All posts filed under: Egypt

Around the World Lunch: Egypt

Ava’s Egyptian Lunch

Ever since Ava’s Egyptian-themed birthday party this summer, she’s been obsessed with all things Egypt. Naturally, when I asked what she wanted to try for this week’s Around the World Lunch she sang out “EGYPT!” Finger Foods  First up? Ful medames (pronounced “fool”), Egyptian street food often served for breakfast and lunch. Ful is a dip made with fava beans cooked with onion and tomatoes. It’s high in protein making ful great for concentration during the school day!  For color and flavor I added torn parsley and drizzled some olive oil and lemon juice over the top, just like they do in Egypt. We treat ful like hummus, so on the side Ava has plenty of pita bread to dip, dip, dip. I also included tomatoes and a hard boiled egg, both popular ful toppings in Egypt. Dessert As a nod to Ava’s Egyptian birthday party, I included a slice of Basboosa, a Middle Eastern semolina cake laced with rose water and lemon juice. This cake is dense and sweet – but the touch of lemon juice and rose water balances everything out.  It’s …

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How to throw an Egyptian themed birthday party

Walk the aisles of any party store and the selections are the same: overpriced plastic renditions of the latest Disney craze. But what would happen if I helped my child see there’s more to the world than someone else’s fairy tale? What interests your child? Start there. Ava’s Egyptian-themed birthday party came about in a round-about way… but it’s always been about what she loves. About six months before her 5th birthday, I noticed she would often ask to read a book on gemstones that her Grammie gave her. She poured over each drawing, asking me to list which gemstone was which. Soon, she knew our birthstones by heart – ruby and moonstone. Looking to build on her interest in Geology, I introduced her to Archaeology… the art of digging up artifacts from historical sites. We took several books out of the library about ancient Egypt in particular. Observing her continued fascination with the “dig,” I asked her if she would like to do some sort of dig for her birthday party and she enthusiastically …

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Monday Meal Review: Egypt

THE SCENE We huddled together on the couch – three big geeks – faces glowing in the flickering light. It was Mr Picky, myself, and our friend Janine. Ava was asleep for the night. In fact, she’d been asleep for hours and hours and hours. The coffee table was loaded up with platters of Ful Medames, White Coffee, and a box of kleenex – just in case. Now, before you get the wrong idea, I should state that I’m not normally a TV person. I was raised without it. My mother kept hers in the closet. My foster parents had a no-TV-unless-you’re-on-vacation rule. Times were tough. Today? I live wild and free, by my own rules. And my own rules clearly state that I am allowed to occasionally stream Netflix to my otherwise functionless TV. So there we were, living wild and free, watching our biggest guilty secret, Roswell. Have you heard of it? It’s a show about teenagers, romance, and aliens. In no particular order. From 1999. So, why Roswell? I love watching the characters strain towards …

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White Coffee | Rose Water Tea

Makes 1 cup Want to drink a rose? White Coffee is the fabulous way to be romantic. Just boil a pot of water and 15 seconds later you’ll be sipping on a hot cup of romance, relaxation and restful enjoyment. Although called white coffee, this popular Middle Eastern drink is really a caffeine-free blend of hot water with floral essences, spices, herbs, or aromatics. Our version is made especially for Valentine’s Day with one of the most popular variations, rose water. Psst, it helps to serve this drink with a bundle of pretty, pink roses. Ingredients: 8 oz hot water 1-2 tsp rose water sugar cubes Method: Get out one of your favorite tea cups. It should be delicate, old, and – even when empty – full of memories. This tea set came from two places. I purchased some of them at an antique mall right after college, in Connecticut (oh, about 9 years ago). The rest once belonged to Keith’s grandmother in Oklahoma. She had the same exact set. Is that fate or what? …

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Fava Bean Mash | Ful Medames

Makes about a quart On the streets of Cairo, Egypt, people on their way to work stop by a street vendor to grab a few bites of Ful Medames. They hover around, scooping the dip up with Egyptian flatbread – a sight as common as an American dunking a donut into their coffee. This breakfast of champions is full of protein and… thanks to all the goodies drizzled on top?…. totally, utterly addictive. Ingredients: 1 onion, chopped 2 tomatoes, chopped 2 15 oz cans fava beans, drained and rinsed *these should be small, round fava beans not the giant ones we see in the dried foods section. salt Garnish: Fresh chopped parsley 1 lemon, juiced 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped (optional) olive oil Serve with pita bread wedges Method: In a medium pot add onions… … tomatoes … and fava beans Splash in some water… enough to almost cover. Bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about 45 minutes or until the flavors meld nicely. Puree or mash the beans. …

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Ali’s Mother | Umm Ali

Serves 6 Egyptians have been eating Um Ali for hundreds of years. Clifford A. Wright tells the story well: One day while hunting in the Nile delta, the sultan developed a ravenous appetite and stopped in a small village. The peasants wished to please the sultan, so the best cook of the village, Umm Ali, pulled out a special pan and filled it with the only ingredients she had around: some dried wheat flakes, sultanas [raisins], nuts, and coconut. She covered it with sugar and milk and put it in the village’s oven. Excerpt from A Mediterranean Feast As simple as can be, this sweet, milky blend of pastry, nuts, raisins, and coconut flakes will be a distinct addition to your Egyptian Global Table. Ingredients: 1 sheet of puff pastry, baked 1/4 cup almonds 1/4 cup raisins 1/4 cup coconut chips (or 1/8 cup shredded coconut) 1/8 cup sugar 1 cup whole milk 1 cup half and half Method: Bake the puff pastry according to package directions. It will turn into a giant, greasy pillow. Try not …

