Mediterranean Night

04.04 Dinner
Yup we went all over the Mediterranean last night. Cranberry Feta Pinwheels (they sounded really yummy, and feta is Mediterranean, right??? 🙂 ), flatbread, falafel patties, couscous, and tzatziki sauce (because someone I know LOVES cucumbers).

Okay, we’ll start with the bad. This was really the only thing I didn’t like about last night’s dinner, other than the fact that it was way too much too cooking for me. The falafel. I wanted to try a new recipe, and I didn’t want to deep fry (because that takes for freaking ever if you don’t have a big fryer). This was the worst recipe to try and follow. I like conversational recipes, like Hillbilly Housewife, but this was a little too conversational. Also, I followed the recipe darn near exactly. I even went out and spent $6 on a jar of tahini that it will take me forever to go through. What I got in my food processor was not a coarse paste. I got a smooth puree. I mean the kind of puree that drips. I added a couple of tablespoons of flour, but that didn’t really help. There was no way I was making patties out of this in my hands. So I dropped it by about 1/4 cupfuls into the pan, fried one side, flipped and squashed into a patty, fried the second side, flipped and fried the first again. And it was still gummy inside. The flavor was nice, but the consistency was definitely all wrong.
Tzatziki Sauce
The Tzatziki Sauce was wonderful. I picked up vanilla yoghurt, because my store doesn’t carry plain in anything but the enormous containers, and I wasn’t sure I would use it all before it went bad. I also used fresh mint out of my garden. Uber yummy! It was sweet in a way that I’m not used to in tzatziki, but it tasted really nice.
Cranberry Feta Pinwheels
Oh, these were very yummy. I made them exactly according to the recipe (after switching to US measurements), and I suggest you do, too. Now. 🙂
Flatbread
Mmmmm, flatbread. I love bread, any kind, but homemade flatbread, especially this nice fluffy thick stuff, well, it’s heaven. I got the recipe from Epicurean Cooking School, when DD had a pizza cooking birthday party there earlier this year. This is not a quick and easy recipe. Well, it’s easy, but not quick.

Flatbread
30 minutes prep time, 1 hour rise time, 30 minutes cook time
serves 6, easily

1 package rapid rise dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 T. sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 – 1/2 to 3 cups AP flour
1 T. salt dissolved in 2 T. water
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra

  1. In a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by dissolving it in the warm water with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Let stand 2 minutes. The mixture should look foamy and start to smell yeasty.
  2. Turn mixer on low and start adding the flour. How much you add depends on the humidity, you want it to not be a really sticky dough. Once you have the whole wheat flour and 2 cups of the white flour in, add the salt water, and then the oil. Let this come together into one mass and then check to see whether it needs more flour or not. If needed add, some flour, let it mix a while and test again.
  3. Then set your mixer to medium speed and let it knead your dough until it becomes elastic and smooth, maybe 8 minutes, scraping down the dough ball occasionally.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, and fold it over a few times, forming it into a nice smooth ball. Place this into a bowl that has been lightly oiled and roll it around a few times to completely cover the ball. This will prevent the dough ball from forming a skin on it while it is rising. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  5. Place in a warm place until it doubles in size, 45 minutes to one hour.
  6. Once it has doubled, take dough and separate it into 6 smaller balls. On a clean unfloured surface, roll out each of these balls to about a 1/2″ thickness.
  7. Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Do not use non-stick for this. Once your pan is very hot, place one flatbread in it. Turn after 2 minutes. Remove after 2 more minutes. Repeat with the rest of the flatbread.

And the couscous?
1 – 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup couscous
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained

Heat water and apricots over hgih heat until boiling. Add couscous and remove from heat. Let it sit for 5 minutes, and then stir to remove most of the clumps. Add the tomatoes. Reheat if necessary because dinner is taking way too long to make.

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