Originally published on September 18, 2013; canada.com
(Twisted Sesame Rings)
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup (250 ml) warm water
10 cups (2½ lb/ 1.25 kg) bread/strong flour
1 tbsp salt
¼ cup (60 ml) oil
3 cups (715 ml) warm water
1 egg-white whisked in 1 tbsp water
sesame seeds, dry toasted, for sprinkling
2. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1 cup (250 ml) warm water, and set aside for 5 minutes.
3. In a big bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a well in the middle, and then pour in yeast mixture, oil and 3 cups/715 ml warm water. Incorporate liquids into flour in a circular movement using a wooden spoon. With oiled hands, knead for 6 to 7 minutes until you get a smooth dough. Let rise in a warm draft-free place for about 1 hour.
4. Punch down dough, and divide it into 28 portions. Let it rest for about 10 minutes, covered.
5. On a slightly oiled surface, form into simeat rings as follows. Divide each piece into two parts. Roll each part into a rope about 9 in/23 cm long (if dough feels elastic and springs back, let it rest for 5 minutes). Lay 2 ropes next to each other, and wind one rope around the other. Curve twist into a circle, matching ends to form a continuous ring. Make sure to seal the ends very well to prevent them from opening while rising and baking. Put shaped pieces aside on a flat surface. After making about five, brush them with the glaze, and dip each, face down, in the toasted sesame. Arrange rings on a greased baking sheet. Leave space between them to allow for expansion. Repeat with other batches.
6. Let rise in a warm place for 40 to 45 minutes, covered with a kitchen towel.
7. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven. To create a good crust, spray simeat and oven with water. Repeat about 2 to 3 times, for the first 5 minutes. Total time of baking is about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately or let pieces cool off in a wicker basket or on a rack. Cooled ones can be kept in plastic bags in the refrigerator or freezer. Heat in the oven as needed.
makes 28 pieces
¾ cup (4 oz/115 g) pitted/stoned and chopped olives
½ cup (2 oz/60 g) crumbled feta cheese or shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup (½ oz/15 g) each chopped fresh mint, parsley, and dill
2. Knead the ingredients into the dough. Let it rest for 10 minutes, and then divide it into 14 portions. Shape and bake as described above.
1 tsp salt
crushed dry mint
2. Use a pancake turner/slice to take beans out of the pot, drain, and place in a flat dish. Sprinkle with mint and serve warm or cold with a drizzle of vinegar or lemon juice, if liked.
3. These beans are usually eaten with the fingers since most of them come with tough strings that have to be removed. The way to do it is to pick up a bean with the fingers, put most of bean in your mouth, press it between the lips or front teeth, and pull out the string with the index finger and thumb. Have fun!
makes 4 servings
2 tbsp canola or olive oil
5 to 6 cloves garlic, whole and leave skin on
3 heaped tbsp tomato paste (one 6-oz/175g can) diluted in 4 cups (950 ml) hot water
1½ tsp salt
1 tbsp pomegranate syrup, or ½ tsp sugar and 2 tbsp lemon juice
1 lb fresh or frozen okra
2 to 3 small dried hot peppers, optional
2. To the meat pot, add garlic cloves and stir for 30 seconds. Stir in the rest of ingredients and bring pot to a quick boil, skimming as needed, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently, covered, until sauce is rich and somewhat thickened (35 to 40 minutes).
3. Serve the stew with white plain rice or bulgur along with slices of onion and green pepper. Another popular way of serving okra stew is having it as tashreeb (also called thareed): put bite-size pieces of flat bread in a deep dish and drench it with the stew sauce. Arrange meat pieces and garlic on top.
4. The fun part is eating the cooked whole garlic cloves: Hold the garlic clove between your thumb and index finger and squeeze out the soft pulp into your mouth, discard the skin. Yummy!
makes 4 servings