Tag Archives: almonds

Within sight of 2009/A Biblical Feast on TV!

 We are within sight of 2009. I can hardly believe it! Please take a few moments to navigate the site ( and click on RSS Feed for updates). You will find ideas for holiday dishes, edible gifts from San Diego County, new additions to my blog roll, and the new “My Morocco Page”.

British TV crew at the kasbah!


The day Yours truly being taped 

before Thanksgiving, I was thrilled to welcome a five-person British TV crew (see above). They dropped in on us to film a segment on the Last Supper for a television series called Eating Art, hosted by Oliver Peyton, a well-known London restaurateur. The series producer discovered my book, A Biblical Feast (out of print, soon to be reprinted), on the Internet! For the Last Supper, I prepared a salad of bitter herbs, harosset of dried fruit and wine, a roasted a leg of lamb, and various dishes incorporating some of the 84 foodstuffs mentioned in the Old Testament. Homemade wine, unleavened bread, dates, figs, almonds and pistachios rounded off the banquet. April is the projected airdate. Keep on checking right here!

Worlds of Flavor Conference at the Culinary Institute of America

A few weeks earlier, The California Almond Board had invited me to participate in the Worlds of Flavor Conference at the Culinary Institute of America in St Helena, CA, on November 7 and 8th. What an event! Over 700 participants from around the globe gathered at the CIA for 3 days of sampling wine and foods from the Mediterranean, and attend cooking classes and seminars taught by leading the experts in the field.

In the CIA kitchen, I worked shoulder to shoulder with chefs from the United States, and with others from Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Tunisia, and of course, Morocco. The ones who most impressed me were the fantastic assistants, many of them food professionals, who came from around the US to volunteer for the three-day. That is really following your bliss! If you have the chance, visit the CIA. The gift shop and the restaurant are both open to the public.

My dessert of grilled mangos, candied almonds, and orange flavored mulhalbiya must have been a hit, 

judging by the few plates that were left! 

 Have a happy holiday season. A bientot,



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)