Not a paella – but a great way to cook Moroccan Vegetable Tagine – with Martin Boetz
I salute you in a box – filled with sesame seeds each filled with 100 greetings
This is a traditional Moroccan love note, a country where the language is as magical as the food. What a joy it was to bring this to life at theCook’s Shed last Sunday with my friend Martin Boetz. In planning I went over my notes from visits there and various articles I have written and it brought the colours, sights, sounds and aromas of this wonderful country back to me. The cuisine, like the country itself, it is one which beckons. Small wonder that the writer Paul Bowles, long ago declared “Once you have been there you can’t help yourself. You will go back for the absolute has no price.”
Mostly I am thrilled to be out working again, dining out and feeling the buzz in the air as cafes and restaurants start up again. There’s joy and energy in the air. However, it’s been another whirlwind week – largely because, if possible, my apartment is in even more of a mess with things moved to the centre of rooms and covered up for the painters. I have had to move out for several nights but will be back soon.
Delighted to say I have been eating out quite a bit. Saturday a friend and I went to Katoomba to visit a friend who lives up there whom we have obviously not seen for some time. We dined atEchoes and I was astounded at the high quality of the food and the service so soon after opening up. Interestingly I learned that it is fine dining which is coming back, as people could get take away and cook-at-home packs, but the combination of food and service which fine dining offers is not something easy to replicate at home. Let’s get out and support our restaurants and all who work in them and supply them.
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Some of the Moroccan dishes I cooked. clockwise from top left: Beetroot Salad, Bessara, Moghrabieh Couscous, Chicken, Green Olive and Preserved Lemon Tagine and Carrot Salad
Now read on or scroll down, remember there’s something for everyone in this newsletter wherever you are in the world.
This recipe is ridiculously easy. People love slices, but who wants to spend the time separately making and cooking three layers? Here, you just throw it all on the base, bake it and “hey presto” you have a rich, indulgent slice. Just a word of warning – but the pieces small as it is as rich as it is easy. Here is the printed recipe for Chocolate Pretzel & Marshmallow Slice.It takes only 1 minute towatch me make it on YouTube.
New labels and creative campaign for Yalumba Y series
Recently 170 year old family company, Yalumba launched a new look for its Y Series collection with a new label design still with the distinctive signature letter ‘Y’, but connecting the wine label to life moments. The 12 bottles feature 12 original pieces of artwork created by South Australian artist Cindy Durant. Each artwork is inspired by her visit to Yalumba and depicts a layer of the vineyard, from sun to soil to wind.
Crafted with fruit from South Australia’s most celebrated wine regions, the Y Series collection includes traditional and emerging varieties that are sustainably produced with lower alcohol in an approachable, medium-bodied style. What is incredible is the price at $15 per bottle.
While the tempranillo and shiraz/viognier which I have tried so far are good drops, especially at that price, what is more remarkable is their first ever pinot noir in this range. It has all the varietal characteristics of pinot, fruit driven, fresh and bright with no interference from oak. Incredible value for a variety which is viticulturally more challenging than some others.
I look forward to trying the other varieties including Sangiovese Rosé and Viognier, a variety Yalumba know plenty about. All Y Series wines are vegan friendly, gluten free and 100% wild fermented.
Y Series wines are available at Yalumba.com and local liquor stores for RRP $15.
Last Week and Next
Chicken, Preserved Lemon & Green Olive Tagine
It’s been a disjointed week with me unable to enter my office because of the painters for two days and sleeping away for three nights with two more to come while the paint smell goes from my walk-in wardrobe. However, I wanted to begin sharing my Moroccan recipes so began with Chicken, Preserved Lemon & Green Olive Tagine.This had been at my first live event in something like two years so it got me thinking about work I have done over the years. I was particularly proud of many of the 12 recipes I developed for Pace Farm eggs some years ago and so shared myWok-tossed Crab & Mushroom Omelette.
