ursula: (bear)
[personal profile] ursula
I made feta pies today, based on a recipe from Ibn Razîn's thirteenth-century Andalusian recipe collection, in Lilia Zaouali, trans. M.B. DeBevoise, Medieval Cuisine of the Islamic World. The overall effect is of crackers with a very sophisticated cheese dip.

Recipe:

Another Mujabbana

Crumble the cheese as finely as you can and mix it with eggs, then with mint water and coriander [cilantro] water, and finally with whatever common spices are at hand. Spread [the mixture] over a thin layer of dough and cover with another layer. Cook in the oven. Learn to do this, in accordance with the will of God!

Dough:

I used the dough recipe for Lebanese Spinach Triangles in Anissa Helou's book Savory Baking from the Mediterranean, because one of the other Mujabbana recipes mentions a dough of flour, water, oil, and salt, like this dough. You can find Helou's recipe in metric units here; in American units, it's 2 cups flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1/2 cup warm water. The dough is soft and easy to work with.

Filling:

8 oz. feta
1 egg
2-3 tbsp. mint and/or cilantro water (I soaked a handful of finely chopped mint in warm water)
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
ground pepper

Assembly:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Divide the dough into eight balls (for larger pies) or sixteen balls (for individual pies). Roll out a ball into a translucent disk; place it on a baking sheet. (I buttered my baking sheets lightly, but I'm not sure I needed to.) Spread 1-2 heaping tablespoons of filling across the disk of dough, leaving half an inch or so of plain dough at the edge. Roll out another ball and lay it on top. Crimp the edges together. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Bake until puffed and golden brown (about twenty minutes?)
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