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Moroccan Spin

Moroccan cuisine has surely made its mark in the world of food. It’s considered one of the most diversified cuisines of the world; a result of the centuries-long melting pot of cultures from African, Berber, Corsican, Portuguese, Moorish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Spanish cuisines.

Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food. While spices have been imported to Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients, like saffron, mint, olives, and citrus are home grown. Chicken is the most widely eaten meat. Couscous, is the most famous Moroccan dish; as is tanjine and harina. Wash it down with some green tea, mint and lump of sugar.

"Here's looking at you, Kid." 

Lemon & Mint Chicken {recipe, George Hirsch

Makes six servings

2 pounds of boneless chicken, cut into 3-4 inch pieces

fresh ground black pepper

The Marinade: 

Juice of 2 lemons

1/2 cup olive oil

Puree from 6 cloves Caramelized Garlic

1 Tablespoon turmeric 

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 Tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon hot sauce

fresh ground black pepper 

pinch sea salt

In a shallow bowl combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, mint, parsley, hot sauce, salt and mix well. Add the chicken, sprinkle liberally with black pepper. Marinate at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.

Two hours later, remove chicken and drain marinade into a small sauce pot, and boil marinade until the liquid reduces by half.

Thread chicken on metal skewers or pre-soaked bamboo skewers. 

Pre heat grill to high heat.

Brush chicken with reduced marinade sauce when you first place them on grill. Sear chicken k-bobs on hot grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. 

Move k-bobs to medium heat or to cooler edge of the grill and cook until done, about 12 to 15 minutes, or until completely cooked. 

Place on a platter with couscous and serve. 


Meyer's Sparkling Lemonade

Need a thirst quencher to beat the heat wave? Here's my refreshing way to chill out!

The Meyer lemon, native to China, is a cross between a tangerine and a Eureka lemon. The Meyer lemon has a delightful aroma and a surprisingly sweeter yet tarty flavor compared to typical lemons found in your local produce markets. Grown mostly in ornamental garden pots, Meyer's lemons can be difficult to find outside of specialty grocers and abundant California groves. Kensington Marmalade Company has changed how we can get our Meyers fix with their locally grown whole-fruit drink mixers. It's not just lemon juice, but whole lemon fruit in every bottle.

We believe the best products come from the best fruit, and there is nothing better than fruit grown with love. - Kensington Marmalade Company

This is not the friendly neighborhood lemonade stand recipe for homemade lemonade (avec the vodka), but it may just be the ideal refreshment to bring dad while he rests on the backyard hammock come Father's Day.  

Meyer's Sparkling Lemonade

In a tall glass filled with ice, mix together ¼ cup vodka, ¼ cup Meyer Lemon Mixer, ½ cup sparkling water, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Garnish with a fresh lemon slice and a sprig of fresh mint. 


La Fête Nationale

This week marks another independence, for our friends in France. It is just one more reason for us to pop open a good chilled rosé with friends and say Santé.
Bastille Day History Cliff Notes.
 The storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 has been commemorated in France for more than a century. Paris was in a state of high agitation in the early months of the French revolution. In Spring 1789, the Estates-General refused to dissolve, transforming itself instead into a constituent National Assembly. In July, King Louis XVI called in fresh troops and dismissed his popular Minister, Necker. On the morning of July 14 the people of Paris seized weapons from the armory at the Invalides and then marched in the direction of an ancient Royal fortress, the Bastille.

Let's honor the French in celebrating and enjoy time with family and friends with a picnic. As an honorary member of the Vatel Club I’ve attended wonderful picnics with hundreds of French chefs. These were exquisite menus beyond the typical picnic fare; including pate, cheeses, crusty bread, lobster, duck, petit fours and plenty of French wine.

Here are some simple ideas for your Bastille Day menu celebration; crusty baguette with smoked ham and brie, a thermos of chilled potato chive soup, French Champagne or Cote du Rhone, rose and finish with sweet crepes and éclairs.