Egyptian home cooking!

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Ketteract
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2016/11/15 19:45:36 (permalink)

Egyptian home cooking!

My neighbor in the next apartment over hails originally from Egypt.  Her family moved to New Jersey when she was 10.  Here are some wonderful leftovers that she brought back to me one day!
 

 
Clockwise from left: 
 
- green beans in a spiced tomato sauce; the linked recipe is pretty similar
- I haven't been able to get the name of this one yet, but it was a soft wrap with a potato filling that clearly contained turmeric, and tasted similarly to an Indian masala dosa
- underneath that, two links of very, very tasty coarse-ground chicken sausage
- phyllo, an absolutely amazing pastry layered with ground meat (chicken in this case)
- egga/eggah, basically an Egyptian omelet or frittata; this one had broccoli, scallions, olives, and one or two other veggies
 
Here's another plate that I had at work.  You can see the egga and the filling in the potato-wrap a little better.
 

 
The phyllo was probably my favorite, because it was both delicious and so different from anything I'd ever had before.  Everything was delicately spiced, and more subdued than, say, the powerful flavors of Indian food.  Wonderful, just wonderful.
 
Not sure when I'll next be able to snag some leftovers, but I'm told there are always a ton!
post edited by Ketteract - 2016/11/15 19:52:29
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    leethebard
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2016/11/15 20:10:08 (permalink)
    Love trying new cuisine. That looks amazing. 
    #2
    mar52
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2016/11/15 20:30:04 (permalink)
    How nice of your neighbor!  Egyptian food looks like I'd love it.
     
    I live next door (share a wall) with http://www.latimes.com/food/la-fo-five-questions-20151024-story.html
     
    He brings me nothing. 
    #3
    Root-Beer Man
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2016/11/15 20:43:17 (permalink)
    You have a great neighbour! Those pics make me homesick for Cairo. Egyptians, by and large, are some of the nicest people around. And the food is great. Wish I had a neighbour like that!
    #4
    Ketteract
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2016/11/15 20:52:06 (permalink)
    Root-Beer Man
    You have a great neighbour! Those pics make me homesick for Cairo. Egyptians, by and large, are some of the nicest people around. And the food is great. Wish I had a neighbour like that!




    I've heard quite a lot about Egypt from my neighbor - for instance, that it's an artistic and cultural beacon for pretty much all Arab countries (the Wikipedia article supports this) - oh, and that Egyptair, the national airline, is apparently so awesome that if you use them to fly, and you have a layover in Cairo long enough for a night's stay, they will pay for your room, and an enormous buffet, at a certain very nice hotel (Le Passage). How's that for hospitality?
     

     
    I'm hoping I get to visit soon!
    #5
    tmiles
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2016/11/16 08:40:42 (permalink)
    Indulge me here.....
    A late friend was a retired teacher, and he had just about the perfect retirement.......if being happy and enjoying new friends was his goal. He founded the defunct Deltagraph Company, which sounds high tech, but it's main business was sending one escorted tour per year to Egypt. Although he was Irish American, he had deep ties in Egypt. I never learned much about Andy's life, because he was always so interested in hearing other people talk.
     
    He escorted each tour himself, and had a personal relationship with his suppliers, most of whom were more friend than supplier. He cxld his last, sold out, tour when his friends warned him of coming troubles, and although he could have continued to sell a sold out tour every year, he never ran one again. The last time that I saw him, he seemed healthy, and was considering a new tour. 
     
    Andy was a bit of a liberal (after all, we live in Massachusetts), and although he didn't like to talk about himself, he liked to cite Egypt as a country full of hard working, good, people, who had been poorly governed for hundreds or thousands of years. He always said, "Look what they do when they come here!" I know that a few of his contacts have come here and opened restaurants, but sad to say, I can't say where/what they are. RIP
    post edited by tmiles - 2016/11/16 08:42:42
    #6
    Ketteract
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2016/11/16 17:52:26 (permalink)
    I would have loved to meet your late friend. I'm sure I'd have had dozens of questions for him.
     
