I must be a bit homesick as all day today I've been craving Tabouli and B'stilla, preferably from my favorite Los Angeles restaurant, Dar Maghreb. The closest true Moroccan restaurant is in Seattle so I may just have to break down and cook it myself. Both of the following recipes aren't really difficult, they just look that way. If you have an invitation to a summer picnic may I suggest the Tabouli as a fantastic alternative to potato salad and it is much better for you.
2 cups cracked wheat (bulgur)
2 cups very hot water
1 cucumber, chopped
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch green onions, (8) sliced
1/2 cup fresh chopped mint
2 cups fresh chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- Soak the cracked wheat in the hot water until the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. When it's ready, drain any excess water, if necessary, and squeeze dry.
- Meantime, prepare the vegetables for the salad and mix the dressing ingredients together. Set aside.
- Stir the prepared wheat, other salad ingredients, and dressing together in a medium bowl.
B'Stilla can be served as either an apetizer or main dish. If you have never had one, hunt down a Morroccan restaurant or give it a try on your own. The combination of sweet and savory is unbelievable.
1/4 cup butter, plus
1/2 cup additional butter, melted, for brushing phyllo
2 (4 lb) chicken
2 bunches parsley, chopped
1 large onion, minced
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron thread
1/2 lb blanched whole almond, toasted lightly, cooled and ground
1 1/4 cups icing sugar
4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 teaspoons cinnamon
10 sheets phyllo pastry, covered with damp towel
- In a large pot, melt ¼ cup of butter over moderate heat and add chickens, parsley, onion, saffron and 2 cups water.
- Bring mixture to boil and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to cutting board, reserving liquid, and let cool.
- Shred chicken and return meat to liquid.
- Bring to boil and cook, stirring, until almost all liquid is evaporated.
- Let cool.
- In a bowl, combine almonds and 1 cup of sugar.
- Add ½ of almond mixture to chicken, stir in beaten eggs, pepper and 2 tsp cinnamon.
- Preheat oven to 330°F and place rack in middle of oven.
- Line a buttered 13 x 14 inch ovenproof dish with 1 sheet of phyllo.
- Brush generously with butter.
- Layer 5 more sheets of phyllo in the same way, brushing each one generously with butter.
- Sprinkle remaining almond mixture over phyllo and top with chicken.
- Cover with remaining 4 sheets of phyllo, buttered, folding in edges to enclosed filling and brushing more butter over top.
- Bake pastry for 25-30 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
- Sift remaining ¼ cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon over top.