We had some friends over for lunch last sunday. The menu was: Hommos, Tabbouleh, Moussaka, Oven Roasted Chicken and Potatoes with Aïoli, BBQ Kafta, and for dessert Baklava and Starfruits. Everything was homemade, and the starfruits were freshly picked form my next door neighbor’s backyard!
Hommos does not need introduction anymore. We find all kind of weird versions everywhere we go,… and of course, we are open to creativity,… but I insist on having my hommos smooth with a creamy texture… otherwise, well,… it’s not “my” hommos! I’m sorry… adding tahini to something does not make it a “hommos”! Call it something else! ha! :)
I received some messages asking me how do I achieve the right texture of hommos. I’m no expert but what I can tell you, is that you have to cook the chickpeas very very (very) well… when you think they’re done… take a deep breath and cook them longer! When you put them in the food processor, to actually make the hommos and tahini dip,… give some time to the machine to do its job… and correct the consistency by adding a little bit of water… You have to find the right balance between the amount of lemon juice, tahini and drops of water to achieve the consistency you like.
The Tabbouleh is a traditional Lebanese salad with parsley, tomato, bulgur, scallions, mint in a lemon-olive-oil dressing with salt and allspice… It was delicious, and I decided to make it more often… it’s not a complicated salad, it just takes a lot of prepping,… but with a little bit of organization, it can be done, easily, without being overwhelming, because it is healthy and de-li-cious!
The Moussaka was divine. It’s a vegetarian dish, with layered eggplants (previously fried or oven roasted) in a sauce made from fresh tomatoes, chickpeas, onions and garlic. You can eat it cold or at room temperature,… and it tastes better as it gets old! I’m in love with anything involving eggplants and this is one of my favorite dishes, ever!
The Oven Roasted Chicken was moist, and the Potatoes turned out beautifully. The grilled Kafta was a huge success as well… all this with some homemade Aïoli on the side,… and you have a nice lunch with friends, in the backyard, in Miami-January! :)
and then came the Baklava,… It was the third time making this recipe… the process gets easier each time… the problem was with the filo dough. I decided to try to make the baklava with “organic filo dough” and that was a huge mistake. Who needs organic filo dough anyway! The dough was drier than the regular one, it was a mess working with it, and cooking it… I was very frustrated! Never again.
That being said,… everyone else loved them, and by the end of the “coffee”… there were no more baklava to look at or to complain about! hahahahaha