Parsley Oil

My friend Peter Paniccia spoils me silly with fresh vegetables from his organic garden. When he brings me parsley, he doesn’t bring it in bunches – he brings it in bushels!!

Here is a wonderful recipe for parsley oil from Yottam Ottolenghi, which can be used as a dip, a sauce, a condiment and pretty much goes with anything. I put it in sandwiches, roast veggies with it, use it in salads, pastas and so on.

It keeps for a few weeks in the fridge but once you start eating it – don’t expect it to last quite that long.




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Pastilla/Bastilla with Chicken and Almonds, La Maison Arabe

Pastilla also know as Bastilla is a traditional Moroccan dish which has its origins in Andalus.

This popular Moroccan dish is basically sweet and salty meat pie wrapped in a phyllo type dough called (warqa). It can be filled with chicken, pigeon, seafood or vegetables. It is really delicious – the combination of savory, sweet, soft and crisp works beautifully.

Pastilla is usually served as a starter.

In New York one can find Warqa at Tanjawi or Naseem Meat Market & Grocery 
in Astoria or Sahadis in Brooklyn.

You can use phyllo dough too but make sure you butter each layer or it will get too dry and crack.


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Zaalouk Salad (Eggplant) at La Maison Arabe

Zaalouk is a scrumptious cooked salad made with eggplants. It is one of my favorite salad dishes in Moroccan cuisine and I was thrilled when we learned how to make it at my cooking class at La Maison Arabe in Marrakech.

Zaalouk is most delicious when eaten with warm, crispy slices bread (Khubz). Zaalouk keeps for many days in the refrigerator, tasting better as time goes by. In fact it is recommended that you make this salad a day ahead.



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A Moroccan Cooking Class at La Maison Arabe, Marrakech, Morocco

An absolutely perfect way for me to end my hectic travels in the fabulous country of Morocco was by taking a cooking class in traditional Moroccan cuisine.




La Maison Arabe was one of the cities most legendary restaurants, which later became one of the first Riads to open its doors to guests in Marrakech.

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The Food of Morocco

Morocco is one of the most fascinating countries I have visited in recent times. Situated in Northern Africa, less than 10 miles away from Spain, the meld of cultures and influences seen here are just marvelous. Berber, European, Arab and African traditions heavily influence the Moroccan way of life.

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Paella Mixta (Paella with Seafood and Meat)

Who doesn’t love Paella – Spain’s famous grilled rice dish? I’ve never really attempted making Paella at home until recently when we went to spend a weekend with friends in Connecticut. Our hosts made a simple seafood and chicken paella and I was sous-chef!

It turned out to be a really easy dish and a hit with all. You can use any ingredients that you like. I just made a chicken, chorizo and shrimp paella but you can add any seafood/ meat you wish to.

The recipe we used is adapted from Christine Gallary’s Grilled Paella Mixta on the CHOW website.

This recipe calls for cooking on a grill but I just did everything stove top.

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My Un-Rainbow Cookies

I absolutely love the Italian rainbow cookies! Anything with an almond paste/ marzipan flavor automatically makes it to my it list. That is why I resisted all this time to even try to make these cookies. Finally this past Christmas I broke down and made a batch. Needless to say they were quite fantastic!

Here is the basic recipe I used courtesy Lidia Bastianich for Food Network Magazine. The only thing I added to the recipe was about a teaspoon of almond essence coz I really do love that almond flavor. I also didn’t bother coloring the layers though they do look pretty it is only food coloring after all.


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