Bahija, our chef in Morocco, loves to surprise us with new things! She’s always pulling new recipes from her repertoire and sharing her secrets. This past November she made us delicious Harscha (semolina cookies) — perfect served with Moroccan mint tea.
Preserved lemons, seductive spices, tantalizing tagines, oranges in orange blossom water, and a close-to-the-lips encounter with ‘Omar Sharif’. That is what Moroccan dreams are made of… While you await the departure of your flight to Marrakech, sip on this elegant cocktail wherever you are!
1 1/2 oz of Ketel One Citron
1 oz of pomegranate liqueur
1 oz of pineapple juice
1 squeeze of lemon
2 or 3 shakes of cinnamon
5 or 6 mint leaves
Shaken not stirred…
Collaboration between Peggy Markel, Steve Peters, bartender and Karim Boulet, sommelier at The Kitchen, Boulder, Colorado.
(Recipes to be printed in Coastal Living Magazine.)
Photo by Colleen Duffley
A tagine is a Moroccan style terracotta clay pot with a conical shaped lid. It’s a brilliant cooking vessel whether cooking meat or vegetables. It makes a wonderful table presentation when lifting the lid to expose the savory, aromatic deliciousness inside.
Use a casserole with a lid if you don’t have a tagine. The secret is in the braising.
Disclaimer: the photo is of a chicken tagine and not the winter vegetable tagine, but we chose it because it beautifully showcases the fennel and the clay tagine. Yours will look different but will be delicious! [Read more…]
2 cups fava beans
extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, sliced thinly
1 small fennel bulb, sliced thinly
3 T yogurt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 preserved lemon (optional)
salt to taste
mint for garnish
extra virgin olive oil
Shell fava beans and drop them into boiling water for 1 minute. Peel outside layer off. Set aside.
“Waylon talks with Peggy Markel, Slow Food Chef and Bestie, and takes a virtual tour through Peggy’s various culinary adventures in Italy, Spain, Morocco and India.”
Tea time is never passed up in Morocco.
The tradition runs deep in the veins of its people. Vibrant mint leaves, crystals of sweet sugar, and rich green tea and joined together as the holy trinity of northern Africa. Tea time is not the time of day, but a ceremony and an offering among friends. With much care and attention, the tea evolves in layers before being poured from high into your tiny glass. Perfectly balanced and refreshing. Even with the sun out, there is nothing better worth sipping slowly to savor the flavor and the moment.
Recipe: Moroccan Mint Tea (a.k.a. “Berber Whiskey”)
Perfect for snuggly winter days under a blanket, a pick-me-up and mellower in equal measure. [Read more…]
3 oranges, peeled and sliced on the round
Your favorite honey
Orange blossom water
Arrange the sliced oranges on a tray. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of your favorite honey. Add a few tablespoons of orange blossom water on top. Serve in a dish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a sprig of mint on top.
* Photo by Collen DUFFLEY
A Homemade Holiday Gift Idea – from Morocco
1 cup light brown sugar1/3 cup red wine vinegar3 inch piece of fresh ginger, mashed1/4 t cayenne1/4 t ras al hanout (Moroccan spice blend)pinch of salt3 lbs firm pears, peeled and diced
In a nonreactive medium saucepan, combine the sugar, vinegar, ginger, cayenne, ras al hanout and salt and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Add the pears, cover and cook until they are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Strain and transfer the pears to a bowl. Return the liquid to the pan and boil over moderately high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pears and let cool. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
For one jar of preserved lemons:
(canning jar with plastic or rubber lid covering is best)
5 – 6 small organic or meyer lemons
Sea salt (enough for stuffing a few T into each quartered lemon)
Cut the lemon from top to bottom in quarters, but not all the way through. Basically a cross at the top, all the way down, but not through. Stuff each quadrant with approx. 1 tablespoon of salt.
Put 5 – 6 lemons (however many will fit) into the jar and seal jar tightly.
Leave lemons on the kitchen counter for 3 weeks. Turn them upside down, then right side up every day. Can keep for up to one year in pantry or refrigerator. After opening the jar, use a wooden spoon to scoop them out. (Avoid metal.)
The tagine is my choice of an unglazed clay pot, especially in winter. Its terracotta top and bottom create the perfect environment for developing slow-cooked flavor.Being a great fan of Morocco, I most often stick to the traditional dishes. Moroccans themselves are quite creative, but the buck stops when it gets too out of the box or out of range for ingredients out of their reach. Last week, I was in the mood for chicken, but not. Neither was I in the mood for red meat, having renounced it for three days. A small discipline, but a fine time to perhaps think out of the box. Some sort of wild fowl, or cornish game hen would do the trick, but they didn’t have anything at my local market. What they did have was a frozen “Poulet Bleu,” a white Canadian variety with blue feet, taken from the French Poulet de Bresse.
“Blue Foot Chicken is characterized by a red comb, white feathers, and steel-blue feet, which give the breed its name. The feet are usually left on for presentation.” No blue feet were present on my frozen bird. Yet, the meat is noticeably darker and richer.