Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bon Voyage Party

About forty friends and family members came to a garden party at my place on Saturday, July 24. People were asked to bring dishes with a North African/Mediterranean theme, and the results were spectacular! We will be sharing our recipes here.

The first recipe to come in was from my wonderful neighbours, Maureen and Sheldon Neuman, who say, "Our dish was the first hit on the Google search for Tunisian recipes.  Go to: http://djebbana.tripod.com/recipes.html and scroll down to find Tunisian Vegetable Stew." Others can add their recipes as comments to this post.


  1. Great party, and excellent food!

    The "Tunisian fish cakes with spicy lemon and paprika aioli" is from Bon Appetit, April 2003, available at: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Tunisian-Fish-Cakes-with-Lemon-and-Paprika-Aioli-107907 - one of only 5 Tunisian recipes that came up on a search of the Epicurious site, so we're looking forward to seeing more recipes posted here!


    Marion & Jim

  2. Wow must have been a wonderful summer feast! I might steal a few ideas!!!

    Are you in Tunisia yet Karen? :)

  3. Thanks for an enjoyable evening, good company and tasty food. Enjoyed meeting Maureen and Sheldon and catching up on some of the goings on with the district while chatting with Trish.
    Safe travels and we will keep in touch.
    Recipe for Moroccan Eggplant Salad right off of the net.

  4. Good to hear from you Karen. The neighborhood will miss your daily walks up and down Ventura Way, throwing balls for Libby to chase. We will follow your adventures with interest.
    Dennis and Olive

  5. Ann Cullingham has just come in with her recipes for Lebanese Bread and Tabouleh. Hooray!

    Lebanese bread -

    My quebecois grandmother Jeanne was taught to make lebanese dishes by her lebanese husband Sam and his family; amongst the many wonderful treats she prepared when we visited her in Ottawa was lebanese bread - not the flatbread that you typically see, which is also delicious, but small leavened round loaves that like their flat cousins, are best eaten within a couple of days of baking. The bread is easy to make but the dough is sticky so it can get a little messy.

    Mix 3 tsp dry yeast with a tsp of sugar and about a cup of warm water - let rise for 5-10 minutes

    In a large bowl, mix until blended, 6 cups of white flour with 3 cups of warm water, the yeast mixure, 1/4 cup of oil and 1 1/2 tsp of salt. Add more flour or water as necessary to ensure correct consistency. The mixure should not be dry - it should stick to the spoon and the bowl but it should not be runny - ie somewhat goopy.

    Cover with moist tea towel and leave to rise about 1 hour in a warmish place. The mixture should rise to about twice its original size.

    This is the messy bit - flour a surface and scrape the dough onto it, using plenty of flour both on the surface and on your hands. With a sharp knife, cut off handfuls of dough and mould in your hands into small round loaves - these can be any size you like from about the size of your fist on up - after handling, the loaves should be smooth and elastic in texture.

    Let rise for about 1/2 hour;

    meantime, heat a very hot oven - about 475 to 500 degrees farenheit. lightly oil a cookie sheet; place 4-6 loaves (depending on their size) on the sheet, flattening and stretching them somewhat with the tips of your fingers. Bake until they are brown - usually about 10 minutes per batch, but watch them after 5 minutes and remove them when they look lightly browned; they should rise and be somewhat puffy. Remove, and repeat with the next batch.

    To eat them you break them with your hands, or cut them in half, or eat however you please. They're best warm, great toasted, delicious with butter and jam, or yoghurt and lamb, or humous, or anything really. This dough also makes a superlative pizza dough, because it is so stretchy and tender.

    Tabouleh -

    Prepare the dressing in a jar - about 1/2 cup olive oil, cut in half and squeeze in the juice of 5 lemons, add salt and pepper to taste. You can vary these proportions - make it as tart or as mild as you like.

    Put about 2 cups of medium bulghur wheat to soak in about 4 cups of water - let soak for about an hour; once the bulghur is no longer crunchy (but should not be soggy), remove excess water by taking handfuls of bulghur and squeezing out the water. Place bulghur in a bowl.

    Clean 3-4 bunches of parsley carefully. With scissors or knife, snip off the stems as much as possible - this can be time consuming and is tough when you're in a hurry. When you have mostly only leaves, dice very fine and place in bowl with bulghur.

    Dice very fine, 4-5 tomatoes and 1 sweet onion and add to salad.

    Also good is some mint, which should be prepared like the parsley.

    Shake the dressing and pour it on top and mix all together with your hands, until all are blended and the colours are evenly distributed.

    This salad benefits from at least 3-4 hours sitting in the fridge (or best overnight), to allow the dressing to saturate the wheat and vegetables. Some time before serving, remix the salad and return to fridge.

    It is great served with olives and scooped with lebanese bread.

  6. finally got around to it
    our dish was something called North African Chicken from a James Barber cookbook:
    2T vegetable oil
    1/2 tsp cayenne paper
    4 green onions cut into lengths
    1tsp ground coriander
    salt and pepper
    juice of 1 lemon
    1 whole boneless chicken breast, skinned and halved
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    3 slices ginger, finely chopped
    1 c. chopped peanuts, toasted
    1 c. chicken stock or coconut milk
    chopped cilantro for garnish
    cut chicken into strips. heat oil in frypan over high heat and fry the chicken strips and cayenne pepper. stir in the garlic, green onions, ginger and peanuts and sprinkle with coriander salt and pepper.
    pour in the stock or coconut milk and lemon juice, stir well for another minute and serve with more chopped green onions and fresh cilantro.
    goes well with couscous, rice or pita and sweet mint tea.
    loved the spread at the party!