Sunday, March 28, 2010

Vegetarian Stuffed Crepes

This is my sister in laws specialty. she steams vegetables, adds salt, pepper and then adds some cheese. She stuffs it into homemade crepes.
They are lovely!

green olives
green peppers
soft melting cheese

These look more like tortillas, I know, but I watched her make them and I can assure you they are not tortillas, at least not by recipe, or method of making. They are not French crepes either, since they are overly cooked, but they have their own ways of making things. The exact recipe for the crepes I don't know, I could add my own, but that wouldn't be her recipe.


Dolma or Stuffed Potatoes and Zucchini

I love stuffed vegetables. I especially love stuffed potatoes, but zucchini and green peppers are lovely as well. Tonight I only used potatoes and zucchini.

Ground beef is among one of the harder things to find here in my town. You usually have to go about an hour away to find it on a regular basis, so after many months of frustration I have finally bowed down, and am using camel meat.... Yes, you read correctly, camel meat!

Until moving here I didn't even know that people ate camels. It was all sort of, well, like eating a horse kinda idea for me to get used to. At first I thought how gross! Then I thought how sad, camels are such neat animals! Then I thought, MAN I WANT SOME MEAT! And that is the story of how I came to eating camels...

Now in all honestly, I have to say that it doesn't taste much different than cows meat, especially if it's been chopped/ground. If it's in chunks however, that's another story. It has larger fibers so then there is a noticeable difference in texture, but as I said, if it's ground up, seasoned well, you cannot really feel that there is a big difference.

ground meat
olive oil
tomato paste
sweet and spicy paprika

Hollow out the vegetables and save the insides, they make a great sauce.
Season the ground meat with black pepper, spicy paprika, parsley, rice, salt, a spoon or two of tomato paste, minced garlic and onions.

Very gently stuff the vegetables, leaving enough room for the rice to expand. Set aside.
Heat olive oil and saute the left overs from the hollowed out vegetables, with garlic and onions.
Season to taste and  continue to cook until thickened.

Add one cup of water, layer the veggies and pressure cook for about twenty minutes.

Taste for seasoning, sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro or parsley and serve warm with crusty bread.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Khubs (Khubz) Tagine or Bread Plate

My sister in law taught me how to make khubs tagine last night, it's something that I have wanted to make for months.... I took pictures while she made it, because let me tell you, it's not a simple bread. It's a ton of  kneading the dough to achieve that perfect texture, and sound.
Hands down this is the best tasting bread I have ever eaten in Algeria. It's not that hard to make, it's just time consuming.

Basically the recipe is one cup and a half of semolina for every bread you would like to make. Of course if you like a semi flat bread, if not, add more semolina for thicker.

fine semolina
butter for brushing atop of cooked bread
seeds, I used black seeds and licorice

Add semolina, yeast, and just enough water to make sure that there is not any unwet semolina.
This is a kind of bigga or starter I suppose. It's said that the semolina will knead better, be softer, for you if you do this step first. Let it sit for twenty or thirty minutes.

Now add enough water to make a really pliable soft dough.

Divide the dough into equal portions, sprinkle with seeds if you using, and lightly dust a large cloth with flour and flatten out into disks.

Cover and let them rest, and rise a bit. twenty to thirty minutes is enough

Flip into your hand and cook either on an open fire or in the oven until golden brown.


Vegetable Omelet


This is common here in Algeria, well, minus the vegetables. They like to eat fried potatoes with eggs, and it's called frit omelet. I personally cannot do without the veggies, so I added caramelized green peppers, onions, and a soft cheese. Then I added eggs. Really it's just your basic American omelet, the only exception I guess would be that the potatoes are cut into french fries and cooked inside the eggs instead of on the side, like home-fries or hash browns.

cheese of your choice, I used laughing cow, that's what we had in the fridge
green peppers
olive oil

Fry or steam potatoes, set them aside and let the oil drain.

Caramelize the onions with the green peppers and garlic if you like.

Add salt and pepper to taste and break the eggs into a bowl and then add the cheese

Combine the veggies with the potatoes then pour the eggs and cheese on top and cook.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Chicken and Olives , Zaytune Tagine

I love my sister in law! When I hang out with her I laugh a lot, and she makes me smile! She helped me cook last night. I was feeling a bit lonely and sad, and she showed up! I decided to hang out with her in the kitchen. because she offered to cook for me, but by the end of the night we had cooked a great meal together and I tried making my first ever khubz tagine, or bread plate in English

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Birthday Cake

I don't necessarily celebrate birthdays, mine nor anyone else's in fact. After the year 2001 every ones birthdays, including my own went uncaught. What I find funny, is that on several years it would be one of my brothers (mostly my older brother), my father, or my mother who had called, sent a card or an email and I would burst out laughing that I had indeed passed another year. I had completely forgotten my birthday!
My father always sends me gifts on my birthday, it always made me really happy. This year, no card, no gift, no call, probably because I live in the middle of nowhere.
This year however, was way different. being so far away from home I guess made me wake up on March 19 kinda sad, missing my family, missing my home, missing my life before moving to the desert. The night before one of my sister in laws and I were talking and she said she saw that I looked she bought me a cake!
I was so happy to get it, happy to share it with the family and happy to eat it LOL

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pizza Night

I love pizza! So do my children! My husband and I prefer a pretty thin crust, so if you don't, add more flour or semolina to make it thicker. This is also a rather large recipe, we are a rather large family! I make five pizzas at one time. but you can easily cut it into half if you have a smaller family.

4 cups fine semolina
3 cups flour
1 tbs yeast
2 tbs olive oil
toppings of your choice

Start off making the pizza dough, so it can rise while you prepare the toppings.
Cut up the vegetables of your choice and set aside. Prepare the sauce, if using one and set aside.
Whisk the salt into the semolina or the flour, then add the rest of the ingredients.

Add water and knead until a nice firm dough is formed.

Lightly cover and set aside until doubled.
Divide the dough into equal portions.

Roll or stretch out into the shape and size your pan fits.
Cover with toppings, sauce first, veggies and then cheese.
Cook in a preheated 500 degree oven. using a pizza stone is best, mine is still in the States. Hopefully one day i will get it back =D