Wednesday, March 3, 2010

We made a Middle Eastern feast!

YO! SG here. It's been a while, but I'm back on the Who Cooked What scene to tell you about this Middle Eastern feast in which M, Hill, Lanez, Nat and I participated a couple weekends ago. As you can see, we enjoyed it picnic-style on a blanket on the floor. Because sometimes it's more fun to eat that way.

I made some baba ganoush:

Followed the recipe pretty exactly. I tried roasting the eggplant over an open flame on the stove, which is pretty simple. You just need some tongs to keep turning them. But I got scared and took them off too early because this skin was so charred--but I guess that's what is supposed to happen. I roasted them a little longer in the oven after that to get them soft enough.

Natalie made some delish hummus:

M was in charge of falafel (I believe we used the Moosewood recipe, right M?):

I wanted to make avgolemono, which is really Greek and not Middle Eastern, but I was getting over a cold and was really in the mood for this comforting, nourishing lemony rice soup I used to get from a local Greek restaurant back in Jersey. I found this recipe in a comment on epicurious. There were a million comments after it, all saying how much better the recipe posted by "A Cook from Boston" was than the actual epicurious recipe! We followed it pretty exactly. Thank goodness I had Martha to help me "temper" the eggs, which I had never done before.

Here it is copied and pasted:

I'm 34 and have been making this since I could stand up on the stool in my Yia Yia's kitchen (my grandmother who is now 80 yrs. old). Soupa Avgolemono: 8 c. homemade chix stock, 1 c. orzo, 4 eggs/ separated, juice of 3 lemons, fresh ground black pepper. This recipe will make a perfectly balanced salty, rich, filling, comforting soup. Boil broth, add orzo and simmer until tender 20 min. Whip whites until medium peaks, add yolks beating continuously, add juice, beating. Temper eggs with 2 c. broth, adding in constant slow stream while continuing to beat furiously so you do not curdle the eggs. Add egg mixture back to remaining broth and serve. When reheating, do not re-boil - heat slowly until very warm or you may curdle the eggs. Garnish with thinly sliced lemon. I sometimes add more than juice of 3 lemons, as the sourness is the best part of the taste! You should taste lemon, richness of eggs, salt of chicken, and starch of rice, in that order and you've made it perfectly. You can also add thin pieces of shredded chicken meat (pull off bone in strips), although classic recipes don't include chicken, vegetables, garlic or any of the ingredients many reviewers added to "fix" this recipe. Try mine and you'll be hooked for life!
Here is us enjoying the meal by candlelight:

And this is how full we were after:

Here are two vids. The first is of us all putting Hill's pitas in the oven, and the second of us dining to some jams.


  1. as yummy as that food looks, these videos make me miss my friends (i.e. Hill & Lane) more than it makes me hungry...(i also live in the middle east, so...ya know...)

  2. aw i just saw your comment rachel! I miss you toooooo