Patience is the key ingredient!
Another dish to make for the Gulf and the Epicurious Kids were feeling goofy today. “What should we cook for Oman?” asked Inigo. Tristan was checking out some recipes and settled for the region #2 protein, lamb. “What about the appetizers?” asked Inigo. Bourek from Algeria was Inigo´s dish of choice. Menu decided.
Trimming off the fat
Brown onions? Not good!
The marinade was easy enough with baharat, turmeric, coriander and onions. Inigo had the bad luck of getting some rotten onions which he immediately discarded. “Gross, this is brown and mushy!” Tristan kept his focus and continued on the serious task of trimming off the fat and sinewy tissue off the lamb leg. After massaging the dry rub onto the leg of lamb, Tristan popped it in the oven for 45 minutes in 175 degrees Celsius.
mixing in some brotherly love
Then Inigo insisted on getting the ground beef cooked and cooled before wrapping up in the phyllo dough for the Bourek. Tristan added some spices to the sautéed onions, and then added the meat. After browning the mixture, Inigo started the arduous task of prepping each thin layer of phyllo dough with olive oil and creating the layer for the meat mixture.
Layer by layer
Bourek and roll
Inigo was concentrated in his Bourek task. Layer by layer, he brushed and folded the phyllo dough before finally spooning in the meat mixture. A nice fresh mint leaf was layered on the meat mixture before sealing the phyllo parcels. Then the phyllo pockets baked golden brown for approximately 25 minutes. “Everything taste better when cooked from scratch!” exclaimed Inigo. Tristan nodded his head between bites of Bourek.
Deftly folding phyllo
Enjoying Bourek between brothers
Omani lamb and grilled eggplants
In the Gulf countries, chicken is the king of protein. Epicurious Kids decided to pay homage to this famous fowl by preparing Djej Mechou for their Yemen soujourn. To accompany their main dish was a simple spinach dish with chickpeas – Houmous Ye Esfenaj.
massaging in the spices
The steps were simple: a dry rub mixture of turmeric, cumin, coriander, baharat and dried mint was massaged into the chicken. Inigo gently separated the loose skin from the flesh to rub the dry spices directly onto the chicken. This makes the taste penetrate directly onto the meat.
Tristan was charged with slicing tomatoes for the Djej Mechou. After the prep, the chicken was left to marinate for a few hours. Inigo and Tristan weren´t too pleased for the long wait. The chicken was then put in a clay pot for maximum moisture for 1 hour. Fo the last 10 minutes, Tristan took the lid off for the chicken brown and crisp. With a side of arabic bread, the Djej Mechou and Houmous Ye Esfenaj was ready for the table!
Esfenaj is Spinach in arabic!
Kids would love this dish!
Kiymali Pide was the unanimous choice for gastronomic mecca of Turkey. Inigo was excited at the idea of working with dough again, and Tristan loved the idea of creating a pastry “boat” for meat mixture.
Prepping up for pide
I say Toma-toe
The preparation was filled with dicing and slicing tomatoes, bell peppers and parsley. Paprika, cumin, coriander were added to the meat mixture for that added flavour. Easy enough, the task was shared between the brothers with Inigo taking the lead on the dough making. “Tristan, watch my dough technique and then you can give it a try!” explained Inigo.
The daily grind
After the meat mixture was ready, Epicurious Kids moulded mini pastry boats for individual servings. “We have to squeeze the meat first, otherwise it gets too soggy when baking” reminding Tristan. Trouble shooting is key in cooking and I was beaming with pride to see how the mini-chefs have evolved through the years.
Folding the pide with pride
Once the pide was in oven, the Epicurious Kids tossed the salad of mesclun and roma tomatoes for the sides. The delicious smell of pide filled the kitchen and Inigo couldn´t help himself: “that taste like exotic pizza!” “Turkish pizza boat that´s much healthier!” agreed Tristan. Afiyet olsun!
Pide is better than pizza!
Bil hana wish shifa’!
Epicurious Kids were excited to cook some Egyptian dishes. Enthralled by the stories of Pharoes and the Sphinx, they were keen to discover their food culture.
Mixing in the love
Vinegary mixture for the Molokhia
Tristan and Inigo mixed in some spices into 2 cups of water, for the chicken breasts to simmer in. Then, in a separate bowl, the Epicurious Kids agreed to prepare the finishing sauce to pour over the chicken after baking: a mixture of vinegar, onions and cinnamon.
Top Chef Inigo spices up with Baharat
The recipe was slightly difficult to understand because it went against Epicurious Kids instinctive way of preparing chicken. After prepping the broth, the chicken was to simmer in it until done. Then baked with some Molokhiya, a spinach like vegetable indigenous to Egypt. Tristan and Inigo worked together to carefully mix in the Molokhiya with the chicken breasts.
Sautéing the spices
The green team
Then the dish was put in the oven to bake with the Molokhiya and after 20 minutes, it was ready to be layered with rice,pita bread, chicken and topped with the vinegar, cinnamon mixture. Epicurious Kids were slightly skeptical at first in layering dry pita with rice, chicken and sauce —but in one quick bite, their doubts were quickly allayed! Bil hana wish shifa’!
Chicken with Molokhiya