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Egypt - Egyptian Cuisine

Eyptian cuisine is largely comprised of dishes that can be found throughout what is known as the Mediterranean Rim. Falafel, hummus, kabobs, and fresh salads are all quite popular. Ingredients such as fava beans, cucumbers, rice, lamb, veal, fresh greens, mushrooms, and yogurt are widely used in many dishes. However, there are many other foods or variations that make Egyptian cuisine unique.
Bamya - Meat and Okra Stew

2 lb beef or lamb cut into 1" cubes
2 onions finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cup tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup beef stock or water or more as needed
2 Tbsp fresh mint chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.5 lb okra
juice of 1 lemon

Okra must be cooked so that its slimy texture is eliminated. The Greeks have the best technique for achieving this. Trim the conical tops with a sharp knife then soak the okra in red wine vinegar (Khall) for 30 minutes allowing 1/2 cup of vinegar per pound. Drain, rinse and dry the okra nd proceed with the recipe. This dish is popular throughout the Middle East and can be prepared with lamb or beef. Serve with rice.

Preheat an oven to 325F/165C. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbsp butter or oil per serving. Working in batches, add the meat and fry, turning, until browned on all sides - about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer to a baking dish or stew pot. Add the onions to the fat remaining in the frying pan and saute over medium heat until tender and translucent - 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock and mint. Stir well. Pour over the meat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and bake until all the liquid is
absorbed - about 1.5 hours. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Meanwhile prepare the okra as directed in the note above. In a
saute pan over medium heat warm 1/2 Tbsp butter or oil. Add the okra and saute for 3 minutes, stirring gently. Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the okra on top in a spoked pattern. Sprinkle the lemon juice evenly over the surface. Recover the dish and return it to the oven. Bake for 35 minutes longer. Add stock or water if the mixture seems too dry. Serve the Bamia stew piping

Egyptian Lentil Soup

2 cups ads majroosh, (dried, hulled split, red lentils), or other dried lentils
2 quarts chicken stock, fresh or can
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
1 medium tomato, quartered
2 teaspoons garlic, coarsely chopped
4 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper, freshly ground
lemon, cut into wedges Wash the lentils in a large sieve or colander set under cold running water, until the draining water runs clear.

In a heavy 4 to 5 quart saucepan, bring the stock to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils, onion, tomato and garlic, reduce the heat to low, and simmer partially covered for 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam begins to subside, add the chopped onions and, stirring frequently, cook for 10 minutes, or until they are soft and deeply browned. Set aside off the heat.

Puree the soup through a food mill or pour the entire contents of the saucepan into a sieve set over a deep bowl and force the ingredients through with the back of a large spoon, pressing down hard on the vegetables before discarding the pulp. Return the soup to the saucepan and, stirring constantly, cook over low heat for 3 or 4 minutes to heat through. Stir in the cumin, salt and pepper, and taste for seasoning. Just before serving, stir in the remaining
3 tablespoons of butter.

To serve, ladle the soup into a heated tureen, sprinkle lightly
with the reserved browned onions and serve the lemon wedges separately.

Egyptian Meat Soup

1 lb. lean beef or lamb, cut into small pieces
6 c. water
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons butter
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 loaf Arabic pita bread, dried in the oven until crisp
2 cups cooked rice  Make a broth by simmering the meat in the water with the salt, pepper and the whole onion, until the meat is tender. Then skim off the froth, and discard the onion. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a frying pan. Fry the meat over high heat until well browned, then remove to a serving bowl and keep warm.
Fry the garlic in the remaining butter until golden brown. Stir the contents of the frying pan and the vinegar into the broth; then bring to a boil.
Just before serving, break up the bread into the soup; then divide into individual bowls. Present the meat and the rice separately, allowing each person to serve themselves.

Fava Beans

1 (12 oz.) can fava beans
2 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. light olive oil
Garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp. chopped parsley for garnish
Sliced onions (optional)
Pita bread (optional)

Place fava beans with liquid in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the flame to low and heat through. Season the beans with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with parsley. Serve with sliced onions and pita bread.

Egyptian Beef and Rice

1 lb. ground round
1 lg. or 2 med. onion
1 1/2 c. uncooked rice
1 c. slivered almonds
1 c. golden raisins
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 to 3/4 tsp. pepper
salt to taste
5 tbsp. butter for frying, divided usage
2 chicken bouillon cubes.
Grate onion over paper plate or into bowl so as not to lose the juice. (Can also chop fine in processor using 1-cup water.) Measure onion and juice plus enough water to measure 3 cups and 3 tablespoons. Place this in saucepot used to cook the rice and begin to heat.
Meanwhile, fry rice in 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet, stirring constantly until golden brown. Add to onion liquid along with bouillon cubes and bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and cook 20 minutes.
In fry pan used for rice, fry almonds in 2 tablespoons butter, stirring constantly over low heat until golden brown; remove. Fry raisins in 1-tablespoon butter over low heat, stirring constantly until plumped; remove.
Brown ground beef, drain and crumble. Add spices to beef and continue to brown for a couple of minutes.
Add cooked rice, fried raisins and almonds to meat and blend well.

Beef Kofta

2 lbs beef.
2 onions.
1 slice soft bread.
1/2 cup milk
salt, pepper
Method Mince beef and onions twice (till smooth consistency), soak bread in milk and add to meat together with the seasoning.
Mix well and shape into rounds 2-3 inch in diameter.

Grill or fry on skewers or in a double grill until cooked.


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