[Sca-cooks] al-Hafla breakdown

Christiane christianetrue at earthlink.net
Sat Feb 14 08:14:19 PST 2009

><<< Things on the board all day long: spicy cheese dip, hummus,  
>olives, fruit, pita bread, torshi (Persian pickles), cut-up  
>vegetables (cucumbers and celery, and anachronistic grape tomatoes >>>
>What is your recipe/redaction for the spicy cheese dip?
It's Master Rashid's redaction:

Beyaz Peynir Ezmesi

Spicy Pureed Feta Cheese
1 pound feta cheese, broken into chunks 
4 garlic cloves, minced
 2 teaspoons paprika 
2 teaspoons Turkish red pepper or ground red pepper
 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 teaspoons dried mint
Assorted olives

Soak the feta cheese in warm water for about 30 minutes, changing the water often.  Doing so will reduce the saltiness of the cheese.  Drain the cheese well, then crumble it
Place the feta cheese, garlic, paprika, Turkish red pepper, and olive oil in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Process the mixture until smooth.  Transfer it to a shallow bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
 Serve the cheese at room temperature.  Drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the dried mint Serve with pita bread & assorted olives.

I varied this by using a softer Turkish feta-like cheese it's packed in water, but is far softer and creamier than the common Greek stuff you see in supermarkets. The end result was very tasty. 

><<< Breakfast board: Eggs and lentils (eggs baked on top of a spiced  
>lentil mash), apricot pudding (cream of wheat, dried apricots, sugar  
>and orange essence), Arabian shortbread, carrot halwa >>>
>How does Arabian shortbread different from other shortbread?

Regular shortbread is pretty much butter, flour, and some sugar; Arabian shortbread adds egg yolks and orange flower water. Here's the recipe:

Arabian Shortbread
Makes 40 pieces

	1 1/2 cups butter	1 egg yolk
	1 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar	3 cups flour
	1 teaspoon orange blossom water	40 blanched almonds

Place the butter, 1 1/2 cups of the confectioner's sugar, the orange blossom water, and egg yolk in a blender; then blend for 1 minute.  Transfer to a mixing bowl; then gradually add the flour while mixing with the fingers, until a smooth dough is formed.  Form the dough into balls a little smaller than a walnut; then place on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly to about 1/2 inch thickness.  Press an almond on each piece; then bake in a 300'F preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the bottoms turn light brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool; then sprinkle with the remaining confectioner's sugar.

Note:	The ghurayba may feel soft at the end of baking time, but they will harden as they cool.

><<< Lunch board: The Emir of Catania's chicken (cooked chicken mixed  
>with bread crumbs, capers, and lemon juice, served in a breadloaf),  
>chickpea stew, mujaddara (rice and lentils), baklava, Persian rice  
>What is your recipe/redaction for your Persian rice pudding?

Rice Pudding  (Shir berenj)

1/2 cup rice, cleaned and washed
2 cups water
1/4  tsp salt
3 cups milk
1/2 cup half & half or cream(optional)
1/4 cup rosewater
1 tsp ground cardamom

Put rice, water and salt in a heavy saucepan.  Bring to boil then reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until rice is tender.

Add the milk and cream.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.  Cover and simmer over very low heat for 45 minutes to an hour, until consistency is like pudding.  Add cardamom and rosewater and cook 10 minutes more.

Transfer to a bowl and chill in fridge.   Serve with sharbat, honey or rose syrup.

NOTE: I varied this by adding some sugar, leaving out the rosewater, and serving it dotted with Turkish rose petal preserves I had on hand.

<<< Dinner board: Chicken legs and thighs cooked in lemon juice,  
>lemon vinegar, broth, whole herbs, and whole cloves of garlic; manti  
>(Turkish ravioli); cauliflower in tahini sauce; Persian salad. Sweets  
>were the carrot halwa, baklava, Arabian shortbread, and Persian rice  
>pudding. >>>
>What is your redaction/recipe for this manti?

I was pretty much flying by the seat of my pants for this one; I looked up recipes online and modified them to my taste.

Manti (Turkish ravioli)

1 large box of wonton wraps (48 pieces)
1 pound of ground beef
2 large onions, finely chopped
Black pepper
Salt to taste

For the sauce:
1 large container of  plain yogurt, or 4 cups
4 tsp minced garlic
4 tbs of butter
1 tsp tamarind paste
2 tsp white pepper

Mix the meat, onions, pepper, and salt together. Fill each wrapper with about 1 tbs of the mixture, folding and sealing the wrappers. Freeze in single layers on parchment-covered cookie sheets; carefully transfer the frozen manti to ziplock bags for storage.

To boil the manti: Add manti a few at a time to a large stockpot of boiling water with olive oil to prevent the manti from sticking together; boil until the manti rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a serving bowl with a bit of the cooking liquid, and cover to keep warm. 

For the sauce: Before boiling the manti, bring the yogurt to room temperature and mix with the garlic. When all of the manti are cooked, pour the yogurt sauce over them. Melt the butter in a pan, and once the butter is sizzling, add the white pepper, tamarind paste,  and paprika, and pour over the manti and and yogurt sauce, sprinkling with sumac. Serve hot.

>Or if it is easier, just post all your recipes and I'll add them to  
>this original message and create a feast review article for the  
>Florilegium. :-)

I am sending you a Word document with all the recipes.


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