Food History: Egyptian Cuisine

(From Wikepedia)

Egyptian cuisine is characterized by dishes such as Ful Medames, Kushari, rice-stuffed pigeon, Mulukhiyya with rabbit, and Feteer Meshaltet, while sharing similarities with food found throughout the Eastern Mediterranean like rice-stuffed vegetables or grape leaves, Shawerma, Kebab, Falafel, Baba Ghannoug, and Baqlawa. Bread forms the backbone of Egyptian cuisine. Bread is consumed at almost all Egyptian meals; a working-class or rural Egyptian meal might consist of little more than bread and beans. The local bread is a form of hearty, thick, glutenous pita bread called Eish Masri or Eish Baladi (Egyptian Arabic: عيش ʿēš) rather than the Standard Arabic خبز khubz. The word “Eish” comes from the verb “ʿāš, yuiʿīš” meaning “to live” indicating the centrality of bread to Egyptian life. In modern Egypt, the government subsidizes bread، dating back to a Nasser-era policy; as of 2008[update], however, a major food crisis has caused ever-longer bread lines at government-subsidized bakeries where there would normally be none; the occasional fight has broken out over bread, leading to fear of bread riots.[1] The bread subsidies are also viewed by political observers as a means by the government of mitigating opposition by the lower-classes to an authoritarian domestic political system.

Some Egyptians consider Kushari, a mixture of rice, lentils, and macaroni, to be the national dish. Ful Medames (mashed fava beans) is also popular and is used in making Ta’meyya (also known as Falafel), which Egyptians consider to be superior to elsewhere in the Middle East where chickpeas is the major ingredient of this dish, although chickpeas have been grown by Egyptians for thousands of years.

Abu_tariq_koshari 

Kushari served at an Egyptian restaurant in Cairo.

Ancient Egyptians are known to have used a lot of garlic and onion in their everyday dishes. Fresh mashed garlic with other herbs is used in spicy tomato salad and is also stuffed in boiled or baked aubergines (eggplant). Garlic fried with coriander is added to Mulukhiyya, a popular green soup made from finely chopped jute leaves, sometimes with chicken or (preferably) rabbit. Fried onions can be added to Kushari

For more information, visit Wikepedia.

Per Request here is the Kushari Recipe: http://www.multiculturalcookingnetwork.com/recipes/item/329-kushari-recipe.html

Colombian Star Shakira Cooks Arabic foods

shakira

Singer Shakira has taken up learning how to cook Arabic food because it’s a tradition that runs in her family. The Colombian pop star with Lebanese blood has been taught by her aunt, and says her first dinner party was a great success. She says, “I’ve recently learned how to cook Arabic food. It’s great food and I don’t want the tradition to get lost in my family.” “My aunt cooks Lebanese food so I called her and she gave me all the recipes over the phone.” “I ended up doing a meal for six peoples which was really successful!”

Learn more about Shakira’s Arabic Ancestry


Penne with Braised Squash & Greens

Penne_SquashThis chunky sauce is laced with chard and accented with smoked tofu. Convenient packages of peeled and diced butternut squash are available in most supermarkets in the fall and winter.

For more information go to:  http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/penne_with_braised_squash_greens.html://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/penne_with_braised_squash_greens.html

Melina Kanakaredes of CSI: NY Shares Her Favorite Greek Food

Greek Celebs Share Their Favorite Greek Foods:

The lovely Melina Kanakaredes is very definite: her favorite Greek dish is Dolmathes me Kima – stuffed grape leaves with meat, topped with avgolemono sauce.  A fave of Olympia Dukakis is Grilled Octopus. It’s a classic image that comes to mind when many think of Greece: sitting under an umbrella by the seaside, with ouzo or wine and a plate of freshly grilled octopus. It’s delicious, and you can create the same atmosphere at home.

MelinaKanakaredesBlog

Credit about.com

For more info please visit: http://greekfood.about.com/od/discovergreekfood/tp/stars_picks.htm

Spanakopita- Greek Spinach Pie

Spanakopita:

Ingredients:
2 pounds spinach (steamed, squeezed, drained and chopped)
1 cup feta (crumbled)
1/4 cup dill (chopped)
1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
1 bunch green onions (sliced)
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
phyllo dough

Directions:
1. Mix the spinach, feta, dill, parsley, green onions, eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
2. Brush the bottom of an 8×8 inch baking pan with olive oil.
3. Brush the top of a sheet of phyllo dough with olive oil and place it in the pan. (You may have to cut the phyllo dough to fit the pan.) Repeat until you have 6 layers.
4. Place the spinach mixture on top of the phyllo dough.
5. Brush the top of a sheet of phyllo dough with olive oil and place it on the spinach. Repeat until you have 6 layers.
6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until golden brown on top, about 30-50 minutes.

For more info visit : http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/2008/04/spanakopita-greek-spinach-pie.htmlSpanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

MCCN Reviews: D’Cache Latin Fusion Cuisine in Toluca Lake,CA

DCache restaurant
Review by Crystal A. Johnson
 
D’Cache Restaurant not just a place to eat but it is an exotic romantic experience. The food, live music and décor fuse to make this Latin fusion cuisine spot one of the best dining experiences in LA. Located on 10717 Riverside Dr., don’t let the big sign and the inconspicuous entry way fool you. Once entering the walkway to the 1928 Spanish Mission style building, things start to change as you see the beautiful water fountain. When entering through the doors you are transported to a romantic and elegant European spot.   Goodbye to Toluca Lake….  (Click link Below to read rest of review)
 

Mediterranean & French: Canele Restaurant in Atwter Village, CA

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Without realizing the back-story of Canele restaurant, I kept saying to my dining companion Leo that this restaurant reminds of a Manhattan neighborhood joint.  Low and behold, the New Yorker in me instincts were right.  Upon reading the Canele website bio of general manager Jane Choi, I learn of her history as the manager of Boutique Bistro Balthezar in New York.  It is Choi’s desire to the create the atmosphere of the Big Apple and she succeeds.

See the rest of the review by Los Angeles Examiner Restaurant Reviewer & MCCN CEO, Crystal Johnson listed below.

http://www.examiner.com/x-9408-LA-Comfort–Soul-Food-Restaurant-Examiner~y2009m8d10-Canele-Restaurant-in-Atwater-Village-Brings-the-New-York-Dining-Experience-to-LA?cid=exrss-LA-Comfort–Soul-Food-Restaurant-Examiner