Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cooking at the Kasbah

Few years, ago I bought my first Moroccan Cuisine book called : Cooking at the Kasbah ( Kitty Morse). I never thought that later I will use this book for my Cooking Workshop classes in my home.
I love this little book: beautiful Morocco photographies, mouthwatering portraits of the local food, so colorful, so unique.
Morocco has always been in my heart. Before I was born, my grandparents used to live in a Villa in Rabat surrounded by Oranges Groves. My mother told me so many stories about her life over there with her parents and three sisters. It sounds like paradise to me: the warm climate, the cuisine and food, the oranges scents, the hamman tradition...
As a teenager I went to Morocco twice and every time and I was falling in love with its souks, Medina, gardens, rituals of the Moroccan way of life and table.
Casablanca, El Jadida, Fes, Rabat.... I loved every villages, every mint teas offered.
And then, with my husband we moved from New York City to Southern California. The climate, the dry landscape, the oranges, lemon, almonds groves, Palm trees with dates, remind me of Morocco.
When I was working on my menus and schedules for my Cooking classes, it was obvious that Moroccan Cuisine will have a large part of it because evenings in So-Cal (Southern California) can be similar to the ones in Morocco.
This is why I named one of my class: a Moroccan feast! Tagine, Chicken couscous with raisins, almonds and pine nuts, sweet cinnamon couscous,dates with almond- pastes will be on the menu. Served with Mint tea!
Already 4 people enrolled this class on July 14, I can't wait to smell in my kitchen all the spices and unique cents... a fragrant haven.

Celine'sTagine of Chicken, Apricots, almonds

- 6 lbs of chicken pieces
-2 large yellow onions
-2 sticks of butter
-1/2 tsp turmeric
-1 tsp black pepper
-2 cinnamon sticks
-1 lb dried apricots or prunes
-8 tbsp honey
-2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1cup peeled almonds
-1 tbsp sesame seeds

In a large pot, melt the butter. Fry the chopped onions until soft, andadd the chicken, salt, pepper, turmeric and cinnamon sticks. Add enoughwater to cover the chicken, about two cups. Bring to boil, reduce heat,and simmer until the chicken is done, adding water if necessary. Removethe chicken pieces.Add the prunes or apricots and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Add theground cinnamon and the honey, stir and cook until the sauce has ahoney-like consistency. Add more honey if necessary.When the sauce is almost ready, toast the almonds.Return the chicken to the pot and re-heat. Place chicken in a servingsheet, pour sauce on top of it and top with almonds and sesame seeds.
on top of it and top with almonds and sesame seeds.
I serve it with buttered and fluffy plain couscous.

1 comment:

christine said...

I plan to come over to California for a month between D├ęcember 20th till January 2009 20th more or less, and I would like to find a few places where I can be welcome and propose some French Provencal workshops to public.
My English is fine with a thick French accent "bien sur" so it will even gives a real French twist.
Would you be interested to offer in this kind of activities at your place ?
If yes, how can we work it out , What do you propose as timing, organisation and fees?
I look forward to read your answer on
Best regards