Party Dishes

From fish to jareesh to phyllo...

 Phyllo pastries with buckwheat and nuts (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Phyllo pastries with buckwheat and nuts
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
This week, I’ve decided to share a number of recipes that are easy to prepare but that will still bring you lots of compliments from your guests.
The first dish is spicy fish with coriander and chickpeas, which is a spin-off of the extremely popular traditional Moroccan spicy fish. This version includes chickpeas, which are very filling and provide a really nice texture. Make it as spicy as you like, by adding more hot green or red peppers; or if you prefer it less spicy, use bell peppers instead.
The second dish is jareesh with beef filling. Jareesh is similar to kubbeh, and I’m including here a light, low- calorie version that is baked instead of fried. It’s a great dish for serving to company.
The third recipe is made with peas, cabbage and potatoes, which can be served as a side or main dish (just add chicken or tofu).
The fourth recipe is phyllo dough pastries filled with buckwheat and nuts, with silan drizzled on top. They’re baked and not fried, and freeze nicely for future use.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.
Makes 6-8 servings
2 cups chick peas (from a can or frozen and cooked)
6-8 fillets of a fish of your choice
1 tsp. salt
½ cup oil
2 hot peppers, cut in half and de-seeded
4 large hot red peppers, dried or fresh
2 medium carrots cut into angled slices
1 lemon, sliced thinly
Leaves from 10 sprigs of parsley, chopped finely
8 cloves garlic, sliced
1 Tbsp. hot paprika
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. turmeric
1½ cups water
Leaves from 15 sprigs coriander, chopped
Sprinkle salt on fish and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse.
Pour the oil into a pot. Drop in the pieces of pepper, lemon slices, carrots and half of the garlic and herbs. On top of this, arrange the fish pieces and then add on top the rest of the garlic and herbs.
In a bowl, mix the spices with water and then pour on top of fish. Cover the pot and cook over a medium flame for 25 minutes. Add chickpeas and coriander and make sure sauce covers fish completely.
Cook for another 15 minutes. Serve hot.
Makes 8-10 servings
1½ cups jareesh soaked in water for 10 minutes and then drained
½ kg. ground beef
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 large onion, chopped finely
5 sprigs of mint, chopped finely
3 Tbsp. oil
3 medium onions, chopped finely
300 gr. ground or chopped beef
½ tsp. baharat
Salt and pepper, to taste
5 Tbsp. oil
To prepare the jareesh layer, place the jareesh and ground beef in a bowl. Add salt, pepper, onion and mint. Mix well.
To prepare the filling, heat oil in a frying pan and add the meat and onion and fry until meat turns color. Add the baharat, salt and pepper and mix well.
Grease a pan well and then add half of the jareesh mixture. Next, add the filling and flatten. Cover with the second half of the Jareesh mixture.
Cut into squares, using a knife. Pour oil into crevices. Bake for 30-40 minutes in an oven that has been preheated to medium heat. Serve hot.
Makes 4-6 servings
2-3 Tbsp. oil
½ tsp. mustard seed
½ tsp. turmeric
1 heaping tsp. cumin
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1-2 bay leaves
3 cups white cabbage strips
1 small cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. coriander, ground
½ tsp. curry powder
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup green peas
Salt and pepper, to taste
1¾ cups water
Heat the oil in a frying pan and add mustard seed, turmeric, cumin and garlic. Stir gently and then add potatoes, bay leaves, cabbage and all the spices. Mix. Add half a cup of water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes.
Lower the flame and gradually add the rest of the water. Cook for another 20 minutes until peas are soft.
Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with white rice.
Makes 16-20 pastries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Juice from ½ a lemon
Silan and honey, or maple syrup
1½ cups peanuts or almonds
¾ cup buckwheat, cooked in water and drained
½ cup roasted pine nuts, chopped or ground
1½ cups coconut flakes
½ tsp. almond extract
¼ cup raisins
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1-2 Tbsp. tehina
20 squares or circles of phyllo dough
Oil or oil spray
1 egg white, lightly beaten
To prepare syrup, cook ingredients for 25 minutes until thick syrup forms. To prepare filling, roast the peanuts in the oven. Remove the peels.
If you’re using almonds, blanch in boiling water for 10 minutes and then remove peels. Grind the peanuts with a meat grinder or food processor.
Transfer to a large bowl and add pine nuts, coconut flakes, almond extract, raisins, cinnamon and tehina. Mix well. If needed, add 2-3 teaspoons of the syrup.
Lay out one square of pastry dough. Fold in the two sides of the dough and brush with egg white. Add a teaspoon of the filling onto the edge of the dough and then roll it up into a tube shape. Brush ends with egg white, press to close and then place on a greased baking sheet, with space between each one. Make all of the pastries in the same fashion.
An alternative method is to use a few layers of dough for each pastry. Spray oil between each layer.
Brush pastries with oil or spray. Bake in an oven that was preheated to 180º for 20 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
Heat the syrup over a low flame. Add the cooled pastries and cook them in the syrup for a minute or two, and then remove and let excess syrup drain off.
Alternatively, just drizzle syrup on top. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.
Tip for working with phyllo dough: Phyllo dough must be kept moist in order for it to retain its stretchiness. If it dries out, it is no longer usable.