Friday, July 27, 2007

Cool recipes...and not so cool couscous

After three days cooking elaborate meals for visiting relatives, and preparing relays of trays in between, winding up with a huge barbecue in the (tiny) garden, what could be more irresistible than this title: 101 10-minute recipes?

I really enjoyed having my favourite aunt over, but sweltering heat just doesn't go well with the oven and the hob, you end up looking like a sweaty tomato with a terrible rash...or as the article puts it "the pleasures of cooking are sometimes obscured by summer haze".

Anyway so there are lots of nifty ideas, but one just seems a desecration of couscous:

Soak couscous in boiling water to cover until tender; top with sardines, tomatoes,
parsley, olive oil and black pepper.

Is it just me or does that just scream YUK?

My favourite Libyan cool summer recipe is Sala6a 3arabiya, really simple. What you do is:

  • Roughly chop a lot of really ripe tomatoes, finely chop a bunch of parsely and add thinly sliced chillis, diced cucumber and tiny black olives.
  • Combine oil from the olive jar if you have some home-made stuff, or just regular olive oil, with lime or lemon juice and salt. Mix the dressing with the salad and chill in the fridge for a half-hour or so.
  • To make it more substantial it's common to add bite size pieces of khubzit she3eir, khubzit tannour, or those ubiquitous french baguettes. The essence of the thing is to use your hands to squeeze and knead and generally mess up your salad, so the bread really soaks up the juices.

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