Friday, 27 March 2015

Moroccan shrimp and vegetable triangles (briouates)

These light briouats are just good for a quick savoury bite, as a starter to a lunch or dinner, as an afternoon snack. They're also perfect for buffets and gathering.

Like I explained in my previous post about Moroccan rolls with pickles, there are some Chinese ingredients which have found their way to the Moroccan pantry for years now. I'm thinking rice vermicelli, fish sauce and soy sauce. So do not be surprised if you find these in some Moroccan recipes.


As for briouats which means (small letters/envelops), they're triangular bites looking like samosas. We usually use Moroccan warqa/ouarka (thin sheets which you can replace with brik or phyllo) to wrap a filling. They were/are usually fried but, having had a father who always suffered from staggering levels of cholesterol, we've been baking anything briouats or sbiaats (rolls) since I can ever remember.

Baking briouats and sbiaats preserve the flavours and is better for your health, which makes these little bites very healthy.

Now you may have seen these pictures posted more than 2 years in the blog's facebook page. I just get to post the recipe which is more of a guideline.

Ingredients
Serves 8 as a starter
Prep: 20 min- baking: 13-15 min

Filling
  • 300 g of uncooked shrimp/prawn, shelled and finely chopped or ground (replace with chicken breast if you don't like shrimps)
  • 200 g of white filet of fish (cod, whiting..)
  • 1/2 cup of green peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of onions or shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of zucchini/courgette, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of button mushroom or anything available, chopped
  • 1 cup of carrots, grated
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbps of coriander, chopped 
  • 1 tsp of chives, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup of grated cheese (Edam, cheddar..)
  • 1/2 tsp of ground ginger or 1 tsp freshly grated
  • 3 leaves of lettuce
  • 2 tbps of soy sauce
  • 1 hot chili, finely chopped (optional)
  • 3 tbps of olive oil
  • Black and white pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
For wrapping
  • A few ouarka/phyllo/brik sheets at room temperature
  • 70 g of clarified butter, melted

Serve with this mix
  • 3 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice
  • Harissa to taste




Preparation

In a fairly hot pan, add the oil followed by vegetables and garlic. Stir.

Add the spices, the shrimps and the fish filet into big pieces. Stir. Cook for a few minutes. Keep the vegetables al-dente and reduced from any excess liquid. Set aside to cool, preferably in a strainer



Squeeze the mix before using, mix the cheese, the soy sauce, the herbs and shredded or chopped lettuce in. Stir.

Take strips of warka/ouarka or phyllo, Brush with butter from one side. Form briouates (triangles) or sbiaates (rolls) or even mini-pies (bastilla) and seal.

The same recipe shaped as mini-bastillas (Moroccan pies)

You could use egg yolk for that if you really have to but I just place the end at the bottom so it seals itself while baking.



Preheat the oven at 180-190 degrees C. Cover a baking tray with parchment or just oil it.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Flip them to make sure they're nicely golden from both sides.

Serve warm or at room temperature (maximum a couple of hours after baking them).


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Moroccan baked Rghaifs with vegetables, a family favourite

My husband is not into vegetables. Anything beside potatoes, green peas and tomatoes does not really go down his throat without me making some drama.

But then whenever I make my mother's Rghaifs with vegetables, he eats a couple with a smile on his face.


I have already posted the recipe in French a few years ago but now I decided to translate it since the blog has a wide English-speaking audience. 

Non egg-washed vegetable Rghaifs
We make extra Rghaifs and we freeze them for another day. They just need to go to a hot oven (without thawing them).

Ideally, cooked vegetables al-dente help them to keep their shape after Rghaif bake
(which is a second cooking time for the vegetables as they steam inside).


This is a family recipe ..



IngredientsFor 15 small Rghaifs
Prep: 60 min / Cooking time: 20 min

Rghaif/Msemmen dough

  • 250g of strong white flour
  • 250g of fine semolina flour
  • A pinch of dried instant yeast (optional)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 260-280 ml of water, lukewarm
For laminating the Rghaifs
  • 100 ml of vegetable oil 
  • 200 g of fine semolina flour
Extras for finishing and baking
  • 1 egg yolk for egg wash (optional)
  • Oil for the baking trays
Vegetable filling
  • 1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups of grated courgettes/zuccini
  • 2 cups of grated carrots
  • 2 cups of grated potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup of grated white or purple turnip
  • 1/2 cup of sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, grated or finely crushed
  • 1 cup of coriander and parsley, chopped
  • 1 cube of bouillon or equivalent in powder
  • 3 tbps of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tbps of sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne (optional)
Egg-washed small Rghaifs with vegetables

Preparation


Make the vegetable filling

In a non stick plan, stir all the ingredients together and cook the vegetables for no more than 5 minutes. When they're finely grated, they will cook quite fast. 

