Sunday, August 7, 2011

Broadening our Horizons

One of the best things (cooking wise) I ever did was try a dish called Shish Tawook. I had no idea what it was - my husband told me it was chicken, that I would like it and that it even had a video to show you how to make it. This was before we had kids, so I figured I would try it - and if it was a bit difficult, so what? I had the time.

Well fast forward almost 2 1/2 years, and the website I got the recipe from is one of my all time favorites. I love this website. The videos are wonderful step-by-step instructions on how to make Mediterranean food. And the best part is most of the ingredients are readily available nearby.  So, without further ado, I present you DedeMed

I have not tried all her recipes yet, but there are many more that I would like to. I think so far I have only made 6 or 7 - a small number.  I will post the ones I make, but encourage you to visit her site as well for the 'proper' way to make it.  There are a few small changes I make based on the ingredients I have and the time I have, or if I have made it before, my personal preferences.

All that being said, here is my first official 'lunch' post.  The first time I made this, we had it for dinner, with the phyllo dough, but having had enough for leftovers, I found I liked it better that way (and I never know what to make for lunch).

Ouzi - Spiced rice with meat
What you need:
500g ground beef
1 bag frozen peas (erbsen)
1 bag Pine nuts (pinienkerne)
2 cups basmati rice
1 tsp salt
3 tbls olive oil
3 tbls Seven Spice (if you can't find it you can make it) DedeMed uses Kabsa seasoning but says in her video you can use the seven spice)
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 tbls butter
1 tsp cinnamon (zimt)
4 cups water

I am making this ahead of time and putting it in the fridge for lunch tomorrow. I will use either plain Greek yogurt (Griechischer Jogurt) or Tzatziki dip to spread on a tortilla to make a wrap. You can buy the dip pre-made in Coop or Migros or make your own.  When making this for dinner (or if you would prefer the phyllo dough) you will also need 1 package of phyllo dough - available at Migros Brunaupark or the Turkish grocery store on Josefstrasse and 2 cups of melted butter.

This is how the finished product looks with the phyllo dough and a side of Tzatziki dip:

Directions: (without phyllo first)

Pre-rinse 2 cups of basmati rice.
If you are using lean ground beef, add some olive oil to a large pot. I used the full fat beef so omitted this part as I figured it already had enough fat in it :)
Brown the beef (about 4-6 minutes), add the seasonings and pine nuts. Stir and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add salt and pepper if you wish.  Add the rice (drained) and mix. Add 4 cups of water and the peas and 3 tbls of butter. Mix and cover. Turn the heat down and cook for 45 minutes (like you are just making rice)

If you are going to use the phyllo dough, leave it in its wrap until you are ready to use it as it can dry out quickly. you must either move quickly or keep the unused dough covered. You also need a sharp knife and a cutting board.  Preheat your oven to 180C* and get out a baking sheet as well.
On the cutting board place one sheet of the dough and spread the melted butter over it (you can use baking spray also if you prefer). Put another layer on top and they add 1/2-3/4 cup of the rice mixture - depending on how big your dough is. If you buy from Migros, 1/2 cup is enough, but if you buy from the Turkish store, the dough is larger and 3/4 cup would be fine. Fold the ends of the dough over (like wrapping a present) and then place 'folds down' on the baking sheet. Spread some butter on the top of the dough. Repeat until you are done.  Cook for about 30 minutes* or until the phyllo dough is a golden brown. Let the pockets sit about 5 minutes after baking before removing from the baking sheet.  (*The cooking time is based on the dough instructions from Migros) Serve some plain Greek yogurt or tzatziki dip on the side for dipping.

finished cooking