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Saturday, March 31, 2012

This morning on CBC's Weekend Morning Show - Moroccan Butternut Squash Soup

This morning I had the pleasure of presenting this easy to prepare creamy Moroccan Butternut Squash Soup on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with guest host Ismaila Alfa. Enjoy!

It is taken from Paula Wolfert's, The Food of Morocco.

Moroccan Butternut Squash Soup

1 yellow onion, chopped
pinch coarse salt
1 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs butternut, kabocha, or calabaza squash halved, peeled and seeded and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks (about 6 cups)
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp La Kama Spice Mixture (1 tsp each of ground ginger, turmeric and white pepper, good pinch of grated nutmeg, 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon and optional cubeb pepper)
1/2 cup heavy cream or creme fraiche
1/2 lb crumbled chevre
1 tsp or more to taste Harissa paste (available at Halal Meats and Specialty Foods or Dino's Grocery Mart)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cook onion in heavy bottomed pot or casserole dish (tajine) on medium low heat with the olive oil until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes
2. Add the squash, cover with parchment paper and/lid and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Add tomato paste, spices and 4 cups of hot water and bring to a boil. Then simmer until the squash is tender, about 20+ minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Blend in batches or with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the cream and 3.4 or the cheese and the harissa at the end. Puree until velvety.
5. Bring up to heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve into warmed bowls and top each portion with a light sprinkling of the remaining cheese.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Tomorrow on CBC's Weekend Morning Show - Persian New Year Nawrooz feasts

I will have the pleasure of presenting the following Persian New Year - Nawrooz dishes on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with guest host, Ismaila Alfa. Happy New Year!

Photos to follow asap.

Maahi kabob
fish fillets (such as salmon or cod I used gorgeous trout from Saskatchewan and Pickerel is also possible
fresh lime juice, 1/2 cup
extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup
coriander, 1/2 cup, chopped
parsley, 1/2 cup, chopped
mint, 1/2 cup, chopped
saffron, 1/2 teaspoon
black pepper

1. Place each side under grill at high temperature for 5-10 minutes so that the skin dries up.

2. Remove fish and separate skin which should come off easily.

3. Prepare sauce as following: wash and finely chop coriander, parsley and mint.

4. Add lime juice, olive oil, saffron, salt, and black pepper, and mix well.

5. Cover a suitable pan with aluminum foil and place fish on top.

6. Add the sauce on both sides as well as inside.

7. Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and cook in oven at medium temperature for 45 minutes to one hour.

8. Note however that exact cooking time depends on the type and size of fish.

9. Take care not to over-cook.

10. Add more sauce 2 or 3 times during cooking.

11. When cooked, decorate fish with slices of lime or lemon and some parsley.

2. Kookoo sabzi for 6 people
• 8 eggs.
• 1 tea spoon white flour.
• 1 table spoon red currants (also known as zereshk).
• 1/3 cup (2-3 Oz.) finely chopped walnuts (also known as gerdoo).
• 1 tea spoon salt.
• 1/4 tea spoon black pepper.
• 1/4 cup (2 Oz.) cooking oil or butter.
• 1/2 cup (4 Oz.) finely chopped fresh chives/scallion stems (also known as tarreh/piazcheh).
• 2 cups (16 Oz.) finely chopped fresh parsely (also known as jafaree).
• 1/2 cup (4 Oz.) fresh coriander (also known as gheshneez) or 2 table spoon dried ones.
• 1/4 cup (2 Oz.) fresh or dried dill weed (Also known as sheveed).
• 1/2 table spoon dried fenugreek (also known as shanbelileh).
Getting to directions, they are really easy and simple to follow.

1. Soak the currants in cold water for 15 minutes before cooking. Drain before adding them in.

2. In a bowl add the eggs, 1/2 of the cooking oil and all other ingredients, with the exception of fresh and dried vegetables. Beat it with a fork until the ingredients have been mixed well.

3. Add the vegetables, and stir the mixture until the vegetables have blended in (do not beat it any longer due to the delicate nature of fresh vegetables).

4. Put the oven setting to bake at 250 degrees (F).
5. Pour the remainder of the cooking oil in an oven safe dish. Pour the vegetable mixture in the dish. Bake at this setting for about 40-45 minutes. You may cover the dish with aluminum foil at the beginning to prevent over-drying of the top crust. Remove the foil half way during the baking process.

6. Cut in square pieces before serving.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

This morning on CBC's Weekend Morning Show - Moroccan Haroset

This morning I had the pleasure of presenting and reposting this Moroccan Pesach (Passover) specialty on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with Guest Host Ismaila Alfa. Just yummy. Good almonds and pitted dates can be purchased at Halal Meats and Specialty Foods on Maryland.

More recipes from Morocco can be found in Paula Wolfert's excellent cookbook, The Food of Morocco.

Moroccan Haroset (Charoset)

1 lb blanched almonds
1 lb pitted dates
2 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
1 tsp ground good cinnamon, plus ½ cup for rolling
¼ tsp ground ginger

The day before, finely grind almonds in a food processor. Add the dates, apples and 1 tsp cinnamon and the ginger and continue pulsing until the apples are chopped into tiny pieces and the mixture comes together. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, shape the mixture into balls the size of a large marble. Put the ½ cup cinnamon in a bowl and roll the balls in it.