These seals at Oceanside Harbor have the right idea: Wake me up when COVID is over…
The Kasbah Chronicles
Les Chroniques de la Kasbah
In English and en français
Notes on my next cookbook
A new twist on a Moroccan classic
Links of interest
News of Morocco and beyond
Improve your spoken French!
Moroccan items for sale
In this, the ninth month of the COVID pandemic, I am at a loss for words. I cannot complain, since our Vista Kasbah is the best place for me to be sequestered—but boy, am I getting itchy feet. Yet, the idea of getting on an airplane still does not appeal to me.
Actually, the pandemic has served an exciting purpose: I have been hard at work on my next book, Bitter Sweet: legacy from my Alsatian ancestors (working title). Beautiful food photography included too!
I received an email blast from the High Atlas Foundation, a most worthy NGO in Morocco :
https://mailchi.mp/highatlasfoundation/article-reviving-a-monastery-for-community-development?e=4GUbJ49kBE. Unpublished article on Tioumliline by Lamia Radi, Rabat, Morocco.
Toumliline remains a magical name in my mind. Toum as we all called it, was a refuge for Catholic nuns in the Middle Atlas Mountains. It was a popular destination and Catholic retreat for many of my Catholic friends, especially at Easter:
“On part a Toum….” they would announce… each year.
Those among you who accompanied me to Morocco will remember the longest day of the trip as we crossed the Atlas Mountains from Fez to the oasis of Tinehrir. Half way up, Tioum hides among the forest of cedar trees not far from the snow slopes of the Mishliffen. Macaques on the way to Toum…
The very first avocado from our very own tree..
Let’s head to the kitchen
new twist on egg tagine with lox
Morocco meets Brooklyn
(variations in Cooking at the Kasbah, The Vegetarian Table: North Africa and Mint Tea and Minarets.)
do you get the idea I love this egg dish?!!
Egg Tagine with Olives and lox
Make the tomato chermoula sauce ahead of time:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, very finely diced
1 (14¼-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
10 green or purple olives, rinsed, pitted, and coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
¼ cup minced cilantro
In a tagine or medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar, olives, garlic, and bay leaf. Mash lightly with a fork. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tomatoes thicken somewhat, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Add cilantro.
Adapted from Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories.
For ONE person:
One egg, beaten
1 or 2 slices of lox, diced
Pour the egg in a small oiled skillet. Swirl around as for an omelet. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with 2 tablespoons of the chermoula, and diced salmon.
Copyright Kitty Morse 2020
More: The French are crazy about “crumbles” savory or sweet. Who knew that “crumbles” (and biscuits d’Halloween) would make such an impact?
Crumble de courgettes au Parmesan
- 4 T olive oil
- 4 medium zucchini, peeled and sliced very thin
- 4 T flour
- 2 T bread crumbs (or almond meal)
- 1 cup grated parmesan
- Ground pepper to taste
- 4 T butter, softened
- 4 slices of ham or prosciutto (optional), cut into ribbons
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring the oil to medium heat in a pan or skillet. Saute the zucchini slices until soft. Drain and set aside.
For the crumble, combine the flour, bread crumbs, parmesan, and salt. Add the softened butter and mix with your fingertips. Alternate layers of zucchini, and ham (if using) in a medium baking dish. Top with the crumble mixture and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
- How to find substitutes for French ingredients:
- Did you know? Grapefruit Is One of the Weirdest Fruits on the Planet
- From its name, to its hazy origins, to its drug interactions, there’s a lot going on beneath that thick rind.
My friend Stephenie Coug
hlin, owner of Seabreeze Farm in Del Mar (CA) a mere 2 or 3 miles from the ocean, grows and delivers her own GORGEOUS produce. Heck her out!
News of Morocco, France, and beyond:
Casablanca is undergoing a renewal, and hopefully a getting a good coat of paint. We lived on Avenue Hassan II, across from the park, one the city’s main arteries. This is what our building looked like in the earl 1920s…a beautiful Moorish art deco structure. it needs a new coat of paint in this century. Local casablancais have finally realized what an architectural treasure they have in downtown Casablanca..
MOROCCAN ITEMS FOR SALE:
PLEASE VIEW DEDICATED PAGE ON THIS WEBSITE
Bellows, camel leather, copper and wood. ABout 48 years old.. Works fine.
All these will appear on my dedicated page.
These lithographs were produced by he same printer who printed my first book, Come with me to the Kasbah. Printer and publishing house are long gone
I am asking USD70 a piece. Shipped in a tube. About 23.5 by 15. 5 inches.
à la française: MAY 1, 2020
WE NEED SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE
IN THIS TIME OF COVID-19
at a social distance!
BONNE FETE DU MUGUET!
American-style MOTHER’s DAY:
From May 1 to May, 10th, 2020 Kitty will ship signed copies of her book, Edible Flowers: a Kitchen Companion for more than 50% OFF list price(details below).
RAMADAN started on April 25. Time to make Ramadan pastries. Ramadan Mubarak!
WHAT IS LA FETE DU MUGUET ?
In France, it is customary to give a sprig of lily of the valley on May 1st. The day doubles as a celebration of springtime as well as Fête du Travail to honor workers of the world
Origins of Fete du Muguet in France
« . . l’origine de la fête du muguet remonte à l’époque romaine, en latin, le 1ier mai : maius mensis, mois de la déesse Maïa, on célébrait sa fête le 1ier mai, en plantant des arbres de Mai, symbole du réveil printanier de la nature (cf Grand Larousse Encyclopédique de 1962 tome 6 page 997) »
“…the origins of the Fete du Muguet harks back to Roman times, in Latin the month of May translates as: maius mensis, month of the Goddess Maia, whose feast was celebrated on May 1, in planting Trees of May, to symbolize nature’s rebirth. . . “
IN HONOR OF MOTHER’S DAY!
