Makes about 2 dozen briouats
As a French protectorate from 1912 until 1956, Morocco became home to a number of French speaking immigrants, including some from the former French colony of Indochina. Through their influence, Chinese rice vermicelli have become a common item in almost every large city marche', or market. Rice vermicelli have predictably found their way into a number of Moroccan recipes, including this one for briouats. My friend Ahlam Lemseffer even serves them Vietnamese style, wrapped in fresh lettuce and cilantro!
2 ounces Chinese rice vermicelli
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
12 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
6 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
Vegetable oil for frying
To make the filling:
In a medium bowl, cover the vermicelli with hot water. Let stand for 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a colander and drain well. Finely chop the vermicelli, return them to the bowl, and set aside.
In the meantime, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Cook the onion and shrimp, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp turns pink, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Coarsely chop the shrimp. Combine the shrimp and onion mixture with the vermicelli, paprika, cilantro, cumin, lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
To make triangular-shaped briouats:
Set the stacked phyllo on a work surface. With the long edge of the phyllo toward you, and using a sharp knife, cut through the stacked sheets of dough to make 4 equal sections, each about 4-1/2 inches wide. Work with 1 strip of phyllo at a time, keeping the rest of the phyllo covered with a damp towel. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling about 1 inch from the bottom edge of the strip. Fold a corner of the strip over the filling so the bottom edge is flush with the long edge. Continue folding as you would a flag, to obtain a triangular shape. Use the beaten egg to seal the free edge. Repeat the process until all the filling has been used.
To make egg roll-shaped briouats:
with the long edge of the phyllo facing you, and using a sharp knife, cut vertically through the stacked sheets of dough to make 4 equal sections, each about 4-1/2 inches wide. Work with 1 strip of phyllo at a time, keeping the rest of the phyllo covered with a damp towel. Place t tablespoon of the filling at the base of the strip. Fold over the long sides and roll up. Use the beaten egg to seal the free edge. Repeat the process until all the filling is used.
The briouats are now ready for frying or freezing . To fry, preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
In a heavy medium saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 325 degrees F., or until a piece of phyllo dropped into it sizzles instantly. Fry a few of the briouats until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining briouats in small batches. Serve immediate.
Cooking at the Kasbah
Recipes From My Moroccan Kitchen
By Kitty Morse
156 pages, 50 color photographs.
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created January 1999
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