Posts Tagged With: phyllo

Shrimp Briouates

Moroccan Entree

SHRIMP BRIOUATES

INGREDIENTS

1 garlic clove
2 green onions
1 small yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil (maybe ½ cup more later)
¼ teaspoon chives
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces filo (phyllo)* sheets
¼ cup melted butter
1 egg yolk**
3 tablespoons olive oil.

* = It’s more authentic to buy ouarka or warqa sheets. They, however, can be very, very difficult to find no matter what the spelling might be.
** = It’s a frustrating experience buying a single egg yolk at the store. For that matter, purchasing a single egg is often difficult as well.

Makes 30. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic, green onions and yellow onion. Add garlic, green onion, yellow onion, and 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add chives, coriander, cumin, paprika, parsley, and pepper. Add shrimp. Lower heat to medium and sauté for 3 minutes or until shrimp turns pink or orange. Stir frequently. Remove from heat. Mince shrimp.

Add filo sheet to flat surface. (Keep other sheets covered until needed. They dry out fast.) Brush filo sheet with butter. Cut filo sheet into strips 4″ wide. Add ½ tablespoon shrimp ½” from the end of the strip. Take one corner of the strip and fold it over diagonally to make a side of a triangle. Take bottom corner of triangle and fold it up to make another triangle. Continue to fold dough until you come to the end. You now have a briouate. Dab loose end of briouate with butter and fold into pocket formed by the open edg.

Add olive oil (½” deep) to pan. Heat oil using medium-high heat. Add as many briouates as possible without them touching. Deep fry on medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until golden brown. (Frying times go down with successive batches.)Turn briouates enough to prevent burning. Removebriouates and drain on paper towels. Repeat for successive batches. Goes well with harissa.

TIDBITS

1) Frankia, modern-day France, was named after I. A. Frank.

2) Frank operated a chain of sausage stands/inns for hungry, weary pilgrims.

3) The pilgrims loved Frank’s sausage in a bun.

4) So much so that they started calling his delicacies, Franks.

5) The entire land went so hot-dog made that the entire region started calling itself Frankia.

6) See the seminal work on Medieval treatise by Monk Jean de Tours, Mon Dieu, Mon Pays, et Mon Frank.

7) Reading this literary masterpiece is harder than just seeing it. You really do need to be fluent in Medieval French.

8) Anyway in 732*, an invading Arab army under Emir Abdul Rahman threatened Frank’s culinary empire and Frankia itself.

9) *That’s 732 AD. AD stands for Anno Domini, Latin for the year of Our Lord. This system of dating is falling out of favor with many historians who prefer the less assertive, CE, or Common Era. I like to refer to this date as 1246 APB, or After Paul’s Birth. In a strange coincidence, my name is Paul.

10) So why did the Arabs invade Frankia? To convert Frankian Christians to Islam.

11) Culinary historians assert, however, that the reason was that Frank’s Franks were made out of pigs. The Arabs believed no one should eat pigs. So by conquering Frankia, they’d rid the land of forbidden pig-filled Franks.

12) To be replaced by Shrimp Briouates The invaders believed this blessed dish to be the best entree in the entire world.

13) I, personally, do not wish to take sides in the Great Hot Dog/Shrimp Briouate Controversy that has racked humanity for centuries. I can see, however, how they came to believe so strongly in the tastiness of the Shrimp Brioautes.

14) But the adherents of Frank’s Franks prevailed in the Battle of Tours. European pilgrims came to visit Tours to give thanks for hot dog’s victory. Larger and larger groups of pilgrims came, necessitating the forming of tour companies. So many tours came to Tours, that people took to changing the town’s name from Tours to Tours.

15) As a side note, briouate is one of the few dishes that’s spelled with all the vowels: a,e,i,o, and u.
You can even use the sometime vowel, y, if you want to spell briouatey, as in “That pastry is so flaky, it’s positively briouatey.”

