It's the weekend, which means I actually have time to cook!
Last night we went to Texas de Brazil, that glorious house of delicious steak bites and Parmesan chicken and garlic-crusted pork and an unfairly vast salad bar. We kind of jumped the gun on celebrating Andy's graduation, Christmas, and two and a half years together (which have been amazing, and I absolutely can't wait for whatever's next.)
But this evening I rejoiced in cooking for myself again.
I saw this recipe on Saveur.com, and I set out to recreate it as best I could with the help of Fresh Market. I was unable to find semolina or red Holland chiles, but I substituted brown rice flour and Anaheim green peppers.
I began by chopping up the onions, carrots, and chile.
Then I put the mixture into my food processor and chopped the vegetables up until they were finely processed.
I heated up three tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high and added the vegetable mixture. I cooked them, stirring often, for about twenty minutes--until all the components were very soft and tender.
Then I stirred in the tomato paste. After a few minutes, I added the freshly crushed tomatoes to the mixture. I continued to cook in a very stirry fashion for about forty to forty-five minutes.
Meanwhile, I made the crepe dough. I combined the rice flour, salt, and water in a bowl, kneading it together in a large ball. I then formed six smaller balls out of the motherlode.
I froze four of these balls--planning to make more crepes soon with different fillings! One with ham, swiss, dijon, and a bechamel sauce sounds absolutely delicious--and let the others rest under loosely draped plastic wrap for thirty minutes.
Once the filling was done caramelizing, I stirred in the chopped cilantro and set it aside to cool.
I took the dough balls one at a time and placed them on a (highly) floured work surface, sprinkling more flour on top, because these buggers were sticky.
I used the heel of my palm to press the dough out, flattening it into a vague rectangle about 10x12.
|Mid-pressing. I would never commit any dough-wielding crimes, because the fingerprints would be a nightmare.|
I then gently lifted the long sides of the rectangle with a flour-dusted pastry cutter and folded them over the filling.
Then I folded over the shorter sides. I heated up a 12" skillet to medium and carefully placed the crepe seam-side down, toasting it for about eight minutes on each side.
And here we have it! A nice, fairly healthy and exotic Sunday night dinner!
Mahjouba (Algerian Crepes)
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 Anaheim pepper, de-stemmed, de-seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 14-oz can whole, peeled tomatoes
3 cups brown rice flour
1 3/4 cups water
2 tablespoons salt