Miscellaneous

5 ‘The Rose and the Dagger’ Inspired Recipes

Sooo…for those of you not in the know, The Rose and the Dagger, sequel to Renee Ahdieh’s best selling The Wrath and the Dawn, is set to be released TODAY Tuesday, April 26. It follows our favorite protagonist Shazi as she is caught between the loyalties of her family, and the war they rage on her husband Khalid. If you remember from way back when, the two were separated and flung towards opposing sides of mounting tension, in what is set up for all out battle in book #3. For now though TRantD looks to set up political feuds, examine more of Shazi’s backstory, and explore the Arabian Nights-esque magic that was eluded to in the first book. Needless to say, I’m excited. In honor of that eagerness I decided to create a post dedicated to five great Persian inspired dishes (courtesy of Pinterest) to get you in the mood for reading. Bon Appetit!

 

1.Beghrir (Moroccan Pancakes)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water (115 degrees F/46 degrees C)
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Sauce:
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange-flower water, or to taste (optional)

Directions

  1.    Place the water, yeast, and sugar in a blender, and let stand without blending for 5 minutes, until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam. Add the milk, flour, semolina flour, eggs, baking powder, and salt. Blend until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Leave the mixture in the blender to rest for about 30 minutes.
  2.   Heat a 5-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Blend the pancake mixture for about 10 seconds, to remix, and scoop 1/4 to 1/3 cup of batter into the heated skillet. Cook the beghrir until bubbles have formed and popped, and the top of the pancake is no longer shiny, about 3 minutes. Do not flip. Adjust the heat as necessary so that the bottoms of the pancakes are just starting to brown when the tops are dry. Blend the batter for 10 seconds or so after cooking 3 or 4 pancakes, to keep the batter fluffy.
  3.     To make the sauce, place the butter, honey, and flower-water flavoring in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on High setting until the butter is melted and the honey is hot, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir the sauce, and drizzle about 1 tablespoon over each warm pancake to serve.

 

2.Baklava

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 oz) pkg phyllo dough; thawed by package instructions
  • 2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 lb (about 4 cups) walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (juice of ½ lemon)
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup honey
  • Melted chocolate chips & chopped walnuts for garnish, optional

Directions:

Start with your honey sauce (which needs time to cool as baklava bakes).
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, ½ cup honey, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, and ¾ cup water. Bring to a boil over med/high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then reduce heat to med/low and boil additional 4 min without stirring. Remove from heat and let syrup cool while preparing baklava.

How to make Baklava: Preheat Oven to 325˚F.
1.  Pulse walnuts 10 times in a food process or until coarsely ground/ finely chopped. In a      medium bowl, stir together: 4 cups finely chopped walnuts and 1 tsp cinnamon.
2.  Place 10 phyllo sheets into baking pan one at a time, brushing each sheet with butter once it’s in the pan before adding the next (i.e. place phyllo sheet into pan, brush the top with butter, place next phyllo sheet in pan, butter the top, etc. etc.). Keep remaining phyllo covered with a damp towel at all times. Spread about ⅕ of nut mixture (about ¾ cup) over phyllo dough.
3.  Add 5 buttered sheets of phyllo, then another layer of nuts. Repeat x 4. Finish off with 10 layers of buttered phyllo sheets. Brush the very top with butter.
4.  Cut pastry into 1½” wide strips, then cut diagonally to form diamond shapes. Bake at 325˚F for 1 hour and 15 min or until tops are golden brown.
5.  Remove from oven and immediately spoon cooled syrup evenly over the hot baklava (you’ll hear it sizzle). This will ensure that it stays crisp rather than soggy. Let baklava cool completely, uncovered and at room temp. For best results, let baklava sit 4-6 hours or overnight at room temperature for the syrup to penetrate and soften the layers. Garnish baklava with finely chopped nuts or drizzle with melted chocolate. Store at room temp, covered with a tea towel for 1 to 2 weeks.

