Tuesday, December 1, 2009
This month's Walima Cooking Club challenge is representing the Lebanese Cuisine.
We share this recipe also with the Turkish cuisine and with a little difference in preparation, they call it "mantee" or "manti" and the shish barak word that we use is I would say comes from the Turkish and Balkan word "burek". I used the manti this time in my recipe which is the dough filled with meat, it's the same except that it comes in a different shape. In Lebanon, we shape it (the Sheesh Barak) like tortellini.
Here are the ingredients as given by Walima Club founder Arlette from Phoenician Gourmet blog:
Lebanese Style Sheesh Barak
1 ½ kg of plain Greek style yogurt or home made
1/2 quantity of Ajeen or basic dough recipe
3 cloves garlic, crushed with a dash of salt
1 cup finely chopped fresh mint (if fresh is not available use couple spoons dried)
½ kg (16 oz) ground meat (either beef or lamb)
3 medium sized onions, finely chopped
¼ cup fried pine nuts
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
Basic Dough or Ajeen
(this is used in many savory pastries)
1 kg (32 oz / 5 cups) plain flour
1 ¼ cups warm water
½ cup olive oil
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
Sift the flour into a working surface.Mix in salt and sugar. Make a well in the center. Pour olive oil and vegetable oil in the well. Mix the dry ingredients into the liquid. Add water gradually. Knead the dough into a ball (if the dough is too stiff add some water). Knead the dough on a floured working surface until it is smooth and elastic this can be done in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, or in a food processor. Form the dough into a ball and put into a lightly floured bowl, covered with a damp cloth. Leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
For the Cooked Yogurt:
1 1/2 kg of plain Greek Style Yogurt
or home made you can check my blog for home made yogurt (you can check my blog for homemade yogurt)
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 cup water + 1 beaten egg (or egg's white)
Strain yogurt using a smooth colander into a pot. Add egg or egg's white. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 cup of water. Stir into cold yogurt for 2 minutes.Place on medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils.
Preparing the Sheesh Barak:
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about 1 cm thickness. Using a round cookie cutter (medium size), press over dough to get equal rounds.
Fry onion in shortening till color changes a little. Add meat, salt, allspice and cinnamon. Stir occasionally and fry for 7-8 minutes. Add pine nuts and Mix. Drain the mixture as butter would affect closing the pastries.
Spread the round a little with your fingers. Place 1 tspn of the filling on it. Fold over one end to make a semi-circle. Press edges down to seal. Take the two ends from the straight side, bring them together to make a small ring. Press well. Repeat till rounds are done.
You will have left over dough , (this is the best part) roll the remaining dough in thin rope and cut into diagonals. Place the stuffed dough and the cut pastries in a tray with parchment, Bake in a hot oven (400F) for 10 minutes or until golden. During this time prepare and cook the yogurt and when it starts to boil add the baked pastries to the boiling cooked yogurt one by one. Let it boil over low heat for 10 minutes or till pastries are cooked.
Note: The egg and the cornstarch are there as stabilizers so that the yogurt won’t separate.
Make sure to cook the yogurt on medium low heat , high heat could ruin the sauce.
In a separate skillet you’ll want to quickly sautée the garlic and mint in one tbsp extra virgin olive oil and add it to the Sheesh Barak. And cook for another 2 minutes .
Serve hot in bowls, or you can serve with it Lebanese Rice Pilaf with Vermicelli.