Balls! (Meatballs, That Is)

Meatballs are the most playful food you can pile on a plate. (And it’s pretty fun to say “balls,” too. Am I right?! Of course I’m right. Try it: Balls!) Meatballs can be so cute and round and friendly — and despite their humble appearance, they’re often packed with flavor explosions like spices and seeds, or doused in a luscious sauce that inspires licking the plate. Today,... read more

Moroccan Sirloin w/ Fig-Pistachio Butter

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I was invited to compete in the Sous Video Paleo Recipe Showdown, sponsored by SousVide Supreme and TX Bar Organics. The deadline for submitting our recipes has arrived, so I can finally share what I cooked up in my kitchen — and then you guys get to weigh in by voting in a Fan Favorites contest. Voting starts tomorrow (!), so I’ll be sharing details on that as soon... read more

Merguez Meatballs

Merguez is a fresh sausage popular in North African cuisine. Usually made with lamb — or a mixture of lamb and beef — it’s spicy but not too hot, heady with earthy seasonings like cumin, garlic, fennel, paprika, and just a hint of cinnamon. Although it contains many of the same spices as Ras el Hanout, the flavor is completely different flavor because of the proportions of the spices. Spice... read more

Paleo Chicken Bastila

A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about the cookbook Middle Eastern Cooking by Rose Dosti and how my dad and I bonded over an illicit photocopying session of recipes from the book. One of the treasures I found inside its pages was a recipe for Chicken Bastila, a traditional Moroccan dish usually prepared for holidays and weddings. It’s a sweet-savory pie made from layers of phyllo dough stuffed... read more

Citrusy Carrot & Radish Salad

And now, I will recreate my reaction to my CSA basket delivery this week… [GROAN!] Radishes AGAIN! Jeez, Louise! I had to give away radishes at work the last two weeks in a row! I. [angrily open Ziploc bag] Hate. [aggressively pull radishes from basket] Radishes. [shove radishes into bag.] [Pause.] They are really pretty, though. And so I was inspired to poke around for a salad recipe that might... read more

… And Spice and Everything Nice: Turkish Baharat

  What are little strong girls made of? Sugar and Protein and spice and everything nice badass… that’s what little strong girls are made of. (And strong boys, too… but they also contain snips and snails and puppy dog tails.) Remember when I told y’all about the spice blend Ras el Hanout? That was a goodie, for sure. But now I have one that I might like even more. I know! Think... read more

Moroccan Grilled Salmon

Cook’s Illustrated… is there anything they don’t know?! This recipe is from The Best Recipe: Grilling and Barbecue. Marinade Ingredients:Makes enough for about 1.5 lbs. of salmon fillets 2 tablespoons olive oil2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander1 1/2 teaspoons salt1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper Directions:1.... read more

Moroccan Orange Salad

The city of Tangier – perched on the northwestern tip of Morocco – was declared an International Zone after World War I and was jointly ruled by nine different countries, all reluctant to relinquish control of this glamorous port. The winding alleyways of the old city became a haven for smugglers, agents, double agents, and movie stars. Hotel El Minzah was the place to see and be seen. Like the motley... read more

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: Ras el Hanout

Ras el Hanout Ras el Hanout is a spice blend from the Middle East and North Africa. Spice market vendors all claim their version to be the best, and some people consider the seductive blend of spices to be an aphrodisiac. At the very least, any food in which you include Ras el Hanout will inspire diners to kiss the cook, so you’ve got that goin’ for you. Ingredients: 2 (level) teaspoons... read more

Taste of the Kasbah: Moroccan Lamb Kabobs

It’s a rest day, and you know what that means: there’s no workout to discuss, so let’s talk food! Yay, food! I’m taking y’all to north Africa, so you might want play this while you read: (Yes, I know Ofra Haza, a.k.a.”Madonna of the East” was from Israel, not Morocco. Just enjoy the song and stop being so persnickety.) According to my book Cooking at the Kasbah,... read more

The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat. Ever.

I grew up in my dad’s restaurant, and cooking (and the associated eating) is the one activity on which my whole family can agree. We might go toe-to-toe on, say, the inherent value of tattoos, but get us in the kitchen, and we are the very definition of collaboration. Toss the name of a potential ingredient in our midst, and the creativity flows: “You know how that would be good [insert... read more

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