    Looking through restaurant listings in both MA and CT, it seems like anything that draws in the keyword "Egyptian" turns out to be more generically Middle Eastern.  I'm wondering if a trip to NYC would be required for a specifically Egyptian establishment... but then, why do that when I have homemade fare available? 
    post edited by Ketteract - 2016/11/16 17:53:30
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    BelleReve
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2016/11/16 19:10:49 (permalink)
    Everything looks delicious.  If you bought the ingredients, would your neighbor come over and show you how to cook those dishes?
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    mar52
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2016/11/16 20:46:04 (permalink)
    BelleReve
    Everything looks delicious.  If you bought the ingredients, would your neighbor come over and show you how to cook those dishes?




    Wouldn't that be fun!  Great idea for a multi-ethnic neighborhood.
    #9
    Ketteract
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2018/05/14 20:43:26 (permalink)
    BelleReve
    If you bought the ingredients, would your neighbor come over and show you how to cook those dishes?




    This has now happened... but with a different dish!
     
    This weekend, we made macaroni bechamel.  Her family makes it on special occasions, or really just whenever they're in the mood.  Their version includes the usage of tomato sauce, which, according to the suspiciously-written Wikipedia article, is the "widely contested, inferior" version.   
     
    You start by cooking a ton of penne, then browning some ground beef with onions, garlic, clove, cardamom, cinnamon, parsley, salt, and black pepper.  Cook that down with a little tomato sauce.  At the same time, assemble a basic bechamel sauce, with a whole lot of black pepper.  After everything's ready, layer a baking pan with, in order, sauce, pasta + sauce, beef, grated Parmesan, pasta+ sauce, then sauce.  Bake at 350 F for a million years then broil for a little while to brown the top.
     

     
    Here's a cutaway view of a cold slice - doing it cold offers the best view of the structure.
     

     
    Just amazing.  I think anyone that tried this would notice the beef first (you've never had beef flavored like this before, trust me) and the peppery bechamel second.  I'll emphasize that there's no one way to do this dish; it seems like it's really a family affair, and everyone has their own version.  This may be the only one that I ever get to have!
    post edited by Ketteract - 2018/05/14 20:44:50
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    ann peeples
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2018/05/15 07:44:46 (permalink)
    Looks and sounds wonderful!
    #11
    leethebard
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2018/05/15 09:23:22 (permalink)
    Looks great. Sounds like a close cousin to Lasagna, often made with bechamel sauce.
    #12
    hatteras04
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2018/05/15 10:14:01 (permalink)
    Looks like an Egyptian version of Pastitsio.  
    #13
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2018/05/15 12:36:46 (permalink)
    hatteras04
    Looks like an Egyptian version of Pastitsio.  


    Beat me to it.
    #14
    Ketteract
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2018/07/09 15:57:11 (permalink)
    Another day, another interesting Egyptian dish!  Made last night with my friend's assistance:
     

     
    This is koshari - a street food whose essential form is, from the bottom up, a rice-and-lentils base, pasta (usually ditalini), a spiced and vinegar-heavy tomato sauce, and caramelized onions.  Chickpeas are often included.  As you can imagine, there are multiple different cultural influences present in this dish.
     
    Back in 2013, a restaurant specifically featuring koshari opened in London.  They appear to have gone to great lengths to maintain authenticity.
     

     

     

     
     
     
    #15
    JoyB
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    Re: Egyptian home cooking! 2018/07/10 08:31:34 (permalink)
    Many of these dishes mirror those of my Greek background. For example, the chicken and phyllo dish is called "Kotopita" and we make it fairly often. Some of the spices are more middle eastern than we use but many are the same as well. Cinnamon is in many of the Greek dishes like the baked macaroni with the bechamel sauce. As someone pointed out that is called "pastitsio" and is a much beloved Greek classic. I have had it both with and without tomato sauce and beef. Such good food in that part of the world. Lucky you that your neighbor shares it with you! 
    #16
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