Category Archives: Main Courses

Main courses

July at the Kasbah

A quick recipe for  a summer dinner!

Tunisian Egg Briks

Briks are deep-fried filo turnovers, very popular in Morocco. Now that I have the time, and that Edible Flowers: a Kitchen Companion is at the publisher’s (December 2014 pub date!), I am rediscovering my “old” books, and favorite tested recipes. So much work goes into developing a good one, why reinvent the wheel???

Here is one I particularly like, even though it calls for action at the last minute. Frying the brik and serving it piping hot is part of the fun. So is eating it with your fingers and having a little egg yolk dribble down your chin! ! Briks are usually filled with an egg, a little diced onion, and chopped parsley and cilantro to taste.   I sometimes opt for a savory mix of mashed potato and tuna. Let your imagination run wild!

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 (Chronicle Books 1998) by Kitty Morse.

PS: While I am at it:

 

I had had several requests for information about tours to Morocco lately. I am happy to share the name of the travel agent who handled 18 of my 24 tours. Just send me an e-mail.

 

FYI:

You can consuult the  Travelling to Morocco page on this website, and sign up for a phone consultation. I do not recommend latest hotels and eateries (there are dozens and dozens) but I can suggest what to do and not to do in the cities you visit. My fee is USD100 an hour, payable by Paypal.

Blue Heron Farm Bed and Breakfast

 

Andrea Peterson’s Sheepherder Pie

Serves 4 to 6

    We can let Andrea Peterson, of Peterson Specialty Produce, wax poetic about her organic raspberries, twenty varieties of baby lettuce, and especially, her super sweet sugar-snap peas. For over 20 years, her produce has garnered accolades from patrons as far away as New York and Canada. Her guests are the ones who sing the praises of her Blue Heron Farm Bed and Breakfast nestled in a remote corner of Morro Hills, on the southern edge of Camp Pendleton (CA) (http://www.blueheronfarmbandb.com). 

    This winter, the rains fed a cornucopia of organic vegetables, many of which fill the edible container that Andrea sometimes assembles for breakfast on the deck.

1 shepherd’s loaf, hollowed out to 1" thickness

1/4 cup olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 small potatoes, peeled and diced

1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced

1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced

4 ounces sliced mushrooms

4 ounces cooked green beans, chopped

1/4 cup minced parsley

1 cup turkey or chicken gravy

1/2 cup white wine (optional)

1 to 2 cups leftover poultry, beef or ham, cubed (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 

     Hollow shepherd’s loaf to within 1-inch of crust.  Trim underside of "cap" and set aside. 

     In large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions until wilted. Add garlic, potatoes and carrots. Cook until potatoes are barely tender. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook over low heat, until tender. Remove from heat, and cool a few minutes. 

     Place hollowed loaf on ungreased baking sheet. Fill to capacity with vegetable mixture.  Replace "cap." Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot, taking care the crust doesn’t turn too crispy. Serve immediately.

 Adapted from The California Farm Cookbook, by Kitty Morse (Pelican Publishing). 

Kitty’s Cooking tips

This is a family favorite:

Give your holiday bird a Moroccan twist!

Baste your turkey inside and out with preserved lemon pulp. The salty tang of preserved lemons adds a mouth-watering dimension to a celebratory roast, whether turkey, lamb, beef, or chicken. Placing a layer of diced vegetables (carrots, celery, onion) on the bottom of the pan will  add flavor to the pan juices and yield an extra  side dishHappy cooking!

Kitty

 

Wild Rice Irene

For The California Farm Cookbook (Pelican Publishing 1994) (link to Amazon.com), I travelled the length and breadth of California, searching out family farmers, and recording their stories. I also solicited their favorite recipes for the fruits and vegetables they grew, the cheese they produced, and the beef or chickens they raised. This is one of them.

This is  a great dish to take on a picnic. The secret to obtaining tender wild rice is to soak it overnight (the way they do in Minnesota!), and then cook it until the grains pop open.

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup wild rice, soaked overnight and drained
1 3/4 cups bulgur wheat
1 cup raisins
1 bunch scallions, white part only, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
Grated zest of two oranges
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1 cup pecan bits or sliced almonds, toasted

In medium saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil.  Stir in wild rice. Return to a boil. Cover and lower heat to simmer. Cook, 40 to 45 minutes or until rice grain "pops" open. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.
While rice is cooking, bring 2 1/4 cups water to a boil. Add bulgur wheat. Cover and lower heat to simmer. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain.  Let bulgur cool, and combine with the rice.  Add all remaining ingredients. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

From The California Farm Cookbook (Pelican Publishing, 1994)

 

Couscous with Seasonal Vegetables

Serves 6

A vegetarian version of the Moroccan national dish. Meat eaters will add lamb, beef, or chicken. Use any seasonal vegetable or root vegetables. In Casablanca, Couscous Beidaoui includes at least seven different kinds.

1  1/3 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 threads Spanish saffron, crushed
1 cup couscous
1/2 cup frozen baby lima beans
1 small onion, finely diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium green zucchini, peeled an diced
1 medium yellow zucchini, peeled and diced
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and the saffron to a boil. Add the couscous and the lima beans. Stir once. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand until couscous is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. (Couscous should yield about 3 cups.)

In a medium skillet over medium high, heat the remaining olive oil. Cook the onion, carrot and garlic, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables. Cook, stirring, until zucchini is crisp tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, mound the couscous on a platter, and top with the vegetables.

copyright Kitty Morse 2008.