Fall menus

Moroccan Feast Menu

Crispy Cumin Potato Skins

  • 4 large potatoes scrubbed
  • 1 tbsp cumin crushed
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • vegetable oil for frying

Boil the potatoes in slated water for 30 minutes. After the potatoes are cooked and soft on the inside cut them in half and scoop out most of the flesh. Leave about 1/8th of the flesh in the skins. Cut the skins into bite size pieces. Mix the cumin and salt and sprinkle on the potato jackets. Deep fry in a deep fryer till crisp. Drain off oil and sprinkle with salt if need be Served hot. Great with drinks.

Spicy Carrot Dip

      • 1 lb peeled carrots
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
      • 2 peeled crushed  garlic cloves
      • cayenne depending on your taste ( hot is good here)
      • 2 tbsp wine vinegar
      • salt
      • 1/2 cup of olive oil
      • black olives to garnish

Cut carrots in large chunks and boil in salted boiling water for 30 minutes. Put all ingredients in the blender.  Blender till smooth. Serve with warm pita points


Tagine of Lamb with preserved lemon and olives

  • 3 LB cubed lamb
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 medium size onions
  • 2 peeled and chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 plum tomatoes diced
  • 1 qt beef stock
  • 1/2 cup preserved lemon ( recipe to follow)
  • 1/2 cup black cured olives
  • 1/2 cup cilantro

Dust the meat with the flour. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a casserole. Put the meat, onion, garlic and spices in the  casserole. Sautee for about 10 minutes till golden brown. Add enough of the beef stock  to just cover the meat. Chop the plum tomatoes and add as well. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes.

Add the preserved lemon. Cook for another 10 minutes. Garnish with olives and cilantro.

Preserved Lemon

The first time I made this I made an error and used sugar instead of salt. It was excellent so we keep it that way.

  • 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Cut the lemon lengthwise in 6 slices. Cut out the meat so you only have the skin. In a sauce pan boil the water with the sugar. Add the lemon skins and simmer on low heat for about an hour. Squeeze out the lemon juice and add to the lemon skin mixture. Can be made days in advance. Once cool cut the lemon skin slices smaller if need be.

Beef Mint and Spinach Bisteeya

  • 1-pound spinach ( or ground lamb)
  • 1-pound ground beef
  • 1 bunch mint chopped
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped fine
  • tbsp of cinnamon
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 bunch parley chopped
  • 18 sheets Phylo dough
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup clarified butter
  • Confectionary sugar and ground cinnamon to decorate

 Cook the spinach, drain and chop. Or use 1 pack of frozen spinach squeezed out.

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Fry the onion till transparent Add ground beef, parsley and mint. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the spinach. Season with cinnamon pepper and salt.  Cook a little more. pre heat  oven at 400 degrees. Layer the Phylo in a pie dish. Brush with butter. Putt in half of the meat mix. Another few sheet of Phylo butter.  Other half of the meat. Wrap with remaining Phylo and brush with egg yolk. Bake 45 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and powdered sugar.

 Seven Vegetable Cous Cous

  • 20 ounces canned chick-peas. Though I use dried garbanzo beans.        
  • 2 cups crushed tomato ( pomi)
  • 1 ½ pounds couscous                                                 
  • 12 cups water
  •  1 pound carrots, peeled and cut 2 in.
  •  1 pd. small turnips scraped & quarter
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt   
  •   1 teaspoon cayenne                                         
  • ½ pd pumpkin, seeded peeled & cubes
  • 1 pd zucchini trimmed & cut 2 inches
  • ¼ cup olive oil                                                            
  • ¾ pd eggplants trimmed & cut chunk
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered                           
  •  1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved                             
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon powder                    
  •  1/3 chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons saffron liquid   ( optional)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric  
  • little ground ginger                                                
    Sautee the onion in the olive oil. Add the carrots, turnips zucchini, eggplant, spices, chopped herbs,  tomato and broth  bring to a boil. Turn heat lower and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the pumpkin. Don’t over cook it. Simmer for another 10 minutes and let it sit. Add the chickpeas 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Fennel, pomegranate, arugula salad

Red beet Salad

Boil 2 pounds of beets in salted water skin on  for about an hour. They need to be cooked thoroughly. Mean while make the dressing.

Once the beets are cooked peel the skin of and dice in cubes. Toss with classic vinaigrette before serving and sprinkle with parsley.


  • 1  tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 4   tbsp  white vinegar 
  • pepper and salt

Put mustard and vinegar in a bowl. Whisk in  the olive oil add pepper and add salt to taste.


 Citrus Coconut Cake with Poppy Seeds ( from Hassan M’souli)

  • 2 sticks and 1 tbsp butter at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup fine sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cup  self – rising flour
  • 3/4 cup fine semolina
  • 2 1/2 cup shredded coconut


  • 2 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 limes
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup fine sugar
  • 1/4 cup Triple sec
    Pre heat oven at 350 F. Line a 10″ round cake tin.

Cream butter, sugar untill fluffy, add eggs one by one beating well all the time. Add the flour semolina , coconut and poppy seeds. Spoon into the baking dish and bake for 35 minutes. Turn onto a wired rack.

To make the syrup finely grate the rind of one of each citrus fruit. and squeeze all the juice. Put in a sauce pan with the sugar and reduce over low heat to 2/3. Add the triple sec and pour half over the cake. you can garnish with orange parts dipped in the other half of the syrup and poured over last-minute.


