Though the Middle East has many specific regional and national cuisines, one item ties them all together: aromatic spices. Middle Eastern cooking also features many ingredients in common, like pita, honey, sesame seeds, sumac, chickpeas, mint and parsley.
These lovely slender crisps of filo filled with sweetened nuts are as heavenly as baklava, much easier to prepare and to eat, and lower in calories and fat. Nuts provide protein and healthy quantities of fiber, as well as containing traces of many important elements necessary to good health.
1/2 package (16 oz.) frozen filo dough, completely defrosted
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (optional)
1/2 cup almonds or pistachios, pulverized in food processor with
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1. Prepare the syrup in advance and chill in the refrigerator.
2. Combine the filling ingredients.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 1 or 2 baking sheets.
4. Cut the filo in half crosswise and again in half, stacking the covering with a slightly dampened towel to prevent drying. Lay 2 rectangles on your work surface with the shorter sides facing you, and brush lightly with melted butter.
5. Place a rounded tablespoon of the filling in a line across the shorter side of filo that faces you. Fold the longer edges of the pastry inward, sealing in the sides of the filling, and roll the pastry up from the short side, forming a fat cigar shape. Place on the baking sheet with the cut edge down. Repeat with remaining dough.
6. Brush the tops of the pastries lightly with a bit of beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
8. Dip the warm fingers into cool Sweet Syrup and arrange on a serving tray. Serve at room temperature.
The Arabian Delights
by Anne Marie Weiss-Armush
$15.00 / paperback
Lowell House, 1994
Recipe reprinted by permission.
from Kate's Global Kitchen
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This page modified January 2007
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