 

– 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 amazon.com.

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Serbian Gibanica (Cheese Pie) – New Tidbits

Serbian Dessert

GIBANICA
(Cheese Pie)

INGREDIENTS

6 eggs
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
1 pound filo (phyllo) dough

SPECIAL UTENSILS

9″-x-13″ baking pan or casserole dish

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Separate eggs. Beat egg whites until fluffy. Add egg yolks, cottage cheese, feta cheese, and sour cream to mixing bowl. Blend thoroughly with whisk or fork. Fold in egg whites. Preheat oven to 360 degrees. Melt butter using low heat. Brush pan with 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Place 2 sheets filo dough in pan. Drizzle 2 tablespoons melted butter over filo. Spread ¼ cup egg/cheese mix on top. Gently crinkle 2 filo sheets into accordion-like balls. Dip accordion balls into cheese/egg mix from bowl until lightly coated. Place coated accordion-like filo balls over flat filo sheets in pan. Repeat until you have 2 filo sheets remaining. Top with remaining 2 filo sheets. Brush top filo sheets with remaining butter and cheese/egg mix. Bake in over at 360 degrees for 50 minutes or until top is reddish, golden brown. Serve warm or let cool.

TIDBITS

1) This recipe use eggs. When cooking, you really want eggs that stay put. It’s so hard to hold onto eggs that move around. Dancing eggs are the bane of chefs. Cooks everywhere drop thousands of dancing eggs every day. But how do you know if the eggs in the carton are motionless or prone to dance? After all, they can’t move in the carton. Study carefully the photos below for signs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Banitsa (Cheese Pie)

Bulgarian Entree

BANITSA
(Cheese Pie)

INGREDIENTS

¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup whole milk yogurt
½ pound Bulgarian white cheese, sirene, or feta
no-stick spray
½ pound phyllo sheets
1 tablespoon butter

SPECIAL UTENSIL

9″-pie pan

Serves 4. Takes 1 hour.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add baking soda, eggs, cup vegetable oil, and yogurt to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk or fork until well blended. Crumble white cheese into bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Spray pie pan with no-stick spray.

Gently unroll phyllo dough. Drizzle 2 tablespoons yogurt/feta mixture onto phyllo sheet. Gently smooth mixture over entire phyllo sheet. Gently roll up the covered sheet into a log. Repeat for each phyllo sheet.

Place a phyllo log seam-side down along edge of pan. Gently shape phyllo log into a spiral. Place end of next phyllo log at the end of first log. Shape this phyllo log so as to continue to spiral started by the first one. Repeat until pie pan is completely filled with phyllo logs. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until pie turns golden brown.

TIDBITS

1) In 1946, Bulgaria came under the control of the Soviet Union. Culinary historians note that Russia pretended to let Bulgaria rule through a council known as the Karfeni Glavi. This, of course, translates to “Potato Heads.” So, you can see how little the average Bulgarian though of the council. But by the late 1980s the Soviet Union was teetering on collapse. A few Potato Heads, sensing independence, while not yet ready to challenge Russia directly, started abstaining. But not many. Few wanted to stick his neck out. Then in 1989, Potato Head Iliev, noted Bulgaria’s national dish “Banista” was, in English, an anagram for “abstain.” He’d bring banitsa every time he abstained saying, “I’m hungry.” He’d let his fellow Potato Heads in on his secret. Soon, all the Heads were bringing banitsa and abstaining. Russian rule collapsed in the face of such a united opposition. Yay.

 

Paul De Lancey, 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 amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spanakopita

Greek Appetizer

SPANAKOPITA

INGREDIENTSSpanakopita-

8 green onions
2 medium brown onions
2 pounds fresh spinach
½ cup butter (½ cup more later)
½ cup olive oil
3 eggs
1 pound feta cheese
2½ tablespoons dill
¼ teaspoon salt
2½ tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup butter
1 pound phyllo pastry sheets

SPECIAL UTENSILS

9″ x 12″ casserole dish (You’ll need to trim the phyllo sheets if they’re larger than the casserole dish.)
sonic obliterator.

