I know, you guys, I know. Everybody knows how to make roasted potatoes. It is a well-known fact that American fetuses develop potato roasting abilities in the womb, possibly before they develop arms with which to roast said potatoes.
But I didn’t. You heard me. Until two months ago, I didn’t know how to make roasted potatoes. Sure, I’d tried sporadically over the years; usually well-intentioned tries at replicating my father’s delicious rosemary potato slices or late night hash brown attempts. I could microwave a baked potato from the age of six. I could sautée potatoes with onions. I could bake potato and egg breakfast casseroles. And like any self-respecting half-Jew, I could fry a decent latke. But every time I tried roasting, the world’s easiest potato-cooking method, I ended up with a pan full of charred and shriveled potato corpses littered with rosemary-flavored ashes.… Read More
Ginger. I don’t quite know what to say about ginger. It is one of those elusive ingredients that is easy to find when you don’t need it for anything, and difficult to locate when you do. At least in Morocco. So when I bought a half-kilo of the stuff on a whim, I found myself struggling to find enough recipes to justify the sheer amount of ginger I’d purchased. And then it hit me. Stir-fry.
Killing two birds with one heavy lump of ginger, I justified the impulse buy and satisfied my ever-present Asian food craving at the same time. … Read More
This all started because I had too much feta. I know, right? Difficult to believe. The thing is, this one package of feta seemed endless. I used it in salad, with potatoes on no fewer than four occasions, I even snacked on bits of it from time to time. The feta continued. I was starting to think that I was at the beginning of a bad horror film: “The Feta that Ate Tangier!”… Read More
The weather is beginning to turn cold here (in Moroccan terms, that means it rained a little this week) so of course my thoughts turned to soup. (Actually, my thoughts turned to stir-fry first, but broccoli was not to be found for love of money. Since I’d already bought the other ingredients at our delightful Berber Sunday market, I had to rethink my meal plan.) Erm. I mean, I began craving soup.
I have always loved minestrone, but it never made me giggle until I watched Green Wing for the first time.… Read More
“I want hummus.” You know how many times I heard this from a friend over the course of a single week? I don’t know either, because I lost count. Neil would be over watching a movie, and suddenly: “I want hummus.” Walking through the medina: “I want hummus.” Discussing time travel: “I want hummus.” Taking self-defense lessons: “I want hummus.”
So do you know what I did? No, I didn’t banish him from my presence, my home, and the whole of Africa. I made hummus.… Read More
Upon moving to Morocco, I thought, “Aha! Tabbouleh here will be the best I’ve ever had! Beautiful farmer’s market parsley, fresh cucumbers, glowing tomatoes… I’m all set!” Well, almost. I soon discovered that bulgur wheat, one of the main ingredients, is nearly impossible to find here. I looked through shop after shop, consulted friends, and even sent my Lebanese student home to question his mother. After months of searching, the bottom line seemed to be that bulgur wheat, like Thai curry and bagels, could not be found in Morocco for love or money.… Read More
I’m aware that there’s a good deal of ambiguity in the title of this post. Could this be a chili consisting entirely of beautiful vegetarians? Or maybe after consuming it one acquires irresistibility. Or perhaps it is just an extremely mouth-watering concoction. You may select your favorite interpretation.
For those of you not “in the know”, as well as those of you who haven’t yet deemed it necessary to sneak GPS tracking chips onto my person, I moved to Morocco two weeks ago. In an effort to experience the culture here more fully, I have been fasting for the first week of Ramadan.… Read More
I’ll admit, I sometimes have odd cravings. Raw carrots, candy hearts, frozen peas… the list goes on. But earlier this week, after consuming some mediocre lentil soup at a mediocre falafel joint in my neighborhood, all I could think about was lentils. In a lentil-induced haze, I ran to my local supermarket and bought a handful of ingredients: carrots, celery, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and–you guessed it–lentils. After two hours of chopping, sautéeing, ransacking my spice cabinet, sprinkling, simmering, and stirring, something new and delicious was born.… Read More
I have a confession to make. I’m a pesto snob. I spent years sampling store-bought varieties, disappointed with everything in a jar, and nearly all of the fresher, refrigerated ones. While studying abroad in Paris, I lived on yogurt, baguettes, and–yes–pesto. Watching a friend make pesto out of a packet nearly killed me.
You know that saying? About what to do if you want something done well? And don’t have a celebrated Italian chef locked away in your kitchen cupboard? Clearly, the answer was to find a good pesto recipe and obsessively refine it over the course of several months.… Read More