Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Six-course meal for two

We had enough for a third and maybe a fourth, but last night's meal my boyfriend and I shared alone.
  1. Lavash Crackers. In a kitchenaid with paddle attachment, combine in order 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup whole-wheat bread flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp instant yeast, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 cup water. Mix until dough comes together into a single ball. Let dough sit 15 minutes, then knead by hand 15 minutes. Let proof 2 hrs until doubled. Degas, relax, and roll into a flat rectangle, just the same size as your largest cookie sheet, and transfer to said sheet lined with parchment. Mist the top of the dough with water, sprinkle with stripes of caraway seed, cumin seed, sesame seed, poppy seed, and paprika, and slice diagonally into cracker-width strips. Bake 15 minutes in a 350°F preheated oven — strips will grow together, but will snap apart.
  2. Baba ganoush. Pierce two medium eggplants, and bake 40 minutes in a 400°F oven until brown and mushy and starting to deflate. Remove from heat, shock in cold water, and peel. Combine eggplant insides in a blender, food processor, or standing mixer with whisk, along with salt, a few Tbsp tahini, juice of 1/4 lemon, and one minced smoked paprika peppers, to taste. Transfer to small serving bowl, sprinkle liberally with crushed dried paprika, and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Green hummus. Shell a pound and a half of washed fresh garbanzo beans. Boil beans 40 minutes until soft. Drain, and transfer to blender, food processor, or standing mixer with whisk. Combine with a few Tbsp tahini, a Tbsp olive oil, juice of 1/4 lemon, one clove or more minced garlic, salt, and three sprigs minced parsley to taste. Transfer to small serving bowl, sprinkle liberally with crushed dried sumac berry, and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Side of feta and olives. In a small serving bowl, combine 1/4 lb pitted kalamata olives, 1/4 lb goat's feta in 1/4-inch cubes, three sprigs fresh oregano, juice of 1/4 lemon, and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Dolmas. Cook one cup dried brown rice (1.5 cup salted water, covered, brought to a boil, reduced to simmer 30 minutes, then left to steam at least 20 minutes until ready). Since you don't have much experience rolling dolmas, you'll use more grape leaves than really optimal, so prepare to use half a 1-pt jar of pickled grape leaves. Roll 10 large dolmas.
  6. Salad. Wash and remove stems from one bunch purslane. Wash and chop 6 baby lemon cucumbers. Combine purslane, cucumbers, and juice of 1/4 lemon, salt, and olive oil.

Refrigerate everything before serving, and pair with a chilled white wine for a fantastic summer dinner. Total cook time: three hours or so of continuous work for two?

1 comment:

Theo said...

For photos from a similar meal, see this later entry.