Makes 24 triangular spanakopitas. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice green onions and brown onions. Remove stems from spinach. Add ½ cup butter, olive oil, green onions, and brown onions to pan. Sauté at medium-high for 5 minutes or until onions soften. Stir occasionally. Add spinach. Sauté at medium heat for 10 minutes or until spinach is completely soft and liquid is nearly gone. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and let cool

While spinach mixture cools, add eggs to mixing bowl. Beat eggs until well blended. Add eggs, feta cheese, dill, salt, and lemon juice. Whisk thoroughly. Add sautéed spinach to bowl. Blend thoroughly with fork. Add ½ cup butter to small pot. Melt butter using low-medium heat. Stir frequently. Remove from heat.

Carefully lay out a phyllo sheet in casserole dish . Gently brush melted butter onto phyllo sheet. Repeat until half of the phyllo sheets are in the casserole dish. Gently spread spinach mixture onto top phyllo sheet. Carefully–yes carefully and gently are definitely les mots juste for this dish–lay on phyllo sheet onto spinach mixture. Gently brush phyllo with butter. Place another phyllo sheet in the casserole dish. Gently brush sheet with butter. Repeat until all the phyllo sheets are gone.

Bake at 350 for 30-to-40 minutes or until top layer of casserole is golden brown. Cut casserole into 12 3″-wide squares. Cut each square along a diagonal to make two triangles. Serve to appreciative, remaining guests.

TIDBITS

1) It takes a lot of care to make spanakopita. Those phyllo sheets can tear apart faster than a politician’s campaign promises. Or you rip the sheets while brushing them with melted butter. You’re already fit to explode faster than a land mine. Then some oaf makes a comment like, “I don’t like these thingies. They taste too spinachy.” What is the proper response for the gauchery?

2) Eliminate the miscreant. You don’t need that negativity.

3) But how?

4) My favorite weapon of choice is the sonic obliterator. The serious home chef simply cannot afford to be without this implement. Not only does it dispatch crabby diners to the nether world, but as the name suggests, it obliterates all evidence of the evil eater. Law enforcement rarely pursues murder charges when it cannot find the body.

5) Sadly, most supermarkets and department stores do not carry sonic obliterators. You have to buy them on-line. The best sale prices tend to occur on Black Friday, the week before Christmas, and just before Valentine’s Day.

6) Culinary statisticians have also found a high correlation between forgotten birthdays and anniversaries; so remember your sweatheart’s important days.

7) May I suggest a personalized plate? If your loved’s birthday is June 12 and you got married on November 19 get a license plate with, “J12N19″ on it.

8) You could also tattoo the same sequence of letters and numbers on your forearm. However, you really should make sure your wedding is rock solid. Because your next sweatheart will surely want you to remove the old flame’s important days from your arm. This is painful, more painful than the original tattoo. Then you’ll need to re-ink your skin with your new boo’s dates. Which is painful.

9) Heavens to Betsy, if your subsequent relationships goes south and your find a third, fourth, or fifth love, you will be in a world of constant pain. Loves hurts, but tattoo removals hurt even more. Monogamy does have its advantages.

10) Don’t write sweatheart in a love note.. The correct spelling is sweetheart. Calling your soul mates “sweatheart” might get in trouble, especially if they are stay-at-home chefs and possess a sonic obliterator. Having multiple soul mates can also get you zapped into nothingness.

11) As you can see, life is fraught with perils. You might get obliterated for dissing someone’s spanakopitas You could get annihilated for misspelling a term of endearment. This is why it is so important to follow proper etiquette. This is why your grammar-school teachers drilled your constantly in correct spelling.

12) Be kind. Be careful. Stay alive.

– 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 amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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