Sunday, February 28, 2010

Maclouga ... M'clouga, Algerian Stuffed Pizza

This is a nice side with soup and salad. We even eat it with afternoon tea. This is a dish from here in Metlili, I haven't seen any of my friends from the north making it. It's really simple to make and oh so forgiving. Honestly you can stuff anything you like, it's a kind of cal-zone really.

2 cups of semolina per pizza well, if you like a think crust
1 cup of flour and 1 cup of semolina
salt to taste
1 ts yeast
1 egg white (optional)
2 spoons oil (optional)

green onions
any soft cheese
tomato paste
harissa or hot pepper paste
spicy or sweet paprika or both
chicken or meat

1 egg yolk or whole egg for the wash
black seeds (optional)
sesame seeds (optional)

Make the filling first, so it's cooled off by the time the dough is ready.
Clean, chop and cook until the veggies are fork tender and there isn't any water left.
If you are using chicken, boil or saute until completely cooked through and season to taste.
Season the finished veggies to your liking, I use cumin, paprika, hot paprika, and a spoon or two of tomato paste to make it thick. I usually add cheese.

So I was taught by my mother in law to add one egg and couple spoons of oil to the dough, but I really didn't like the quality of the crust with them, so I omit them both.
Whisk the yeast into the semolina, she also used equal parts of flour and semolina, which I also don't do.
Add the water and knead until a soft pliable dough is formed, add salt to taste.

Gently oil, cover and set aside to double.

Preheat the oven and a baking stone if using to 425
Gently deflate and divide into two equal portions.
I always doubled this recipe, so that means dividing it into four portions.

Roll or press out into a disk, I do it directly onto my pizza pan.

Spoon filling over the top.

Roll out the second piece of dough then cover the stuffing.

Gently stretch over places that needs it and then seal it up.

Brush with the wash and sprinkle with seeds.

Cook until golden brown and hollow when tapped.


Friday, February 26, 2010

From My Bedroom Balcony

It's not uncommon to find someone just walking down the street with a camel. It's even more common if it's summer. Why? Well, because of the weddings that take place. These guys come out to celebrate!

Eggplant Salad ... In Arabic Known as Dinjel

head of garlic
green peppers
hot green or red peppers

Amounts of each vegetable will vary to what you like and how many will be eaten of course. You may omit or add more of anything here.

I got this machine, for lack of a better word to make homemade breads, to grill vegetables on, especially eggplants and to make tea during the day.
It's quit nice, and fairly cheap.

Roast the veggies until blackened and soft. Peel the veggies while hot, it's kinda time consuming but very much worth it! Chop everything up and mix with salt and olive oil. We eat this with baguettes or khubz tagine.


White Cheese

Making cheese sort of feels like making magic. I don't know why but there is just something so cool about turning plain milk into cheese.
I just followed the recipe on the packet, and I'm looking for cream cheese consistency.
Sometimes I flavor this cheese with herbs, and sometimes just salt.
It's really good with toast, in crepes, on pasta, stuffed in bread or alone on biscuits for afternoon tea.

This whole buisness of making cheese began at 5 pm 

then ... @am this is what I had below.                                          

I then carefully ladled it out onto butter muslim that was draped over a steamer which sits on top of a soup stock pot.

The cheese must drain over a stock pot so that I can make ricotta with the leftover whey. There is nothing that goes unused, in fact, the water leftover from the whey goes to my mother in laws chickens! The time for draining really just depends on the consistancy I want, denser, like cream cheese means more time.


Cream Cheese Rolls

3 cups flour
1 cup plus water
1 tbs yeast
1 ts salt
1/4 cup sugar

2 cups softened cream cheese
2 tbs vanilla
2 tbs powdered sugar

1 egg beaten + 2 tbs milk for wash

Combine the dough ingredients and knead until soft and pliable. Set aside covered with a towel to double.
Gently deflate and roll out into a rectangle. 

Combine the filling ingredients together then spread on top. Roll up jelly roll fashion then cut into equal sized rolls. Place an inch apart on a covered baking sheet. Let double again and preheat the oven to 375.
Brush with the glaze and you can even sprinkle on some coarse sugar.
Bake until brown, as you can see, I didn't do that, in a rush to leave the house I guess!


Shrimp & Spinach Pasta

Here is another post that I just cannot seem to find from 2008.

olive oil
head of garlic finely chopped

Heat the oil and saute the spinach with the garlic, salt and pepper until the spinach is well cooked.
Add shrimp and saute until pink NO longer than that or it will be chewy. Nothing tastes worse than chewy shrimp!
Toss together with the pasta and grade a semi soft or hard cheese if you like.


Chocolate Roll using Genoise

This is a really old picture, but for some reason I couldn't find the post on my blog. Maybe when I exported then imported it from Jamilas Creations it got lost? Who knows!

9 eggs separated
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tbs vanilla
pinch of salt

Whip the yolks until pale and think, slowly pour the sugar in a stream and cream for a minute or two until looks creamy and thick. Add vanilla then slowly add the flour and beat until well incorporated.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt until stiff. Then fold them into the flour mixture.
Pour and smooth evenly onto a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 about 20 minutes until light golden and well set.
Take out and cool completely for about 30 minutes. After it's done cooling make your filling in a well cleaned and cold whisk and bowl. I put mine in the freezer for about 10 minutes before whipping up my filling.

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 ts vanilla or lemon extract
6 tbs of sugar
4 spoons of cocoa powder

Beat the cream with sugar and extract.
Add the cocoa powder and gently fold in.
After your cake is completely cooled invert cake onto a towel and peel away the paper, pick which side you would like to show and spread your filling and roll up.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Back Home

That's the roof, from inside of our local Masjid. Local meaning in the States anyway.
I miss this place.
You don't know what you have until it's gone.
Isn't that as the saying goes?

 That's from last fall, outside of our local masjid.


Of course, that is our local masjid. =D

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Flight Back Between Algeria & The States in 09



Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and the day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what Allah has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every of moving creature, and His directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven and the earth are signs for a people who use reason. Quran; Surah Baqarah Ayah 164