Food Flirt

Food, recipes, cooking, travel,

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Location: Petaluma, California, United States

Jacqueline is an international award winning journalist whose stories about food never fail to tantalize her reader's taste buds.

Monday, June 22, 2009

In the Souk of Fes, Morocco

The souk of Fes is a tangled web of alleys and pathways leading in every direction. It's easy to get lost in this amazing place. Fortunately I had a guide to lead me in and out. I was a bit overwhelmed by the incredible assortment of goods for sale. I was particularly interested in the foods offered but hesitated to buy anything because sanitation was pretty primitive. There was a wide assortment of meats (including camel), fish and poultry. Piles of fresh vegetables and beautiful melons. Jars, bags and baskets filled with herbs and spices in every variety and color.

Motorized vehicles are not allowed within the souk so goods are transported via donkey. The alleys are very narrow so I spent a lot of time flat against the stalls making room for the donkey's and carts. At one point I was so tired I thought of climbing onto one of the donkeys but couldn't figure out how to do it gracefully! Then I considered one of the empty carts but remembered that Queen Marie-Antoinette had made her last journey in a similar rig, so I trudged on.

Even small children are put to work.

Thread in every color was available here. Many people brought little swatches of fabric to find just the right match for their sewing projects.

Oh my -- the olives are my favorite! Absolutely delicious flavored in herbs, spices and scented oil.

A Moroccan lemonade stand!

Vew of the Medina of Fes. The souk is tucked away inside the walls of the Medina.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A few of us attended a class at La Maison Arabe cooking school and learned how to make a delicious chicken tagine.

The knife I'm holding was VERY sharp!

We used the roasted peppers in our tomato salad.

The preserved lemons were my favorite part. I must learn how to make them!

Oh my! This dish was totally delicious! I was thrilled with my creation as were the other students. I can't wait to make it again at home.

We peeled oranges, cut them crosswise into pieces, then sprinkled cinnamon and powdered sugar all over them. They were refreshing and a perfect ending to our exotic luncheon.

Here is the chicken recipe:

Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Olives

Serves 2
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 80 minutes


400 grams of chicken cut in chunks
½ preserved lemon
½ red onion
a bunch of parsley and fresh coriander
1 clove garlic
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp ginger powder
1 heaping tsp turmeric
pinch of saffron
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp ghee
4 tbs water

Mode of cooking

Cut preserved lemon in half and separate flesh from peel. Reserve peel and chop flesh. Put chopped lemon in a tagine (or Dutch oven or creuset) add in finely chopped garlic, parsley and coriander finely chopped and all the spices. Then coat the chicken in the marinade and add in finely chopped onion.

On medium heat sear the tagine for about 20 minutes, turning the chicken over from time to time. You need to be close to tagine otherwise it'll stick. You can always add a little bit of water and keep searing. After 20 minutes of searing, add about ½ of a liter of cold water and simmer for 60 minutes. When chicken nicely browns and the sauce is thick add in lemon peel and 10 (more or less) olives and cook for another 5 minutes.

Bon appetite.

Monday, June 08, 2009

A Day in Marrakech

These watermelons were incredibly sweet. Notice the size of the knife used to cut us some samples!

The pool in the garden is our meeting place -- calm, cool and refreshing!

This is Zara, our resident chef. She prepared a lovely dinner using lots of the veggies we bought at the farmer's market.

The meal was delicious!

A good night hug from Jamel, our resident healer massage therapist. Life at the rijad Dar Surya is heaven!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

This is not the Marin County Farmer's Market

The farmer's market here in Marrakech is quite different from the one in Marin County! It's full of exotic spices and piles of fresh veggies and fruits along with assorted merchants selling everything from plastic tubs, electrical wire, shoes, goats and sheep! We bought beautiful tomatoes, a sweet ripe watermellon, carrots, squash, purple onions and an assortment of other treats. It was a remarkable experience.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

On the Road to Morocco

I'm on my way to Morocco! I've never been to Africa before so this is a big thrill to explore a whole new continent. I plan to learn all about Moroccan food and spices. I'll send dispatches as I go along so follow me!