

 

With a slotted spoon transfer rabbit to a serving dish and keep warm. Transfer cooked quince to pan, and bring sauce to a simmer on top of the stove. It

should be quite sweet. Add honey, if desired. Season with pepper. Cook until sauce thickens, 6 to 8 minutes.

 

To serve, mound rabbit on a platter, and top with the sauce and wedges of quince (the photo above shows how carefully Bouchaib used to “carve” the

fruit!) Serve with crusty bread.


Reminder:

Join me for the webchats (see my previous post), if you can!

 

JOYEUSE FETE D'(H)alloween!



Encore fava beans!

A New Way to Cook with Fava Beans!

Leaves included!

Some of you may know of my taste for fresh fava beans, that most underrated bean, at least among US cooks. 

 Fava beans always come to mind at this time of the year, especially around Easter and Passover. Growing up in Morocco meant I got to participate in the rituals of Muslims, Christians, and Jews: That made for sampling a number of celebratory dishes, from Ramadan soup, to Hot Cross Buns, and my maternal great-grandmother’s Passover bean soup packed with fresh cilantro.

 My favorite way to savor favas is à la marocaine of course, cooked in olive oil, and flavored with cumin, paprika, and cilantro.  But I was thrilled to discover that fava leaves are also edible. This thanks to a vendor at the Vista farmer’s market, the one where you will find me every Saturday morning. Gladys, an expert in Asian cooking, told me she added fava leaves instead of pea shoots to her Chinese egg drop soup. So I rushed to the store, bought the makings for chicken broth, and added fava leaves and sesame oil:  I am here to tell you that this soup will become part of my repertoire .  

In the same spirit of experimentation, I too, decided to give a Moroccan classic a new twist by adding leaves and pods ( as long as they are young and tender). Shelling favas is somewhat time consuming, but you can do that a day or two ahead.  The leaves have only a very faint, grassy taste, so you can be generous when you add them to your dish.

Et voilà le résultat! Bon appétit!

 

Fava Beans, Leaves and Pods with chermoula spices

 serves 4

 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

2 teaspoons cumin

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup diced tomatoes

1 cup shelled fava beans

2 cups fava bean leaves (no stems)

4 or 5 small, slender pods, cut into 2-inch pieces

½ bunch cilantro tied with string

½ cup water

Salt and pepper

Juice of 1 lemon

Chopped cilantro, for garnish

 In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add paprika, cumin, and garlic. Stir until spices start to bubble. Add tomatoes, shelled beans, leaves, pods, cilantro and water. Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Discard cilantro. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl, and serve at room temperature. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro before serving.

copyright Kitty Morse 2011

April 2010 book signing

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Time: 1-3PM

Information:

e-mail: lecreuset37@lecreuset.com

(760)931-6868

Make a day of it! 

Join me for a book signing and a cooking demonstration followed by a tasting at the Le Creuset Company Store located in the beautiful Carlsbad Company Stores mall in Carlsbad, CA, a stone’s throw from Legoland and the famous Carlsbad Flower Fields. Browse around Le Creuset’s colorful merchandise while sampling a tagine and other Moroccan specialties. Or just drop by and  chat! 

A bientot!

 

 

 

It’s raining limes! (Again)

 

 I feel so sorry for my citrus trees. The weather has been so mercurial that they can’t tell if it’s summer, Fall, or spring. We have had several heat waves at the oddest times, which has spurred fruit to ripen prematurely perhaps, and in doing so, splitting before falling to the ground. A Google search yielded nothing much in the way of combatting the situation. I just hope this isn’t permanent.

I would suggest, if you have YELLOW limes (such as Bearss or Key limes) or lemons, to preserve them for future use, or to give away. I have made preserved lemon addicts in my own circle of friends, many of whom requested a jar! That certainly made Christmas shopping easier!

Marketing my reprint of A Biblical feast: Ancient Mediterranean Flavors for Today’s Table occupies most of my time (no citrus existed in Biblical Times, save for the Etrog citron, perhaps), instead of lemon juice, I use a touch of vinegar or a spoonful of pomegranate molasses to impart a fruity, citric flavor to some of the biblically-inspired dishes. 

A  new decade, and a new project:  I have tested many of the recipes for my preserved lemon book. Time to harvest today’s pickings.

 

A bientot,

 

Kitty

 

 

 

 

My next cooking demo

September 2008

I will be at Le Creuset stores in the San Francisco Bay area on September 20 and 21, 2008 for book signings and cooking demonstrations using Le Creuset’s tagine pot and their other terrific cookware. Drop in and say Hello!

 Saturday, September 20, 2008:

Olympic Place, Walnut Creek: 12 Noon

(925) 932-1186

and

Saturday, September 20, 2008:  4PM 

Vacaville Premium Outlets, 111 Nut Tree Road, Suite B Vacaville.

(707) 453-0620.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008: 1PM 

Gilroy Premium Outlets, 8225 Arroyo Circle, Space #24, Gilroy:

(408) 848-6619

 Hope to see you at one of the stores….

Reminder: Don’t forget to click on the RSS Feed button in the upper right hand corner of the page if you’d like to be informed as soon as I post a new message.  

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August 2008

I will be returning to Rancho La Puerta’s lovely cooking school, La Cocina que Canta, on Saturday, August 23rd, to teach a hands on class as part of the Rancho’s Day at Rancho la Puerta. For more information, visit www.rancholapuerta.com. 

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July 2008

My next cooking demo will take place July 5th to  July 12th, 2008, at the Cocina que Canta, located a the world famous Rancho La Puerta  spa in Tecate, Mexico. I will give two hands on classes, as well as one demonstration, using the produce from the spa’s organic farm. The menu is Moroccan, of course!

Did you know that you could spend the day at Rancho La Puerta and enjoy a cooking class and spa treatments? Enjoy a relaxed ride to Tecate by chartered bus from San Diego. 

Check out the link!

Kitty