Posts Tagged With: Casablanca

Berbe Kafta Kebabs From Morocco

Moroccan Entree



1 medium yellow onion
1 tablespoon Berbere spices (Or see recipe for BERBERE SPICE MIX)
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1½ pounds ground beef


Electric skillet
Wooden skewers (about 8 inches long. Size matters.)
Spice grinder (if you are making your own Berbere spice mix.)


Peel and dice onion. Put onion, Berbere spices, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, parsley, pepper, salt, and ground beef in mixing bowl. Indulge in gentle primal scream therapy as you mix everything together with your hands. Make meatballs about 1-inch across until mix is used up. Put meatballs in bowl and chill in refrigerator for at least one hour.

Cook meatballs on electric skillet at 350 degrees. Turn just often enough to ensure meatballs are no longer pink on the inside and starting to brown on the outside. Vigilance is a must. (Tasting isn’t a bad idea either. However, if you taste every meatball before your fiancé arrives, then maybe the relationship wasn’t meant to be.)

Let the meatballs cool down enough so they don’t burn your fingers. Gently place 2 or 3 meatballs on each skewer. (It is possible to pierce your hand or finger with the sharp edge of the skewer. These are wooden skewers, you say, how sharp can they be? Okay, I probably couldn’t terrify an intruder armed with a gun, but I could give him an owie he’d never forget.)

Tastes great on its own or serve with lemon wedges and Moroccan yogurt sauce. (See recipe for this.)


1) In 711, Arab armies crossed over the Straits of Gibraltar and headed northward to the Frankish Kingdom bringing all sorts of Moroccan spices with them. It is hard to say exactly what spices, as most historians, especially military, are strangely mute on this point.

2) In 732, the Frankish leader defeated the Arabs at the battle of Tours ensuring the survival of French spices and cuisine.

3) Frankish and Arab armies marched back and forth in southern France until 915, making certain the fusion of French and Moroccan spices.

4) Culinary arts stagnated during centuries of peace between France and Morocco.

5) Fortunately, French power and imperialism came back in 1907 when Gallic armies occupied Casablanca. A new round of fighting and culinary exchange between the two great nations began.

6) Unfortunately for gourmands everywhere total peace broke out in 1956 with Moroccan independence.

7) For awhile, it seemed as if the tens of thousands of brave French and Moroccan warriors who died in the cause of culinary integration had fallen in vain.

8) But you can’t keep a good spicer down. Over the next few decades, Moroccans headed to France in search of jobs, bringing their spices with them. Now you can find good French and Moroccan restaurants all over the world. Life is good.


– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bad Advice Friday + 1, May-20-2017

Oh my gosh, I was sick and missed Friday. Whatever healthy time I was spent making macaroni and cheese and watch Number Two Son get a second degree black belt. Anyway, yesterday was Friday. And today is Saturday. Sometimes, it’s good advice to get all the facts on paper before starting to think. But not here. Even though my advice is one day late, I shall once more be dispensing stupendously bad advice.


KM asks: Nature vs. nurture: Was Donald Trump born a narcissistic, racist idiot (in which case he can’t help himself), or did he have to work to develop those traits? Has anyone researched his ancestors?

Dear KM: Why not ask him directly? Invite him over for a barbecue. Now, he has expensive tastes, so you’ll have to buy the very best grill to impress him. Of course, you’ll have to get top-of-the-line accessories to go along with your grill, such as five-acre patio and a fifty-room mansion. You will, to be sure, be shelling out millions upon millions to set up this event, but Mr. Trump will come over and you will find out what makes him tick.


LF asks: Why can’t I make myself invisible?

Dear LF: You can! You can! Get a ten-foot high by twenty-foot long canvas. Spray paint it bright red. All over. Spray paint yourself bright red. All over. Always stand in front of the bright red canvas. It’ll be red on red. No one will ever see you with all that red. However, and this is import, never ever step out from the red canvas. People will be able to spot you in an instant. You will need to hire at least four burly to move the canvas at the same rate you walk. Of course, should you require motorized transportation, you and your canvas will need to stand in the back of a flat-bed truck.


WK asks: When invited to a dinner party is it ok to ask the hostess what color napkins she’ll be using so I can wear a matching shirt?

Dear WK: OMG! OMG! Of course not, this is a faux pas of the first magnitude. Do you want to
never again be invited to a party will colored napkins? Fortunately, the answer to this social dilemma is dazzlingly simple. Wear every possible color of shirt, one shirt on top of each other. This will require entering your host’s house wearing twenty shirts. When the hosts why so many shirts, tell her you’re afraid of catching a chill and that it takes you two weeks to get over a cold. Take a quick glance at the napkins. Point in the other direction and yell as loud as you can, “Look! Halley’s Comet.” While people are looking for the comet, removes your shirts until you get to the one with the right color. This will leave you with a lot of discarded shirts. Quickly roll them up into balls and start juggling. The host and her guests will appreciate you thoughtful entertainment and will think nothing when you put your “equipment” in the coat room.

Now, it’s important to remember you will still be wearing nine or ten shirts. You’ll will be quite hot. Look at the large shrimp display in the center of the table. Say, “My, the shrimp arrangement is stunning, beautiful, what artistry! Mrs Host, you have outdone yourself.” While the host and the guest take in the wondrous arrangement, pour as many glasses of ice water inside your innermost shirt. You’ll be fine.


LHH asks: Which goes first: the chicken, or the egg?

Dear LHH: It’s a frustrating question, isn’t it? There’s no used asking the chickens; they’re tight lipped. (See, what I did there?) No, you’ll have to conduct extensive research. 100,000,000 eggs and chickens ought to be sufficient. Won’t buying that many eggs and chickens cost a lot? It sure will! At least a billion dollars. How do you get that much cash? Simple, build a nuclear missile and launch pad in your garage. Now, there is a dearth of self-help books when it comes to at-home construction of such weapons, so you will have to rely heavily on trial and error. Should you survive, and you need to be an optimist if you’re ever going to amount to anything, start blackmailing the world with a nuclear holocaust until you get your billion. Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea has been blackmailing the world with his nukes. He hasn’t received a penny in blackmail money, but bless his heart, he keeps trying. You’ve got to admire his never say die spirit.


KM asks: Is it polite to give a Trump supporter a Bronx cheer?

Dear KM: Only if you asked politely first. Manners are always in style. Ask the Trump supporter, “Excuse sir, or ma’am, nice day isn’t? I was wondering, if it’s all the same to you, may I give you a Bronx cheer? If he says yes, it just might be the start of a wonderful friendship as in the final scene in Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains. However, if the oaf breaks you nose in reply, then you will have taken the high road in manners and you can feel proud of yourself until you pass out. Either way, you win.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: bad advice Friday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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