 Tart Tatin


  • 1 stick plus two tablespoons cold salted butter (5 ounces), cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons ice water


  • 7 medium apples
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) salted butter
  • 1 cup sugar

For the crust: Pate Brisee Pre-mix the flour and sugar in the food processor container, cube the butter on a plate. The colder everything is, the flakier and more tender your crust will be. Prepare about 1/3 cup ice water and refrigerate. Add the cubes of cold butter to the dry ingredients and pulse until the largest pieces of butter are no bigger than tiny peas.

Add the ice water a little at a time, processing just until the dough starts to come together into a mass. (it won’t quite be a “ball,” and it won‘t look smooth–you don’t want to over process it!) Turn out onto well-floured surface and pat together into a ball. Don’t handle the dough too much, or the warmth of your hands will start to melt the butter. Flour the top of the dough and use rolling-pin to quickly press and roll the dough out into 11 ” circles.  Keep turning the dough as you do this to make sure it doesn’t stick to the rolling surface. Throw more flour underneath the dough if necessary. Check the crust to make sure it’s just big enough to cover the top of your tart tatin pan. Move the crust onto a piece of parchment paper or onto a floured rimless baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Prepare filling: Preheat oven to 375° F.

Peel the whole apples and cut them in half.  Cut 1 apple into quarters to use as fillers for when the halved apples shrink. Over low heat in a heavy,  skillet measuring 7 to 8 inches across the bottom and 10 to 11 inches across the top, melt the stick of butter. Remove from heat, add the sugar and stir until blended.

Shake/tap the pan so the butter-sugar mixture distributes evenly across the bottom. Arrange apple halves  in the pan.  Flat part down. Use the quartered apple to fill the holes. Keep at least one extra apple quarter on hand–when you turn the apples over, they may have shrunk to the extent that you’ll need to cheat and fill in the space with an extra piece.

On high heat let apples boil for 10 to 12 minutes or until the juices in the pan turn from golden in color to dark amber.  Remove from heat. With the tip of a sharp knife, turn apple slices over,  keeping them in their original places. If necessary, add an extra slice of apple to keep your arrangement intact. Return to the stove top on high heat once more. Let cook another 5 minutes and then remove from heat. Either keep it in your pan. I transfer apples gently to a baking pie dish.

Place the crust on top of the apples and brush off excess flour. Tuck edges under slightly, along the inside of the pan, being careful not to burn fingers. You can use your knife.

Bake in oven until the top of the crust is golden-brown in color, about 25-35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack about 30 minutes.

Run a sharp knife along the inside edge of the pan. Place a plate or other serving dish on top of the pan and quickly flip over the whole pie so the Tarte Tatin drops down onto the plate.  The pan will still be hot, so use  pot holders.  Peek under the edge of the pan to see if the Tart came out.  If there are any pieces of apple left behind in the pan  carefully put them back where they are supposed to be.

Keeps well for about a day at room temperature; if you have to refrigerate it, warm it up slightly before serving for optimum enjoyment.  Vanilla Ice cream maybe?

MENU 1 ( For an Indian Summer)

 Cocktail hour

Sage Garlic White Bean Dip

  • 8 oz soaked white beans
  • ½ cup fresh sage leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  •  6 cloves of garlic

Cook the soaked beans according to instructions on package. Make sure they are soft.

Heat the olive oil medium high in small frying pan. When hot roast the garlic in it for about 5 minutes. Turn a bit. Next put the sage in and let crisp for a  minute or so.  In a Cuisinart. Blender all ingredients together till smooth. Add pepper salt and more olive oil or water if needed.  Serve with warm or toasted pita bread.

Smoked salmon on cedar planks

served with raddicchio  apple, mint salad and coriander jalapeno dressing

  • 1 cedar plank (6 by 14 inches)
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets (2 lb)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar

Soak cedar plank in salted water for 2 hours.  Check for remaining bones and remove.  Rinse the salmon under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Generously season the salmon with salt and pepper on both sides. Lay the salmon (on what was skin-side down) on the cedar plank and carefully spread the mustard over the top and sides.  sprinkle the brown sugar over the mustard. Set grill for indirect grilling and heat to medium-high. Place the cedar plank in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook until cooked through, around 20 minutes. Check the plank occasionally. If the edges start to catch fire, mist with water, or move the plank to a cooler part of the grill. The internal temperature of the salmon should read 125 degrees F. Transfer the salmon and plank to a platter and serve right off the plank. it is not good to overcook it! Check the plank occasionally. If the edges start to catch fire, mist with water, or move the plank to a cooler part of the grill.


  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 2 tbsp honey
  •  a good hand cilantro
  • 1 cup olive oil

Place all ingredients in a blender with the exception of the olive oil. Mix well and then slowly add the olive oil.  Taste and add salt. Make larger batches to hold in your fridge for a month or so.

  • 2 apples sliced
  • 2 heads of radicchio
  • 2 tbsp slivered mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

Toss with the dressing and enjoy

Brownies with Mint Pesto


  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup mint pesto (see recepy below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Light butter or coat with non-stick spray the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan.  

Melt the butter and chocolate together until smooth.  Stir in sugar.  Beat in eggs and vanilla then lightly stir in the flour.  Turn batter into prepared pan. Swirl the mint pesto into the batter.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.  For best results, allow to cool completely before cutting.  Swirl mint pesto on top with a small piping bag.

MINT PESTO (yields about 1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract 

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, briefly chop the nuts before adding the remaining ingredients.  Puree until reduced to a paste.  If not using right away, transfer to a glass container, lay plastic wrap over the top so it is touching thus keeping air from penetrating the pesto.  Store in refrigerator for up to a month.


2 Responses to Fall menus

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