Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

4.03.2009

Eating Mediterranean

A few weeks ago, Susanna and I made dinner for our family. This is something that we regularly do and thoroughly enjoy. In fact, I would encourage all of you to consider doing it! It gives the “regular-meal-maker” a well-deserved break, and it provides valuable experience in planning, executing, and serving a nutritious meal. For this particular meal, we decided to do a “Mediterranean” theme, which was a lot of fun since it forced us to make foods (and eat foods) that we had never attempted before. The meatless meal included falafalah (fried chickpea patties which were DELICIOUS), homemade pita bread, and “Orange You Glad to See Me Salad,” which is not Mediterranean, but was a scrumptious complement to the meal and a family favorite from the Voeller Sisters' cookbook From the Kitchen of Two Sisters. Dessert was chocolate baklava, which of course had to be good since it was saturated in butter and stuffed with nuts and chocolate!
Following is the pita bread recipe which we used; it turned out awesome! Mama, who was gone all day, sat down to her late dinner, and was amazed to learn that we had made the bread; she thought that it came from the store. Anyways, you simply must try it. The recipe could not be simpler, with ingredients that you likely have on your shelves at this moment. The time factor is minimal as well since, although the bread does rise for several hours, it only takes five minutes to bake (seriously)! The very next day, Susanna and Micah made a double batch for all of us to enjoy at lunch as veggie sandwiches or broiled “pizza,” according to everyone’s inclination. Enjoy!


Chocolate Baklava


Pita Bread
Serves 10 loaves
Ingredients:
2½ cups all purpose flour –plus additional flour for sprinkling
1¼ cups water – lukewarm
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
Directions:
  1. In a cup or small bowl combine the yeast with ½ cup lukewarm water. Stir until the yeast is dissolved. Set aside for about 7 minutes to proof.
  2. Add 2½ cups flour to a bread or large mixing bowl. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and mix with your hands or a wooden spoon.
  3. Make a small well in the center of the flour and pour the yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix it with the flour until you get a compact dough.
  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured wooden surface and slowly add water as needed. Continue kneading the dough for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, elastic and it doesn’t stick to your hands. At the end, shape it into a ball.
  5. Wipe a large bowl with half a tablespoon of olive oil. Place the dough in it and rub it gently against the bowl walls so as to cover it uniformly with olive oil. Cover with a tea towel. Put it in a warm draft free area and allow it to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
    Punch the dough down and let it rise again for 10 minutes.
  6. Cut the dough into 10 pieces. Shape each piece into a small ball.
  7. Sprinkle a little flour on a wooden surface. With a wooden rolling pin, roll each ball into a flat round loaf 7 inches (18 cm) in diameter and about 1/8 inch (4.5 mm) thick. Cover the flattened dough rounds with a cloth and let them rise a little bit for 20 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 450°F (230ÂșC). Slightly flour a baking sheet and place it in the oven for 5 minutes. Now place the first batch of dough rounds on a baking sheet. Bake on the lower rack for 3 minutes or until the dough forms a puffed up ball. Turn it over and leave in the oven for about 2 more minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and stack the pita bread loaves on top of each other. Wrap the pita bread loaves in a clean tea towel until ready to serve. This will keep them warm and soft.

7 comments:

  1. Looks delicious! We'll have to try the recipe soon. How fun to make dinner with a sibling! I should definitely do that more often. *grins*
    ~SarahJayne

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sorry--your dense friend here. Were you being sarcastic or sincere? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Um...that is soo sad ;( I was totally sincere... the grin was just smiling at the thought of sibling meal making - I love doing it!
    Maybe I should cut down on sarcastic remarks... *sigh* yet another thing to work on...
    ~SarahJayne

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks Great! :)
    Priscilla and I love to make Baklava, but we've never made it with chocolate before! You'll have to send me the recipe! :)
    Sounds like a very tasty and delightful meal!
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Here's the recipe link: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolate-Baklava/Detail.aspx
    I had never made "normal" baklava, but I figured that chocolate makes everything good better, right? ;-) It was very sweet, though; you can only handle a small piece at a time. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love mediterranean food and your meal sounds delicious! here is a salad you should try sometime if you are interested.
    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1½ tablespoons lemon juice
    1 clove garlic—minced
    ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    ¼ teaspoon sea salt
    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and extra for garnish
    3 tomatoes—cut into wedges
    ¼ red onion—sliced into rings
    ½ cucumber—sliced into thick half-moons
    ½ green pepper (capsicum)—julienned
    4 oz (120g) feta cheese—cut into small cubes
    16 kalamata olives
    PLACE the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano in a small jar with a screw-top lid and shake to combine. PLACE the salad ingredients in a large bowl. POUR the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine just before serving. Garnish the Greek salad with a little freshly ground black pepper.

    Hope you enjoy it...this is my favorite salad!
    blessing,
    summer

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yum! Thanks for the recipe--that looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete

We love comments like we love sunshine and chocolate and chubby babies!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin