Hello everybody and welcome to our first blog entry! Fridays are basically the first day of the weekend in UAE so we decided to devote it to cooking - not very uncommon - and sharing our first recipes. At first we decided to do one recipe that would involve eggplants. I happened to go to the farmer's market the day before and I came upon some really nice locally grown eggplants. Finding locally grown veggies is common at this time of the year here, but come summer and nothing survives the unbearable heat of the dessert. So I seized the opportunity...And turns out I did good in buying plenty because we ended up creating two recipes. Our friend Veronica came over with her boyfriend and she has been asking me to teach her how to make phyllo dough for the longest time. So Kostas said you know what why don't we also make a pie? This way you can teach her how to roll the phyllo and we can also make a not so common pie...eggplant pie! Veronica went to bring her special for phyllo rolling stick - the one that she made in the machine shop in the company she works after measuring mine - and we decided that the second recipe would be eggplant rolls with meat because just stuffing ourselves with pie would not be enough... Again we chose well because turns out another friend popped up - Alex. We never feel lonely in our house...:)
We decided to start with the pie first cause it is time consuming and I would have to teach Veronica also on how to make the dough and how to roll the phyllo. Usually it takes me 15 minutes to roll open 10 phyllo...but when you want something to work it actually never does... I wanted to teach Veronica and show her the proper way, which I did, but my phyllo for some reason would not roll out nice and round :( It would curl around the edges, shred in the middle, and basically came out as you will see in the picture as the worse phyllo ever. I mean come on really?! this NEVER happens! But oh well we had to work with what we had because at the end it is mostly about the taste and turns out the appearance was not too shabby either.
I have to admit that eggplant pie is one of my favourite pies and not so known, which is a shame because it tastes delicious! My mom makes it often and when Kostas tasted it for the first time he thought there was ground beef in it. He could not believe that there was no meat ingredient in it! But there is a secret ingredient...cracked wheat (bulgur) trahana! Trahana is a dried food that we usually make into a soup on cold winter nights. It has many forms, for example it can be made of flour and fermented milk (cow's sheep's or goat's) or cracked wheat and milk etc. The process to make it is lengthy and we usually get ours from relatives who make it during the summer but you can buy it also online. If you can get your hands in homemade trahana don't pass the chance! Now if you can't buy trahana then add some cracked wheat (bulgur) and although it won't be the same it will definitely add something to it. The recipe and process to make the pie follows below. When the pie was made and in the oven we decided to make the other recipe. Rolled eggplant with meat. Now this is yummy! Smells like summer and it is relatively easy to make. We suggest you use a pressure cooker to cook the meat...makes life much easier! Recipe follows after the delicious pie! We hope you enjoy our first recipes! See you soon with more to come!
Kali oreksi! (bon apetit in greek)
Kostas, Dia, and Tony
Ingredients for the phyllo:
Ingredients for the filling:
for more information on how to make the pie please click here
Eggplants rolls with beef
for more information on how to make the eggplant rolls with meat please click here
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The Greek cuisine