Champagne Day was celebrated last Friday thanks to the Australian Champagne Bureau and I was fortunate to be one of a limited number going to a small event at smoke Rooftop in Barangaroo. It was a marvelous afternoon, a chance to catch up with people I had not seen in months and years, but also to try some fabulous champagnes. We tried a range from Blanc de Blanc (all Chardonnay grapes) to the traditional blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. However, I was most impressed with several Rosé champagnes (which get their colour from skin contact with pinot noir grapes though they are not necessarily made from entirely pinot noir grapes): Champagne Drappier Brut Nature Rosé, Champagne Rosé de Craie and Champagne Fleury Brut. The food which accompanied these tastes was outstanding as was the service.
Next week: Saturday is Halloween. I dealt with that with Spooky Pines for lanterns last week. I do have a pumpkin recipe coming up on Happy Ali which will probably go up on Saturday itself. Tuesday is Melbourne Cup Day but not sure how that will be celebrated this year? I am catching up in person with my pilates friends which will be a first for us since lockdown. Wednesday 3 is International Sandwich Day so we might celebrate this. I do like a good sandwich – but not a bad one.
Some lovely champanges including the impressive Fleury
I’m Back on The Cook-Up
My Cherry Galette with my “cheat’s” Cherry Ice-Cream
Airs 7:00pm Thursday 4 November, 2021 on SBS Food
I join Fabbrica chef Hugh Piper and host Adam Liaw in The Cook Up kitchen for the fourth and last time as we feature an Aussie summer favourite ingredient – cherries. My recipe for Cherry Galette is here.As always, I try to simplify things. Some secrets include using butter puff pastry, the love Frangipane filling as the perfect base for cherries. My quick cheat’s “ice-cream” adds another dimension with the cherries. You can use fresh cherries in season, or frozen.
Tips and Know How
Looks delicious – but is this roti or is it naan? (It’s naan)
One of Marty’s chefs who is also a baker made an incredible flatbread last Sunday. It got me to thinking about the many styles and types – with yoghurt or without, with yeast or without etc. Then up popped this piece which notes that flatbreads are an indispensable part of Indian cuisine but there are so many different types. Read A beginner’s guide to Indian breads: The difference between roti and naan.
We all need salt in our diets but some of us need to reduce our intake so this is an interesting piece from SBS Food Health. Here’s how you can salt your meal without actually adding salt.Of course, the best thing you can do is not eat processed food. As Julia Child once said….. “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”
Thanks for that quote Eativity and while we’re at it – thanks too for your piece Food Allergies: 5 myths explained
Do you have any questions you would like answered? One reader has asked about purging clams so I will include that next week.
Morocco Tour 23 Sept – 4 Oct 2022
Taking time for mint tea is so important in Morocco
More flights, no quarantine so join me on one of my two overseas tours in 2022?
Moroccan Culinary Tour begins in Rabat on Friday 23 September til Tuesday 4 October This trip will see us travel from Rabat the capital, to spiritual Meknes and Fes, and to Marrakech the red city. On the way you will explore the archaeological site of Volubilis, visit a Berber village in the Atlas Mountains, and relax by the coast in tranquil Essaouira. You’ll discover the delicacies of Moroccan and French food, dine in local eateries through to upmarket restaurants, and experience the making and flavours of Moroccan dishes during cooking classes. Luxury accommodation is in charming, authentic riads. sometimes in exclusivity. Only 10 – 12 guests. This tour is nearly fully booked, so we are considering another tour later in October yet to be determined. If you are interested but these dates don’t suit, contact us?
Puglia in the boot of the heel of Italy is still relatively unspoiled. A secret Italians tend to keep to themselves, it is a wonderful place to visit and so much less crowded than Tuscany. After Morocco I’m going on to host Culinary Adventures in Puglia and Basilicata 8 – 14 October 2022. Join me and share an unforgettable week of culinary and cultural exploration. Think hands-on bread, cheese making and cooking class; visits to wineries, olive farm, tours of UNESCO sites Alberobello & Matera & other cultural centres with local guides. All sensational meals and wines included. You only need money for the very inexpensive shopping you will find there.
Group size: an intimate 8-16 places only
Lodging in authentic, family-run noble estates and palaces
Operated by: Local Puglia specialist Southern Visions Travel: the leading experiential travel company in Southern Italy