The "Almost Vegetarian" cookbook is fast becoming my favorite around here. Which is funny because there is plenty in it that is NOT vegetarian.
We went out to the farm yesterday and I wasn't sure when we'd be coming back so I knew I had to get started on yesterday's recipe in the morning. I made Lavash and Orange Infused Baba Ghanouj. If you're thinking Babaga hooby whatie? I'll explain.
Lavash is a Middle Eastern bread similar to a tortilla when fresh, but gets hard and crunchy after a day or so. I made the dough before we left (which is super easy with a Kitchenaid Mixer...I love that thing, glad I'm using it more!), put it in a ceramic bowl with Seran wrap and placed in the fridge. It can be refridgerated for up to 3 days before using it (but if you're leaving it that long wrap it in wax paper, then in plastic wrap).
Baba Ghanouj on the other hand is an eggplant dip that reminds me of hummus. In fact, you'll see them on the same menus. It's also Middle Eastern, but I've seen it mostly in Greek restaurants. And if you're think, "Ew. Eggplant?" Think again. Eggplant is really flavorful and an excellent source of fiber.
Sweet P, sick as she is, hung out with me in her Sassy seat and ate some puffed millet.
Here are the recipes:
What you need:
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp brown sugar (I used regular because I used the last of ours on muffins, remember?)
1 1/4 c warm water
3 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat floud
1 tsp coarse salt (I used sea salt)
Here's what I did:
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in a 1/4 c of warm water (about 5 mins). Place the flours and salt in your mixer fitted with dough hook (or food processor) and combine. With the machine running, add the yeast mixture and remaining water. Run until dough forms, about 5-7 mins (90 secs for food processor).
Knead with the machine until the dough is smooth and springy. Or, turn out the dough and do it yourself! (about 10 mins) I did and it was quite the arm workout!
Shape the dough into a ball and place in ceramic or glass bowl. Cover with a light towel and leave in a warm, draft free place for 3 hours. (Or in the fridge for up to 8 hours). Divide into 8 pieces (mine made 11) and roll each into a ball. Cover the balls with a light towel and let rest for 2o mins.
Heat the oven to 500˚. Grease a baking sheet with vegetable oil (even a nonstick one).
Roll one piece of dough into a round about 4 inches in diameter. Do the same with another piece of dough. Return to the first piece and roll it thinner, about 6 inches. Repeat on the second piece, alternating until you have about 8 inches (you roll 2 at a time with a rest in between to let the gluten relax).
Place the disks on the baking sheet immediately and place in the oven. Bake about 3 minutes. Remove and wrap in a kitchen towel to keep warm. Repeat with remaining dough and serve immediately.
Orange-Infused Baba Ghanouj
What you need:
1 large eggplant (it called for 2 but I only had one)
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 c plain yogurt
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic
coarse salt (used sea salt again)
1 tsp paprika
Bake the eggplant in foil at 450˚ for 45 mins (directions said 30, I needed more than that). Unwrap the foil and let it cool. In a mixing bowl, combine tahini, yogurt, sesame seeds, orange juice, lemon juice, cumin and garlic (this recipe also called for cilantro--but if you know me...well, you know how I feel about cilantro). When the eggplants cool, peel and discard as many seeds as possible. --This was not an easy task, so I did what any self-respecting chef would do and made a huge mess. Ran the pieces under running water to remove the seeds and put it into a food processor. The directions said to chop very fine, but ya know, pureeing is much easier. Stir into the rest of the mixture.
We made wraps with the Lavash and the Baba Ghanouj, adding mushrooms, spinach and peppers. They were good. Really good. I loved making all the bread this week. And it was so YUM.
What I'd do next time: Drain the eggplant after pureeing. It made the Baba Ghanouj too watery and it definitely could have had a thicker texture.
The Grade: A-. Due to the wateriness of the Baba Ghanouj, but great meal all around. It was very filling as well. We tested it with crackers and it makes a great dip, too!
Look forward to tomorrow...it's dessert!