"Recipes from the Chef's Kitchen"

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Amy Riolo

Author, Lecturer, Restaurant/Culinary
Consultant, Gourmet Cooking Instructor
  301-910-8560
www.amyriolo.com


The following recipes are from "Nile Style:
Egyptian Cuisine and Culture" by Amy Riolo


Chickpea and Tahini Puree
(Hommus)

The word hommus, means “chickpeas” in Arabic.  The real name for this dish is
Hommus bil Tahina, or “chickpeas with sesame paste” in English.  To peel
chickpeas, hold them in between your thumb and index finger over a bowl and
squeeze.  The chickpea will come through and you will be left with the skin in
your hand. I like to peel them while I’m watching television or talking on the phone,
and leave them ready in the refrigerator, so that later on I can make this dish.

Ingredients:
(serves 4)
1)   1 cup cooked or canned Chickpeas - peeled
2)   1 Garlic Clove - minced
3)   1/3 cup Tahini...Sesame Puree (see recipe below)
4)   1/8 cup Extra Virgin Plive Oil, plus two teaspoons for garnish
5)   Salt to taste
6)   Dash of Cayenne Pepper to taste
7)   Dash of Paprika for garnish
8)   Pita Bread for serving

Preparation:
1)   Place chickpeas in a food processor, reserving a few for garnish.
2)   Add the garlic, tahini, olive oil, salt, and cayenne pepper to the food processor.
3)   Puree until smooth.
4)   Add water, tablespoon by tablespoon, to get an extra creamy consistency
       (you should need less than ¼ cup in total)
5)   Scrape down the sides of the food processor, and puree for 1 to 2 additional
       minutes.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
6)   If not serving immediately, store in a container with a lid in the refrigerator.
7)   Otherwise, spoon onto a small round dish.
8)   Using the back of a spoon, make dents in the top and fill the dents with
       remaining olive oil.
9)   Sprinkle paprika and arrange remaining chickpeas on the top.
10) Serve with warm pita bread.

The Tahini Sauce
Ingredients:
1)   ¾ cup Tahini (Tahini can be purchase in Middle Eastern, Indian, organic,
          and health food stores, or in the international aisle of most supermarkets)
2)   Juice of ½ Lemon
3)   Salt
4)   Freshly ground Black Pepper
5)   Pinch of Chili Powder, or to taste
6)   Dash of Paprika

Preparation:
1)   Place tahini in a medium bowl.
2)   Add lemon juice and stir to form a thick paste.
3)   Add water, a tablespoon at a time (approximately ½ cup total), until tahini
       becomes light and creamy.
4)   Add salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste.
5)   Transfer to a small serving plate or bowl and using the back of the spoon,
       smooth out the surface, and make circle designs on the top.
6)   Sprinkle top with paprika.
7)   Serve cold or at room temperature as an appetizer


Egyptian Fava Falafel
(T’amaya)

Egyptian T’amaya is made of skinned, dried fava beans instead of chickpeas.
This recipe was developed by the Egyptian Christians who had difficulty
adhering to the dietary restrictions of their newly adopted religion. To
make the refrain from meat during the Lenten season more
bearable, they came up with the recipe for T’amaya.

Ingredients:
(serves 4)
1)   1 cup peeled dried Fava Beans (broad beans) - soaked overnight in
       water and drained
2)   ¼ cup fresh Dill
3)   ¼ cup fresh Cilantro
4)   ¼ cup fresh Parsley
5)   1 small yellow Onion - diced
6)   8 cloves Garlic - chopped
7)   1 teaspoon ground Cumin
8)   1 teaspoon ground Coriander
9)   Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
10) Salt
11) Freshly ground Black Pepper
12) 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
13) Expeller pressed Corn Oil for frying
14) ¼ cup White Sesame Seeds
15) 4 loaves Soft Egyptian Bread...for sandwiches
16) 2 Roma Tomatoes - thinly sliced...for sandwiches
17) 1 Cucumber - thinly sliced...for sandwiches
18) ¼ pound Feta Cheese - crumbled

Preparation:
1)   Place beans, dill, cilantro, parsley, onion, and garlic into a food processor
       and mix until a smooth paste forms.
2)   Mix in ½ cup water (or enough to make mixture wet and loose – it should
       resemble the thickness of a thin paste)  and add cumin, coriander, cayenne,
       salt, and pepper.
3)   Stir in baking powder and mix to incorporate.
4)   Spoon mixture into a bowl and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
5)   Pour 3-inches of corn oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
6)   When oil is hot enough to fry a piece of bread dropped in it, will turn golden
       and float to the top immediately.
7)   Using two teaspoons, gather the paste in one spoon and carefully push it off
       with the other spoon, forming a round patty in the oil.  While falafel is
       cooking, sprinkle a few sesame seeds on the uncooked side.
8)   Repeat the process until the pan is full – leaving a ½-inch space between each
       falafel.
9)   Fry until falafel is dark golden brown (approximately 5 minutes), turn over,
       and fry the other side until it is the same color.
10) Line a platter with paper towels.
11) Using a slotted spoon, lift falafel out of oil and drain on plate lined with paper
       towels.
12) Repeat with remaining dough.


Semolina Cake with Honey Syrup
(Basboosa)

Ingredients:
(24 pieces)
For the Syrup
1)   1 Lemon
2)   2 cups Sugar
3)   2 teaspoons Honey

For the Semolina Cake
1)   Butter for greasing pan
2)   2 cups Semolina
3)   1 cup Sugar
4)   1 teaspoon Baking Powder
5)   ¾ cup unsalted Butter - softened
6)   ½ cup plain, full-fat Yogurt
7)   24 blanched Almonds to decorate

Preparation:
1)   Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
2)   Grease a shallow 9x13-inch baking pan.
3)   Peel 2 to 3 strips of lemon peel off of the lemon and place into a medium
       saucepan.
4)   Juice the lemon and pour into the same saucepan.
5)   Add sugar and 1 cup water into the saucepan and stir.
6)   Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
7)   Stop stirring once the mixture begins to boil.
8)   Take syrup off heat, add honey, and stir.
9)   Allow to cool and discard lemon peel.
10) Set aside to cool while making the cake.
11) Mix semolina, sugar, and baking powder together.
12) Add butter, blend well, and stir in the yogurt.
13) Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.
14) With wet hands, press down evenly, making sure that the surface is smooth
       and level.
15) Lightly press an almond into the batter (with the top still exposed) spacing
       each one equal distances apart.
16) Place 6 across the width of the pan and 4 down the length.
17) Bake for 30 minutes and remove from oven.
18) Cut cake in equally sized squares an almond in the center of each, being
       careful not to cut all the way down to the bottom of the pan (this causes
       the syrup to immediately sink to the bottom when poured).
19) Cover with syrup.
20) Allow to absorb syrup and cool before serving.


Hibiscus Tea
(Karkade)

Ingredients:
(10 Servings)
1)   1 cup dried Hibiscus (Red Sorrel) or Roselle Leaves
2)   ½ cup Sugar, or to taste
3)   1 teaspoon Orange Blossom Water

Preparation:
1)   Fill a large pot with a gallon of water.
2)   Add hibiscus leaves and bring to a boil over high heat.
3)   Let boil 5 minutes and remove from heat.
4)   Strain juice through a colander into a pitcher.
5)   Add sugar and orange blossom water and stir.
6)   Discard leaves or use them as a fertilizer in your garden.
7)   Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.



In the Studio Kitchen with Amy Riolo
(left) and Lindsey Gustin (right)


Good Eating!!!