28 June 2010

Need To Be Ethnic

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


  1. 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.
  2. Meantime, prepare the vegetables for the salad and mix the dressing ingredients together. Set aside.
  3. Stir the prepared wheat, other salad ingredients, and dressing together in a medium bowl.
Serve chilled or at room temperature with slices of pita bread.. Makes about 8 cups, 12 to 16 servings.


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


  1. In a large pot, melt ¼ cup of butter over moderate heat and add chickens, parsley, onion, saffron and 2 cups water.
  2. Bring mixture to boil and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.
  3. Transfer chicken to cutting board, reserving liquid, and let cool.
  4. Shred chicken and return meat to liquid.
  5. Bring to boil and cook, stirring, until almost all liquid is evaporated.
  6. Let cool.
  7. In a bowl, combine almonds and 1 cup of sugar.
  8. Add ½ of almond mixture to chicken, stir in beaten eggs, pepper and 2 tsp cinnamon.
  9. Preheat oven to 330°F and place rack in middle of oven.
  10. Line a buttered 13 x 14 inch ovenproof dish with 1 sheet of phyllo.
  11. Brush generously with butter.
  12. Layer 5 more sheets of phyllo in the same way, brushing each one generously with butter.
  13. Sprinkle remaining almond mixture over phyllo and top with chicken.
  14. Cover with remaining 4 sheets of phyllo, buttered, folding in edges to enclosed filling and brushing more butter over top.
  15. Bake pastry for 25-30 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
  16. Sift remaining ¼ cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon over top.
If you have never worked with phyllo dough, you might want to watch the following video closely. The ingredients are a bit different. Use either one, just try not to drool until you get the B'Stilla to the table.


Mimi Lenox said...

Do you know the blog "My Marrakesh"?? It's fabulous.

Jamie said...

Thanks for the lead. I love, love Mediterranean cooking from the Greek Isles to Northern Africa.

Amazing Gracie said...

I understand that this is some of the healthiest cuisines of all. I've never had humus or bulgar, I'm embarrassed to say that I've never tried any of your suggestions, but they sure look wonderful!
I can fix a mean chili relleno but it sure isn't good for your health...

Travis Cody said...

I've never eaten that kind of food. You say there's a place in Seattle eh? I might have to check it out.

Spadoman said...

My ethnicity is Southern Italian. I can't do pasta in the quantities that I used to, but I still make the old family recipe pasta gravy with meatballs and sausage at least once per month. My ethnic roots flow into most everything I cook.
These recipes look good. I'd like to come over and eat where you are cooking!
By the way, found your blog at This Eclectic Life and the title of this post made me curious.


Anonymous said...

Your Tabouli recipe is close to mine. I love it as a sandwich all crammed into a 1/2 pita. YUM!!!!!!

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Not a fan of tabouli..