Monday Meal Review: Algeria

This is meal #3 in my personal challenge to eat one meal from every country in the world.

“Great.”

My husband smiled.

“I think dinner was really great.”

Our friends quickly nodded in agreement.

I might as well have won an Oscar.

We sipped our Ceylon tea with fresh mint sprigs, savoring the memory of the meal we just enjoyed. Although we were going on four hours of sitting around the dining room table, no one made a move to get up. If that’s not indication of an enjoyable meal, I don’t know what is. (The spell finally broke when baby Ava woke up for her midnight feast).

The Algerian meal was a big hit for two simple reasons: big flavor and originality. Our favorite dishes were (by a mile) the chickpea Soup and the Hot Algerian Lasagna. I will be making both of these dishes again.

Hummus bi’l Kammun (Chickpea soup) [Recipe]

What do I like most about this dish?

This soup was smoky, earthy, and downright craveable. I cannot say enough good things about this soup. If you love chickpeas, you need to try Hummus bi’l Kammun.

What do I like least about this dish?

There is none left for me to eat.

Hot Algerian Lasagna [Recipe]

What do I like most about this dish?

While none of us ever had cayenne, chickpeas, or potatoes in lasagna, we immediately fell in love. These big flavors melded under an irresistably gooey layer of Gruyère cheese. I cannot express how good this lasagna was; you’ll just have to try it yourself. You won’t regret it.

What do I like least about this dish?

The lasagna is very filling. Which means I cannot eat the entire casserole myself. This is rather unfortunate.

Algerian Sunset Salad [Recipe]


What did I like most about this dish?

This salad is really more of a relish. The cool, crunchy fennel provides a nice contrast to the spicy lasagna.

What did I like least about this dish?

I have a hard time with the flavor of this dish. Blood oranges, fresh fennel, black olives, and mint forms a briny… funkiness.

Algerian Green Beans [Recipe]

Algerian Green Beans

What did I like most about this dish?

The green beans are quick and easy to make.

What did I like least about this dish?

The clove came through too strong in this recipe. I did adjust the recipe to fix this.

Baguette (French Bread) [Recipe @KAF]

What did I like most about this dish?

The bread recipe, from King Arthur Flour’s blog, is perfect. Don’t mess with success.

What did I like least about this dish?

I wish I could magically have crusty baguettes in 30 minutes. I can dream, can’t I?

Bil Zbib (Sweet Couscous) [Recipe]

What did I like most about this dish?

This was another quick and easy dish. This dessert can be on the table in 15 minutes.

What did I like least about this dish?

The dessert does not hold up well over time. The couscous dries out if made ahead of time.

Llokume (Turkish Delight) [Recipe]

What did I like most about this dish?

When I was a little girl I thought Turkish Delight was warm fried meats in a sweet and sour sauce. I was really dissapointed when I found out they were candies. I never thought I would get over the shock. HOWEVER, now that I have perfected the recipe, I dig Llokume.

What did I like least about this dish?

Nothing really. But my hips beg to differ.

Ava’s Corner

We sat down to dinner after Ava went to bed so she did not sample the food until the next day. We thought the best choice was to give her some of the green beans, as they had the mildest flavor. Even still they were pretty loaded with clove powder, so I rinsed them off a little. She chewed them up and looked for more! Success :)

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Comments

  1. Wow…Sacha you rock!!!!!!!!!!! Gosh….my mouth is watering!

  2. Grammie Sue aka Mom aka susan says:

    Great write-up…yummmmmm

  3. YUMMY! Great food, great friends, great conversation. I really did try to save a sample of Llokume for my co-worker. However, I was not successful :( But I know who can teach me to make it

  4. Yes, the cloves were a problem in my Algerian dish too. They added a bitterness. We salvaged the dish by fishing through to remove the whole cloves before we stored the leftovers.

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