Mary Kay Radnich
October 2000 Recipes
This hearty and filling country dish is good for a cool, fall evening meal, served with Semit rolls (see the June issue of Tour Egypt Monthly), a green salad and Basbousa for dessert.
Arnabit musa"aa Moussaka Cauliflower
* 1 pound savory ground beef
* I small onion chopped
* 1 Cauliflower
* 3-4 eggs
* 2 Tablespoons flour
* Cooking oil
* Salt and pepper
* 2 cups tomato juice
Brown ground beef and onion, seasoning (salt, pepper) and set aside.
Remove core and leaves from cauliflower and slice into trees, about " thick.
You may blanch the cauliflower if you prefer a softer cauliflower, or leave it raw.
Prepare a thin batter by beating together eggs, flour, seasoning and 3-4 tablespoons water. Dip the cauliflower slices into the batter and fry lightly until nicely brown.
Remove and drain on absorbent paper.
Add 1 cup of tomato juice to the ground beef. If you want a spicier taste, use either one if the seasoned V8 juices, or add hot pepper sauce to your tomato sauce. You could also use spaghetti sauce, although it will result in a thicker consistency. Grease a casserole or baking dish. Layer as follows: cauliflower, ground beef, cauliflower. Pour the remaining juice over the moussaka and bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
BASBOUSA Semolina Cake
Semolina is a wheat grain, more familiar to us as an ingredient in couscous or pasta. However, the Egyptians have turned this staple into a delicious, sweet dessert treat, Basbousa. Served with sweet syrup, this treat is a sure way to introduce your friends and family to Egyptian specialties.
* Cup butter, preferably unsalted
* Cup sugar
* 1 Teaspoon vanilla
* 2 Eggs (No-cholesterol egg substitute ok)
* 2 Cups fine semolina
* 1 Teaspoon baking powder
* Teaspoon baking soda
* Cup plain yogurt (or lemon yogurt)
* Blanched split almonds
* 2 Cups sugar
* 1 Cups water
* 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
-Cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
-Sift semolina flour, baking powder and baking soda twice. Fold into batter alternately with yogurt.
-Spread batter into a greased 8 x 12 inch baking pan and place the almonds across in rows so that when the cake is cut, each piece will have an almond centered on it.
-Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30-35 minutes until cake is cooked when tested.
-Make the syrup while the cake is cooking. Dissolve sugar in water over medium heat, add lemon juice and bring pan to a boil. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then cool by standing the cooking pan in another pan of cold water.
-Once cake is finished baking, spoon cooled syrup over the hot cake. Cool thoroughly and cut into diamond shapes or squares to serve.
Traditionally, Basbousa is served with Ushta, a very thick clotted cream made from buffalos milk. In place of this, use thick whipped cream or for a lighter treat, a whipped cream substitute such a Cool Whip.
Khoshaf ar asali --- Pumpkin Pudding
Have you seen those charming little pie pumpkins in the store but dont have the courage to bake an entire pumpkin pie from scratch? Try making Egyptian Pumpkin Pudding as an unusual and different treat for your family.
* 1 Pie Pumpkin, usually found at farmers markets or groceries with large produce departments
* 1 Cup sugar, for each 2 pounds of pumpkin
* Cup raisins, grated coconut, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.
* Ground cinnamon, cardamom to taste.
Slice pumpkins into rounds, remove stem, remove seeds and peel the skin off.
Weigh the pumpkin to determine the amount of sugar to use.
Chop the pumpkin and allow it to stew in its own juice over a very low flame, stirring occasionally to keep the pumpkin from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
When the pumpkin is very, very soft, drain the excess fluid from the puree. You may put the puree in a colander and squeeze the fluid out, using a spoon or a weighted cake pan (if you have the time.)
Add the sugar, let cool, and then add all of the remaining ingredients. Pour into individual serving bowls and enjoy.