Notes
Here’s the order of the Baklava Layers:
10 buttered phyllo sheets, ¾ cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, ¾ cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, ¾ cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, ¾ cup nut mixture,
5 buttered phyllo sheets, ¾ cup nut mixture
10 buttered phyllo sheets and butter the top.

 

3.Fattet Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 12 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight with 1 tsp. baking powder, then drained, or two (16-oz.) cans chickpeas, drained
  • 2 (8″) pita breads, torn into 1″ pieces
  • 12 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 34 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup plain, full-fat yogurt
  • 3 tbsp. minced mint
  • 14 tsp. paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, browned

Directions:

1      If using dried chickpeas, boil them in water in an 8-qt. saucepan until very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain; transfer to a shallow dish.
2.     Heat oven to 400°. Toss pita with 1⁄3 cup oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet; spread into an even layer. Bake until golden and crisp, 8–10 minutes; let cool slightly and toss with chickpeas. Heat remaining oil in an 8″ skillet over medium-high. Cook pine nuts until golden, 4–5 minutes; set aside. Stir yogurt, mint, paprika, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl; drizzle over pita mixture. Top with pine nuts; drizzle with brown butter.

4.Bukhari Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped or sliced thin
  • 1 heaping cup of grated carrot
  • 1 cinnamon stick and/or ½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper (or more, to your taste)
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon clove
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 3¼ cups hot vegetable broth
  • sea salt (to taste, depends on how salty your vegetable broth is–I used 1 teaspoon)
  • nuts or dried fruits to garnish

Directions:

  1.    Rinse and drain the rice 3 times, then cover with warm water and let it soak for at least 10 minutes or more.
  2.     In a large nonstick saucepan or pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and fry the onions with just a pinch of salt until they get soft and start to take a nice brown color on the edges. Add in the carrots and sauté for another minute or two. While that’s going on, drain the rice and have it ready next to you.
  3.      Now, to the onion and carrot mix, add the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cumin, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, and clove and sauté for another 30 seconds. The aroma will be very fragrant. Quickly add the drained rice and the chickpeas and stir them around gently to incorporate all the spices. Pour in the hot vegetable broth, stir, and let it come to a boil with the lid just slightly off the pot. After 5 minutes, you’ll notice that the level of broth is now just below the surface of the rice and bubbles are popping through. (If this isn’t the case, let it boil a few minutes more.) Cover the pot tightly with the lid and put the heat underneath on the lowest setting possible. Cook undisturbed (no peeking or stirring!) for 22 minutes.
  4.       After 22 minutes have elapsed, remove the lid and gently fold and fluff the rice with a spatula or a rice paddle. Then cover it again and let it sit off the heat for 5 minutes to finish it off.

 

5.Feteer Meshaltet


Ingredients:                                                                                                                                                         3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 1 and 1/2 cups warm water (you may need a little more or less)
1 to 2 cups melted ghee

Directions:

  1.  In the bowl First fold 1/3 of the dough over the middle 1/3, spread with some melted ghee
    2..   Slowly add the water and knead, until you get a smooth and sticky dough. This type of dough is called ajeen awees which means extra wet dough. You need the dough to be this wet to be able to stretch it later
    3.   Knead the dough for 10 minutes in your stand mixer or 15 if you are doing this by hand
    4.    Divide the dough into 4 parts, drizzle generously with melted ghee, allow to rest for an hour
    5.   On a clean surface, preferably marble drizzle some of the melted ghee and start spreading the dough with your hands gently and slowly until it is really thin
  2.   Again fold 1/3 of the dough over the middle third, brush with melted ghee then fold over the other third.of a stand mixer fitted with a kneading attachment (or a regular bowl if you are doing this by hand) , add the flour and salt

 

So have you guys ever tried any persian cooking? I never eealized how hardpressed the Internet was for middle Eastern dishes until I myself began scouring for recipes. In any case, who are the lucky readers who pre ordered The Rose and the Dagger?


 

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