Month: February 2010

Bil Zbib Sweet Couscous

Bil Zbib (Sweet Couscous)

Serves: 4 Bil Zbib is eaten for breakfast or dessert in North Africa.  Serve this sweet couscous warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Ingredients: 1/4 cup golden raisins 4 dried apricots, diced 2 prunes, diced 1 1/2 cups water 1 1/8 cup dried couscous 2 tablespoons melted butter 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 1/8 cup powdered sugar Method: 1.  In a small pot combine the raisins, apricot, prunes, and water. Heat until boiling. Add couscous, cover, and turn off heat. Let sit 5 minutes. 2.   Add butter, cinnamon and granulated sugar. Gently fluff the couscous; pile in a mound on a small shallow platter. Dust with powdered sugar. 3. Serve warm or cool. Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Bil Zbib is eaten for breakfast or dessert in North Africa. Serve this sweet couscous warm in the winter and cool in the summer.Bil Zbib (Sweet Couscous) CourseSweets LifestylePotluck Friendly, Vegetarian Food TypeFruit, Random Carbs & Grains Servings Prep Time 4people 5minutes Cook Time Passive Time 5minutes 5minutes Servings Prep Time 4people 5minutes Cook Time Passive Time 5minutes 5minutes …

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Algerian Spiced Green Beans

Algerian Green Beans

Serves 4 Algerian green beans, called Loubia, are a nice side dish to almost any meal. Make them ahead and reheat in the oven at the last minute. Ingredients: 1 lb fresh green beans 3 Tbsp peanut oil 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp paprika a hefty pinch ground cloves 3 Tbsp slivered almonds Method: 1. Steam green beans until tender, about 15 minutes (or if you like them firmer, that’s okay too). 2. In a small skillet over medium heat, combine oil, garlic, cumin, paprika, and cloves. Saute until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add slivered almonds and cook for 1 minute more. 3. In a large serving bowl toss green beans with seasoned oil. Serve hot. Votes: 3 Rating: 4.33 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Algerian green beans, called Loubia, are a nice side dish to almost any meal. Make them ahead and reheat in the oven at the last minute.Algerian Green Beans CourseSides & Salads LifestyleGluten-Free, Potluck Friendly, Quick, Vegan, Vegetarian Food TypeVegetables Servings Prep Time 4people 10minutes Cook …

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Algerian Sunset Salad

Algerian Sunset Salad – Blood Oranges, Fennel, & Black Olives

Serves 4 Blood orange give this salad a reddish hue. The anise of the fennel combined with the salty black olives and sweet oranges makes for an unusual combination. Ingredients: 2 blood oranges, the rind cut off and sectioned 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced thinly 1/4 cup oil-cured black olives 1/4 cup mint leaves, sliced thinly 1/4 cup olive oil 2 Tbsp lemon juice salt pepper Method: 1. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and mint leaves. 2. Add orange segments, fennel, and olives. Toss to combine. 3. Let sit overnight & adjust seasonings as necessary. Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Blood orange give this salad a reddish hue. The anise of the fennel combined with the salty black olives and sweet oranges makes for an unusual combination.Algerian Sunset Salad with Blood Oranges, Fennel, & Black Olives CourseSides & Salads LifestyleGluten-Free, Potluck Friendly, Vegan, Vegetarian Food TypeFruit, Vegetables Servings Prep Time 4people 15minutes Passive Time 8hours Servings Prep Time 4people 15minutes Passive Time 8hours Ingredients 2 blood …

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Chickpea soup drizzled with olive oil

Spicy Chickpea Soup | Hummus bi’l Kammun

Serves 2-4 Hummus bi’l Kammun is velvety smooth. The smoky blend of cumin, paprika, harissa, and garlic make this soup a wintertime treat. As a special bonus, this soup is vegan. NOTE: Much like chili, our soup benefits from a day of rest while the flavors deepen. When reheating, thin to desired consistency with a little water. Ingredients: 2 15 oz cans drained and rinsed chickpeas (or 3 cups prepared, dried chickpeas) 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1/4 cup olive oil 1 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp paprika 1 tsp harissa (or more to taste) 2 Tbsp tomato paste 1 quart cooking water salt pepper Method: 1.     In a large pot over medium heat, add garlic, olive oil, cumin, paprika, harissa, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add water and chickpeas (reserve ¼ cup chickpeas for garnish if using shallow bowls). Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. 2.     Use an immersion blender to make a coarse puree. Simmer gently, uncovered, for an hour. Stir occasionally. 3.     Puree again, this time getting the soup perfectly smooth (you may also use a …

