Morocco and Andalusian culture fascinates me and I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Cooking at the Kasbah by Kitty Morse.
This book reflects the beautiful culture and tradition of Al Maghreb Al Aksa (the land where the sun sets). It starts off with the colonial history of Morocco, which influences its culture and cuisine.
Kitty mentions that the art of making ouarka the paper thin dough for b'stila originated in Morocco. Couscous the staple diet of Morocco and mint tea traditions also started there.
I enjoyed the lively descriptions of the souk (market), the familiar descriptions of the wedding feast, the nations hospitality which follows the Islamic principles of treating guests with the best and many other parts of the book were interesting.
I tried a few recipes from the book already such as the caramelized carrots (hezzu m'chermel), pomegranate drink and preserved lemons (l'hamd marked). I am looking forward to see the results of the preserved lemons in the coming weeks, which will come in handy for many recipes in the book.
Here is a delicious red bell pepper and garlic confit (felfla hamra m'kliya) that would be perfect for this season. Use only red peppers for this recipe.
5 red bell peppers roasted, peeled and seeded *
3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
* Grill the peppers over an open flame. If using a broiler, place the peppers on a baking sheet and broil for 10 to 12 minutes in a preheated broiler until the skin blisters and blackens. Watch carefully and turn the peppers using tongs.
Transfer the peppers to a plastic bag or bowl and seal. Leave it till it is cool to touch, peel and seed.
Heat oil in medium low heat sauté the garlic until golden and add the roasted pepper strips. Fry gently for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and place the peppers and garlic on a towel to drain. Transfer to a serving dish and serve at room temperature.
There are many easy to follow clear recipes for spice blends, soups, salad, savoury, pastries, breads, meat, fish, vegetable dishes and many more. The author gives menu ideas and lists places where we can find ingredients.
If you enjoy Middle Eastern cuisine and culture then I will recommend this book. It is available on Amazon, Chronicle and Indigo.