|Please forgive the crappy cell-phone pic. Honestly it deserved a real photo. Also, please note what I think is my face, mirrored upside-down in the spoon. LOL|
Recently A and I made "lef lef" but really the name is longer just can't remember it. Dejaja is chicken right? So dejaja lef lef but I forgot the rest of it. :-D Lef lef means rolled up I think. I can't find a picture of it online and I forgot to take one myself so... :-( Boo hoo hoo.
Anyway it's a Tunisian dish with pounded chicken thighs, stuffed with a mixture of parsley, cilantro, tomato, carrot, onion, little salt and pepper. We also put just a smidgen of cheese in it to placate my Amreekan tastes. lol Then roll it all up, secure with a wooden toothpick, fry til brown on all sides and then bake in preheated 350 oven for at least 35 min. Be sure and cover with foil to keep it nice and moist. We served it with rice and the cooking juices poured over individual servings.
This is a really healthy dish and the taste was...ok. :-( I'm not used to such herb-y tastes; I mean this uses ALOT of parsley and cilantro! My husband loves it though and as I already said, its a very healthy dish so I am happy to make it and insha'Allah one day maybe my southern-cooking trained taste buds will come to crave this type of fresh fare. One day... lol
We also made (join effort between hub and I) a very traditional winter-only Tunisian breakfast food called leblebi. You use extra-stale bread which is great cause I had bought a loaf of french bread that was very hard. You make a spicy chickpea broth/soup, heavily spiced with cumin, to soak the bread with thoroughly. The most interesting part, besides the harissa (spicy Tunisian hotsauce) was a barely-boiled egg cracked onto each bowl. Hmmmm.
I don't even eat RUNNY eggs. So after boiling eggs for maybe 5 minutes (it takes 15 left in just-boiled water to fully cook an egg) we cracked them open into the bowls. Yep. Then stirred the mixture all up and topped it with the hotsauce.
Honestly I could feel my gorge rising just at the thought of the raw egg, which is stupid because I ALWAYS like the beaters when making cake and duh, it has raw egg in it! I took a few bites but could feel the heat coming to my face like I was going to be sick; just like the time I tried bona-fide sushi. The taste was ok it was just the thought of slimy raw fish that made me feel ill. :-D
My husband, however, was super happy so I was happy he was getting a taste of home. His kids liked it for the most part; until I came they usually only ate Arabic foods in the house so they are more acclimated to it.
Before, when it was just Aaminah and myself, I always had a spotless clean kitchen (for the most part) and could take pics step-by-step even (see previous blog posts!). I had time to plate it beautifully and take pictures. Now it's just a rush to get food on the table and the eating begins before I even remember the camera! So I guess until I get my act together, this'll be what we get: half-way remembered recipes with no visuals. Yep stunning huh? lol
Oh and for an iftar snack in Ramadan I made homemade basboosa. You know the yummy semolina cake soaked in honey with nuts on top? Well mine was masha'Allah AWESOME I am happy to say. The only fault was it was a bit crumbly. I mixed 'n matched some recipes. It was a little involved but well worth the happiness A felt when eating it. He was so proud of it he took a dish to share with our Iraqi neighbors who live down the hall. Score one for the non-native Arabic cook!!!!! Here's a pic; I don't really wanna post the recipe right now because I can't find the use I used (sniff, sniff) and there are soo many available online.
Alright well it's late and I'm off to .... not sure what but the kids are in bed and I loooooong for a deep, spa-like tub I could soak my cares away in. Maybe in Jannah, huh? :-) Ma salaama......