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Going shopping at the Middle East Market

“Dang it.” I muttered. After driving across Tulsa, fighting construction and traffic, I was staring at the dark “open” sign of Middle East Market (5459 S Mingo Rd, Tulsa, OK 74146). I looked at the hours of operation; they were supposed to be open another four hours! Squinting my eyes, I peered through the tinted windows. Were those lights on? Holding my breath, I pulled on the door handle.  The door opened and a cheerful bell announced my entrance. “I thought you were closed,” I said. “We get that alot,” the young man behind the counter nodded, “Several times a day, actually.” But I was already looking around, taking inventory. A case of Middle Eastern cheeses, drinks in arabic, beautiful persian teapots, glass teacups, spices, teas, syrups, pickled vegetables, several kinds of couscous. There was even a small rack of clothing. The whole place smelled like toasted spices. I walked in circles for a while, eying everything. “I could use those glass tea cups and that giant tea pot for my Global Table dinners,” I thought, knowing full well that I …

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Harissa Chili Paste

Harissa (also Harisa) is chili paste used to flavor many north african dishes, specifically in Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, and western Sicily. The condiment can be made mild, medium, or hot. For those who don’t feel like making Harissa from scratch, middle eastern markets sell the paste in cans. Whole Foods sells Harissa in the spice aisle (you just add water and olive oil to make the dry mix into a paste). The main components of Harissa: 2 ounces dried Guajillo chili peppers, soaked for 30 minutes, seeded and stemmed 2 ounces dried Anaheim chili peppers, mild, soaked for 30 minutes, seeded and stemmed 5 Garlic cloves, peeled 2 Tbsp water 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, plus extra 1/2 tsp ground caraway 1/2 tsp ground coriander 1 1/2 tsp salt 1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until mixture creates a paste. 2. Cover with extra olive oil and store in the refrigerator. Adapted from A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford Wright Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Harissa (also Harisa) is a chili paste used to flavor many …

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Menu: Algeria

This menu represents what I found most exciting about Algerian food: the flavors are intense, the spices are hot, and the foods are a blend of the proverbial melting pot. Hummus bi’l Kammun (Chickpea Soup) [Recipe] Pureed chickpeas laced with garlic, cumin, paprika, and harisa. Algerian Sunset Salad [Recipe] Blood oranges, fresh fennel, black olives, and mint make up this unusual salad. Hot Algerian Lasagna (Shakhshukha al-Bisakra) [Recipe] This lasagna contains ground lamb meat, diced potatoes, chickpeas, and harisa. Two teaspoons of cayenne make this dish fire-hot. Gruyère cheese cools things down. Algerian Green Beans [Recipe] Seasoned with garlic, cumin, paprika, and cloves. Slivered almonds give this dish bite. Baguette (French Bread) [Recipe @KAF] French bread is commonplace in Algeria. The crusty bread soaks up flavor and helps diners pick up food without silverware. Bil Zbib (Sweet Couscous) [Recipe] Couscous is a staple of Algerian cuisine. My version of Bil Zbib contains dried apricots, plums, and golden raisins. Llokume (Turkish Delight) [Recipe] Since Algerians love Llokume, I am making this confection again so that I can perfect the recipe. Harissa (Harisa)  [Recipe] This chili paste is used in a lot of Middle Eastern …

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About Algerian Food: Sand, ho! Algeria

Look left. Sand. Look right. More sand. Yep, you guessed correctly. There’s a whole lot of desert in Algeria. In fact, 80% of Algeria is covered by the Sahara Desert, forcing most of the population to live to the north, along the Mediterranean coast (source). The surplus of sand must have inspired the national dish: couscous (couscous is also the national dish of Morocco and Tunisia). Couscous is a very fine pasta shaped just like, well, grains of sand. A warm bed of couscous is the perfect base for intensely flavored dishes. Cayenne pepper, saffron, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves all make appearances in traditional Algerian cuisine. Algerian cusine comes from the proverbial “melting pot.” Olives, oranges, and figs are popular mediterranean components. Turkish Delight and other sweets are the mark of the Ottomans. Baguettes remain a staple due to the lasting French influence in Algeria. PS. In the spirit of authenticity, we’re eating with our right hand this week! Wash up 🙂

