Friday, December 04, 2009

Pastilla/بسطيلة





I'm on a Moroccan food kick these days, as well as being experimental and having to have MacGyver-like skills of kitchen improvisation {most of my cooking utensils are in California}.  I was intrigued by pastilla {pronounced bastiyya} and was tweaking this recipe for a chicken version.  {Here's a recipe for a pigeon version that's pan-fried}.  Pastilla is a sweet/savoury meat pie with a phyllo crust and sautéed almonds.  It's usually baked in a round pan, but I only had a loaf tin.


My improvised version was a bit off.  For me, the flavours weren't quite there with the chicken/egg filling.  I think I needed to simmer the chicken longer and increase the amount of spices used.  I'll post the recipe for the version I'm happy with.  I'm also exploring pistachio couscous::
ingredients
1/2 cup shelled natural pistachios 
4 1/2 cups water 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 10-ounce boxes couscous 
1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves 
3 tablespoons olive oil 
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
preparation   
Preheat oven to 350°F.  On a baking sheet in middle of oven toast pistachios in one layer until golden, about 10 minutes. Once pistachios have cooled, coarsely chop.  In each of two 3-quart saucepans bring 2 1/4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil. Stir 1 box couscous into each pan and let stand, covered, off heat 5 minutes.  Chop mint leaves. Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to a bowl. Stir in pistachios, mint, oil, and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Twitterversion::  Experimenting w/Moroccan food—chicken pastilla.  'Twas a little off this time. looking fwd to making pistachio couscous. @Prof_K





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