The Conjure Woman

The Conjure Woman
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

How to Cook Like They Did in Ancient Egypt

"In water you see your own face, but in wine the heart of its garden"
- ancient Egyptian proverb


Honey Omlette

4 eggs
1 1/4 c. milk
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp honey
pepper

Mix eggs, milk and oil. Pur into pre-heated, lightly oiled frying pan and thoroughly cook on one side. Turn out onto plate. Pour warmed honey over it, sprinkle with pepper.

Asbusa 

2lbs cream of wheat
2 1/2 c sugar
3/4 lbsp. butter
16 oz. plain yogurt
slivered almond halves

Bring all ingredients to room temperature. In a large bowl mix sugar and cream of wheat. Add butter, rubbing it with the sugar and cream of wheat between your palms for 10 minutes or more until well mixed.

Add yogurt and mix until Dough feels smooth. If dry, add one tablespoon of watre at a time -- it should have the consistancy of pie dough.

Butter a 13x9x2" pan and pat the dough in. With a sharp knife slice in 2 x 2 diamond shapes.  Press one almond half onto each. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown


Bamya 

2tbsp  unsalted butter or olive oil. 2 lb stew beef, cut into 1 in cubes.
2 onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 c peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 c beef stock stock (beef), or as needed
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
salt and freshly ground pepper
1-1 1/2 lb okra
juice of 1 lemon

First cook okra: Trim the conical tips with a sharp knife, then soak the okra in red wine-vinegar for 30 minutes, allowing 1/2 cup vinegar per pound. Drain, rinse and dry the okra.

Preheat an oven to 325* F

Place 4 tbsp butter or oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Working in small batches, add the meat and fry, turning constantly, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer the cooked meat to a baking dish or stew pot.

Add the onions to the fat remaining in the frying pan and saute them over medium heat until translucent, 8-10 mins. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, tomatoes, tomato paste, the 1 cup stock and mint (if using: but really it is more authentic if you do use it!). Stir well. Pour over the meat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover tightly and bake until all the liquid is absorbed, about 1 1/2 Hrs.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter or oil in the skillet. Add the okra and saute for 3 mins, stirring gently. Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the cooked okra on top in a spoke pattern. Sprinkle the lemon juice evenly over the surface.

Re-cover the dish and return it to the oven. Bake for 35 minutes longer. Add stock or water if the mixture seems too dry. Serve very hot.
Serves 4.


Egyptian Chicken 

Soak chicken overnight in buttermilk. Then marinate:

Egyptian Marinade

1/2 c olive oil
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 onion, grated
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and pour over chicken. Cover and marinate overnight.

Bring the meat to room temperature before cooking. Remove the meat from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Grill or kebob and grill chicken, basting with reserved marinade while cooking.
Cooking time will depend upon the size of the poultry pieces; do not let become dry. Serve with pita and lemon wedges.


Date Candy

1 c fresh dates
1 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 c ground walnuts
small amount warm honey
dish of fine ground almonds

Mix the dates with some water to paste, add cinnamon and cardamom, kneed in the walnuts. Form balls, spread with honey and cover in the ground almonds.

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