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Recipes from an Albanian Menu

Monday Meal Review: Albania

Exercising Restraint in the Albanian Kitchen I’ll be honest with you. I spent most of Saturday feeling a bit put out.  As I cooked my way through Albania, I rummaged through my spice drawer for nothing in particular. I picked up and put down a head of garlic at least 5 times. Cooking with just one herb or spice per dish – a trait I found in all the recipes we tried this week – felt, well, foreign to me.  None of these dishes even had garlic in them.  Exercising restraint was not easy but, as we all know, this is what I am here for! Turns out paring down the aromatics in a recipe amplifies the main ingredient, resulting in big dose of bright, clean flavor. As with a theater performance, when a bare stage allows for the star to shine, each of these Albanian dishes left room for the main ingredients to steal the show. The Albanian Recipes Tava Elbasani | Lamb in Yogurt [Recipe] What did I like most about this dish? The tangy yogurt laced with Hungarian paprika makes …

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Lamb in Yogurt

Lamb Baked in Yogurt | Tava Elbasani

    Serves 4-6 Although this dish is simple, the tender lamb and tangy yogurt are very satisfying on a cold winter’s day.  Use Hungarian Paprika to give the dish mild heat. Ingredients: 3 lbs lamb, cut into 10 pieces 2 cups cooking water from lamb 2 Tbsp butter 2 Tbsp flour 4 eggs 3 cups greek yogurt 1 tbsp white rice 1 tsp red pepper (paprika) salt Method: 1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sear the lamb on all sides. Do not crowd. You may have to sear just a few pieces at a time. 2. Add all pieces back into the pot and cover with water. Add a generous amount of salt and simmer for 1 hour. 3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add flour and stir until they blend and cook together. When the mixture thickens and begins to turn the color of light peanut butter, begin adding the water. Heat until thick, stirring constantly. You are essentially making gravy.  Let cool. 4. Preheat the oven to 350F. NOTE: I …

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Turkish Delight | Llokume

Makes approximately 50 pieces Llokume was popularized in Eastern Europe and North Africa during the Ottoman empire. This recipe makes enough Turkish Delight to share. Bring the confection to a special friend or a party, and you will learn why Albanians are just one of many cultures that find this dessert delightful. Ingredients: For the candy: 4 cups granulated sugar 1 Tbsp real lemon juice 1 1/2 cup water, plus an additional 2 3/4 cups 1 cup cornstarch 1 tsp cream of tartar 1 Tbsp vegetable oil 1 tsp rose water 1 tsp orange extract yellow food coloring red food coloring For the coating: 2lb bag confectioners sugar 1 cup cornstarch Method: SPECIAL NOTE: Be careful when cooking with boiling hot sugars. Only use glass or metal bowls/containers. No plastic. Day One: 1. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan combine sugar, lemon juice, and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer until the mixture reaches 240F, or soft ball, on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat. NOTE: Sometimes thermometers are slightly off. …

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Albanian Vegetables

Albanian Vegetables | Turli Perimesh

Serves 4-6 Turli Perimesh is a light and refreshing accompaniment to meat. The influence of Italian cusine on Albania is apparent both in the use of squashes and fresh parsley. Ingredients: 2 medium onions 2 zucchini 1 yellow squash 1 white potato 1 can diced tomatoes (in the summer use 2 fresh tomatoes) 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 cup water olive oil Method: 1. Dice all vegetables in 1 inch cubes. 2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add onion and saute until translucent. 3. Add zucchini and squash, browning lightly. 4. Add potato, tomatoes, parsley, and water. 5. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all vegetables are tender and water has absorbed. Serve immediately. Votes: 1 Rating: 5 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Turli Perimesh is a light and refreshing accompaniment to meat. The influence of Italian cuisine on Albania is apparent both in the use of squashes and fresh parsley.Turli Perimesh (Albanian Vegetables) CourseSides & Salads LifestyleGluten-Free, Quick, Vegan, Vegetarian Food TypePotatoes, Vegetables Servings Prep Time 4-6people 15minutes Cook Time 20minutes Servings Prep Time 4-6people 15minutes …

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