[Sca-cooks] Hais question

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Sun Oct 18 23:49:33 PDT 2009

On Oct 18, 2009, at 9:45 PM, lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:

> Stefan li Rous wrote:
>> This is the recipe I'm using for the hais for next week's BG Nobles  
>> Luncheon. I've just ground all this stuff together in my food  
>> processor, but the result is a moist powder. If I squeeze it hard  
>> enough, I can squeeze it into a ball, but it crumbles apart. Should  
>> I add more sesame oil?  I don't want it to be too moist, but this  
>> looks like what I need to do.
>> I do realize that bread crumbs in particular, can have differing  
>> amounts of moisture. This is one of the reasons I've made my own  
>> bread crumbs rather than buying "bread crumbs" in the store.
> And what kind of dates did you use? The common deglet noor are quite  
> dry, compared to medjool  or barhi. If you didn't hydrate your  
> dates, then perhaps a little water, added 1 Tb at a time, just until  
> the filling hangs together, would be in order.

Uh oh. Okay that makes sense. I was thinking simply dried dates =  
dried dates. I'm not sure the bulk compartment of the diced dates even  
mentioned the type of date. These were also covered with a starch to  
keep them from sticking together. I didn't think of that, til now.

> How much will depend on how dry the dates were, so i can't specify  
> the amount. Of course, it would have been easier to hydrate the  
> dates before grinding everything :-0

Since the redaction specified "dried dates", I didn't consider  
hydrating them.

The redaction specified 8 T of butter or Sesame Oil. Since I had a  
bottle of unopened Sesame Oil, that is what I used. I tried adding  
another tablespoon to about 1/3 of the batch and that didn't seem to  
make much of a difference, so I added 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter  
(because that was what I had) and that seemed to work much better. So,  
I added another tablespoon of butter to the last third. After I had  
made the first third into balls, I realized I'd not added the sugar,  
so I rolled these in sugar and added sugar to the rest of the mix. But  
that seemed to make it too dry to hold together and I added another  
tablespoon of butter.  I got everything molded into balls, but I think  
I didn't get the butter/oil mixed in well enough because there was  
more oil as I got to the bottom of the mixing bowl. In the end, it  
looks like I could have used less butter/oil if I'd gotten it mixed in  

I initially tried to grind up the ground nuts, bread crumbs and date  
pieces without adding the oil. All that seemed to do was spin around  
the bread crumbs and the date pieces without grinding anything  
up. :-)  Once I started adding in the oil, things started getting  
ground up and not just whizzing around in circles.

>> Also, for this amount, what is the approximate amount for "enough"  
>> sugar?
> It's kind of like in modern recipes when the say "to taste". It has  
> to do with how sweet the dates are - i find medjool and barhi to be  
> sweeter than deglet noor - and how sweet you want the blend.

But if you don't know how the dish is supposed to taste, or what is  
reasonable, that isn't that easy. What was meant to be a savory dish  
or a slightly sweet dish could end up be very sweet simply because the  
cook is thinking that way, or because we as modern people are used to  
having sugar/sweeteners in everything.

I did find the fresh date that I sampled in the market to be sweeter  
than the chopped dates, but I didn't think of that being caused by the  
type of date rather than how dried they were.

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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