Do edible flowers grow in your garden (without the use of pesticides). It might be rosemary, thyme, parsley, or cilantro (my favorite!), or even roses. You will find a recipe for these blossoms in the book.
SPRINKLE FOWERS ON YOUR PLATE (OR YOUR FRIEND’S PLATE) Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion, is a lovely seasonal gift for a mother, grandmother, sister, or a gardening friend.
From May 1 to May 10th, 2020, purchase a copy of Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion for over 50% OFF the list price
Shipping in the US only: $3.00 ( I will bundle books if you purchase more than one)
TOTAL for ONE copy: $10.50 includes shipping in the US.
I will personally sign each book per your instructions. Send me a message with a shipping address.
Note: The book is also available through amazon.com (LINK) as a hard copy and for download.
Here are recipes I mention in the March/April edition of the Kasbah Chronicles. I hope you enjoy them
I love getting feedback, so if you like them or have a question, please contact me or post a request on the page
A bas le corona virus
Kitty’s Fight the Virus Vegetarian Harira with Kale
I use my crockpot!
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
8 Spanish saffron threads, crushed
½ bunch cilantro
10 sprigs flat-leaf Italian parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup wheat berries, soaked and preferably, pre-cooked
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans
4 cups chopped kale leaves (or chard)
Wedges of lemon
In a slow cooker or soup pot, heat the oil and cook the onions until wilted.
In a blender or food processor, process in increments until fairly smooth, the tomatoes, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, saffron, cilantro, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add this mixture to the onions and bring to a boil. Add the broth and wheat berries and cook until tender.
About 20 minutes before serving, add undrained garbanzo beans and kale.
Serve in large soup bowls. Squeeze a little lemon juice into each bowl. Leftover harira freezes very well.
Adapted from 365 Ways to Cook Vegetarian by Kitty Morse
You will also find variations of this recipe using lamb in Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen (Chronicle Books 1999) and Mint Tea and Minarets: A Banquet of Moroccan Memories (La Caravane 2014.)
Kitty’s What’s in my Fridge
Kale Soup with zucchini and onion
Leftover roasted zucchini
3 boiled baby potatoes
1 cooked sweet potato
4 to 6 leaves Kale or Swiss chard, broken up
Make 2 cups broth with BETTER THAN BOUILLON!
In a small pan, cook all ingredients except bouillon until tender. Let cool.
Blend until smooth, adding bouillon in increments. Salt and pepper to taste
Kale with Chermoula:
Serves 2 or 3
Adapted from From Cooking at the Kasbah: recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen, p. 59
I blanch the leaves for a minute or two. I strain them and let them cool. Using scissors, I chop them into small strips. Then, I am ready for action! Kale ( or chard, or mallow (bokkola in Morocco, or spinach) with Chermoula. This is a dish dear to Moroccan hearts.
1 bunch baby kale
5 or 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
Preserved lemon rind, finely diced, to taste (refer to my video on YouTube)
½ cup water
Blanch the kale, and strain. Cut into thin strips.
In a small pan or skillet over medium heat, combine olive oil, garlic, cumin and paprika. Stir to blend and do not burn or the spices will turn bitter. Add kale and water. Cover and cook until kale is very tender, 15 to 20 mns. Add diced preserved lemon rind to taste, and a pinch of salt, if necessary. Stir again. Remove from heat. Serve at room temperature.
Easy Overnight Vegetarian Lasagna
Adapted from 365 Ways to Cook Vegetarian by Kitty Morse
Prep: 35 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes
Stand: 8 to 24 hours
Serves about 6
You can prepare this the day before and refrigerate until cooking time.
I sometimes spread fresh or creamed spinach or fresh diced tomatoes over the zucchini.
Note: I like to mix red sauce and white sauce. I sometimes add dabs of basil pesto on my layers (Costco has a delicious)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, and cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups prepared spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup red wine
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
9 to 10 uncooked lasagne
4 medium (about 4 cups) peeled zucchini, very thinly sliced
Shredded parmesan cheese
- In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil. Cook onion, pepper, and garlic over medium heat, stirring occasionally until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add spaghetti sauce, wine, stewed tomatoes, and mushrooms. Cover and cook over medium heat, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add parsley and salt and pepper.
- Cover bottom of a lightly oiled 9×13-inch baking dish with a thin layer of sauce. Arrange 1/3 lasagne over sauce. Top noodles evenly with zucchini slices. Cover zucchini with a little sauce. Repeat procedure in the same order until all ingredients are used. Cover final layer with sauce. Sprinkle with cheese
You should have 3 layers of lasagna. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring dish to room temperature. Bake, covered, for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.
What a lovely surprise to wake up to this message on December 1, 2019
“Le riad au bord de l´oued is the Winner for Morocco in the Gourmand World Awards in the category B12 Translation .
You now qualify to compete for Best in the World 2020 with winners from other countries in the same category. This year a total of 225 countries participated in the competition. You can see the complete list of winners 2020 on www.cookbookfair.com
The following link will give you a General Presentation of the Gourmand Awards, including our Gourmand World Summit 2019 at UNESCO, the International Village of Gastronomy in front of the Eiffel Tower, and the awards ceremony in Macao. last July
Your book will be in the events next year. . .”
Congratulations and best wishes for 2020
Please like the Facebook page or the Amazon.com listing. Every little thumbs up helps, I am told!
Visit Le Riad page on this website.