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Drink like an Egyptian

Want beer for dinner? While this might seem like an outrageous and irresponsible prospect today, from what I can tell it was a possibility in ancient Egypt. So grab your passport, as we dig up a few fun facts about Egyptian beer. Beer was a thick and hearty beverage, made by fermenting barley mash with yeast. Some also think it was made by fermenting pieces of yeast-risen bread. Today we think of beer as golden or dark amber. In ancient Egypt beer could be red, which was popular, or even black, which was the strongest. I’m thinking it didn’t taste a whole lot like Guiness, though. Flavored beer was made by adding fruits and vegetables (such as dates). Beer was the drink of the people and was even used to pay workers. Special thanks to Laura Kelley from Silk Road Gourmet. Portions of this post were informed by her fascinating article Hail Cleopatra.

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Kushary | Kushari

Serves 6 In Egypt, there are entire restaurants devoted soley to the production of Kushary. Giant vats are filled with the necessary ingredients and kept warm over low heat. With each order, a quick-moving server walks their ladle through the vats, filling the customer’s bowl up to the brim with pasta, rice, lentils, spicy tomato sauce, and fried onions. While it is difficult to reproduce this type of assembly at home, it is possible to layer all the ingredients in a casserole and keep warm. This is how we’ve approached this mega popular Egyptian dish. NOTE: If it seems a bit overwhelming, think about breaking this recipe up over a few days (make the pasta and sauce one day, the rice and lentils anther day…) just keep everything refrigerated until you’re ready to assemble. Ingredients: 1 cup dry macaroni 1/4 lb angel hair pasta, broken into 1-2″ pieces 1/8 cup olive oil 1 1/2 cups long grain rice 1/2 cup dry lentils Garnish: 1-2 onions, sliced thinly and pan-fried in olive oil 1 batch Spicy Egyptian …

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Spicy Egyptian Tomato Sauce

Makes 2 cups Spicy, garlicky, and tangy, this “doctored” tomato sauce goes great with pasta, rice, or all of the above (a.k.a. kushary … noodle, rice and lentil casserole). Feel free to tone down (or up) the heat, if you like things a little milder. Often extra sauce is placed on the table so diners can heap it on in whatever quantity desired. Ingredients: 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz) 4 cloves garlic, crushed 1/2 tsp cayenne (or to taste) 1 tsp vinegar salt (only needed if your sauce is “no salt added” sauce) pepper Method: Add tomato sauce to a small pot. Stir in the garlic, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Drizzle in the vinegar. Give the mixture a stir and let simmer for five minutes, or until the garlic is cooked through. Serve over Kushary, or anything else that needs a little kick! Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Spicy, garlicky, and tangy, this “doctored” tomato sauce goes great with pasta, rice, or all of the above (a.k.a. kushary … noodle, …

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Menu: Egypt

Our house is swept up in snow drifts more beautiful than whipped cream and taller than Miss Ava. Thankfully, our heat works and this Egyptian menu keeps our imaginations (and bellies) happy. A combination of rustic down-home cooking and elegance, there’s something for everyone. And, in case you forgot that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, consider cosying up to a cup of White Coffee made with rose water, perfect for a simple, heart-warming Valentine’s Day treat. Kushary (also Kushari) [Recipe] with Spicy Egyptian Tomato Sauce [Recipe] There are kushary shops all over Egypt, doling out bowls filled to the brim with macaroni, angel hair pasta, rice, lentils, and spicy tomato sauce. The finishing touch is a generous helping of fried onion. Fava Bean Mash (Ful Medames) [Recipe] Although traditionally a breakfast food, ful makes a healthy and filling dip any time of day. Drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and fresh parsley. Hard boiled eggs are optional but ideal if you’re eating the ful in the morning. Ali’s Mother (Umm Ali) [Recipe] …

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About the Food of Egypt

Let’s all give Egypt a big hug. My sources tell me she could use one. And why not? After all, she’s given us so much. Her people were the first known people to cultivate yeast to ferment beer and to make leavened bread. Talk about a “big idea!” I’d like to meet the person who dreamt that one up. Amazing. To this day I still give Egypt a nod of thanks whenever I chow down on a loaf of bread or slurp a cold beer. Just don’t tell the purists that, in the summer, I like my beer on ice. What is the food of Egypt like today? Whether you’re in the scorching desert, or the big city, you can probably get your hands on a bowl of Kushary (also, Kushari) [Recipe]. This unbelievable working-man’s-lunch is made up of more carbs than I know what to do with – macaroni, angel hair pasta, and rice, mixed with the token lentil and a happy splash of spicy tomato sauce. The affordable combination keeps hunger at bay, …

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