Monday, January 18, 2010

moroccan eats, jams.


I am always fascinated by how much there is to learn from each other. When I arrived at the market place , THE SHUK in Netanya I found a treasure trove of knowledge re foods, spices and herbs. I asked each vendor what I could do with anything I bought. I learnt a great deal about eggplant, okra, beans, herbs and clever ways with pumpkin, zucchinis and the art of filling them with interesting stuffings. Jams and relishes and of course candies are their specialties.. D├ęcor and style, the dishes and teapots add to the ambience and unique table settings.

Last night I went to a fabulous performance of MAYA TOLEDANO FAIMIN, who is an exquisite girl and a very accomplished belly dancer. This was a show with a difference. MAYA and her dancing girls were delightful and loaded with dance, singing, gyrating and heaps of personality. Maya teaches this delightful dance and many of my friends have had a wonderful time exploring the art of belly dancing. After the show we tasted MUFLETA. A wicked sugary dessert, that left an appetite for more……..
Always be prepared to experiment with the foods of different cultures, you learn , you enjoy the tastes and find original ways to cook and bake, without adding sauces, MSG, instant soups and mixes. Stick to NATURAL ways , FRUITS and VEGETABLES in SEASON, and grown locally,that is the way to have easily digestible foods, satisfying and nutritious.

1 kilo flour. 50grams of yeast 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of warm water.

Mix all and add water to form a soft dough. Knead and leave to rise. Knead again, with a little oil on your hands to make kneading easier Let it rise again. Roll into balls about the size of an apricot. Grease the board and roll the balls until thin. Fry in hot oil…..keep the kids out of the way.. I fry them and drain on paper towels. I melt some butter and honey and a bit of orange rind, and spread this on the pancake and roll up and serve immediately. Such fun…..just enjoy with a hot glass of mint tea.


Eight zucchinis, halved and scoop out the centre. Mix the filling,a cup of chopped parsley, a cup of chopped coriander, a cup of chopped walnuts, two grated apples, 1/4 teaspoon of curry and salt and pepper. I add three thinly sliced mushrooms. I grate an onion and mix with the zucchini I scooped out and mix everything together. Fill the zucchinis. Place all in an oven dish and cover with two cups of water. Bake in a medium oven until the filling is cooked. Serve on a bed of brown rice with chopped chives and thinly grated parmesan cheese.

PUFF PASTRY with fillings.
I love working with this easy pastry. Thaw it in advance and create the fillings I roll the pastry of a floured board, done my way.
I thinly slice fresh berbs and mix with the flour, to give the dough a very exotic look. I cut circles or squares and have them all ready to fill.

Fillings….Two cups of chopped spinach, a grated onion, chopped mushrooms, salt and pepper and grated cheddar cheese. Mix all and fill the pastry. I brush them with an egg and sprinkle sesame seeds or bits of rosemary before baking.

Cheese and pepper filling. I bake two red and two yellow peppers. Peel and chop. Mix with half a cup of ricotta cheese, half a cup of yellow cheese and a cup of cooked rice. Add grated onion, pepper and a teaspoon of basil.

Bake these on a greased oven dish, medium to high and they are ready when they are brown. Enjoy with a cabbage salad, cucumbers and olives.

Now we have great citrus fruits and it is so easy to make a few jams. I love the English marmalade. I do this with three oranges, three grapefruit, two lemons, grated zest of the oranges, a teaspoon of chopped ginger and a dash of cinnamon, I add three cloves to the pot and remove them at the end. When I make jam I check how many cups I have of the fruit. Most people add the same amount of sugar. I do not like all the sugar. My way is to cover the fruits with half the sugar and leave covered, overnight. Then I cook on a low flame for a an hour. This way it gels and is less loaded with sugar. If I want to jazz it up, I add a bit of brandy at the end. Pack into jars and enjoy on toast, with pancakes or mixed in with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a tangy dressing over a


2 kilos of strawberries, one kilo of jam {or less} Rind of lemon and juice of two lemons, some chopped dried coconut Chop the washed strawberries and mix with the sugar. Let this stand for a few hours. Add the rest and cook over a low flame for an hour, watch and stir often. Cool and pack in jars.
To serve with ice cream, just take a few tablespoons and warm up with a few bits of chocolate sauce Pour over the ice cream Delicious.

Have a lovely week of awareness. Appreciate the beauty of life.
Be grateful for our lives and what we have, that adds to the quality of our lives
Pray for those in stress now in Haiti.
Know that there is love and mindfulness in many people who are reaching out to help those in need of medical aid, food , shelter and comfort.

Look around you and discover a world of light and gentle caring.


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