Since potatoes are in the mix, they tend to get the mix to stick at the bottom of the pan so just keep stirring.


It's better to grate the vegetables and cook them just about Al dente

Correct the seasoning and set aside to cool in a strainer. Squeeze to get rid of excess liquid if any.


You could also cut the vegetables in tiny cubes 

Make Rghaif/Msemmen dough


Mix all ingredients with 3/4 of the water. Knead for 10 minutes by machine or 20 minutes by hand Add the 1/4 of water progressively during the kneading process when needed.

The dough should be smooth and kneaded to a perfect elasticity. Cover and set aside to rest for 15-20 minutes so the dough relaxes a bit.

Shape vegetable Rghaifs

Oil your hands, make balls the size of an apricot and smear them with oil (see how we shape the balls here. Place all the dough balls in an oiled tray.

 Cover with foil or cling film while you prepare the work top and preheat the oven at 180 degrees.. Place them on a table or an oiled tray.

Roll the balls one by one with the palm of the hand and then with oiled fingers gently stretching the dough in all directions until it is thin (transparent) and spread evenly. Sprinkle with fine semolina flour (optional).



The process of making mini- Rghaifs with vegetables
(click on the picture to make it bigger)

Place a few tablespoons of the vegetable filling and shape a Rghifa square by folding the opposite sides on each others. At this stage, the filled square should from 6 to 12 cm large. 

If you want to make them slightly bigger (more than 6 cm), you could double the dough layer (see post related to Msemmen). In this case, you can also put in more filling.





Place on a baking sheet and leave about 15 cm space around each Rghifa. Flatten slightly and brush with egg wash (optional). They should be around 10 cm (from 6 cm) and 18 cm from (12 cm) large by now. 

Baking Rghaifs

Make preheat the oven to 180-200 degrees C depending how big the oven is. Bake for about 20 min or until golden from top and bottom,



You will need a good glass of tea with mint to digest ..


Traditional Moroccan Rghaifs with spiced onion and Khlii

I love having these baked onions and khlii Rghaifs for lunch. Actually, one of my aunties makes them better than anyone else in the family. She makes them about 8 cm square with a fine layer of dough. Perfection! Whenever she invites me for lunch, she knows I'll ask for them. So it became a tradition. My mother comes second in the family when it comes to making these..

I posted the recipe in French, a few years ago. It's one of the most viewed on this blog. I even get the pictures stolen and put in some caterers's pages and blogs.


Anyway, Rghaifs with spiced onion and khlii are a bit heavy. They're served for lunch as a starter, hot with a hot glass of Moroccan tea. Any dish that comes after should be really light. We never served them with cold salads. Khlii and its sediments called agriche (a must in this recipe) contain a bit of fat, so a cold salad and these filled laminated pancakes will clash in your stomach.

We make extra Rghaifs and we freeze them for another day. They just need to go to a hot oven (without thawing them).

This is a family recipe ..

A new way of shaping Rghaif


Ingredients
For 15-20 small Rghaifs
Prep: 60 min / Cooking time: 20 min

Rghaif/Msemmen dough
  • 250g of strong white flour
  • 250g of fine semolina flour
  • A pinch of dried instant yeast (optional)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 260-280 ml of water, lukewarm
For laminating the Rghaifs
  • 100 ml of vegetable oil 
  • 200 g of fine semolina flour
Extras for finishing and baking
  • 1 egg yolk for egg wash (optional)
  • Oil for the baking trays
Khlii and onion filling
  • 4 medium-size onions, grated or finely chopped
  • 200g of khlii shredded or cut into small pieces
  • 6 tbps of agriche (mostly the sediments)
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley 
  • 1 tbps of sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne (optional)
  • 1 tsp of salt 
  • Pepper 

Roughly shaped Rghaif, served with Harissa in the centre.


Preparation

Make the filling

Place a pan over medium heat. Fry the onions in a bit of Khlii's fat. When the onions become transparent and cooked through, add the remaining ingredients and stir. Set away from the heat.Set aside to cool.



Make Rghaif/Msemmen dough

Mix all ingredients with 3/4 of the water. Knead for 10 minutes by machine or 20 minutes by hand Add the 1/4 of water progressively during the kneading process when needed.

The dough should be smooth and kneaded to a perfect elasticity. Cover and set aside to rest for 15-20 minutes so the dough relaxes a bit.

Shape onions and Khlii Rghaifs

Oil your hands, make balls the size of an apricot and smear them with oil (see how we shape the balls here. Place all the dough balls in an oiled tray.

Cover with foil or cling film while you prepare the work top and preheat the oven at 180 degrees.. Store them on a table or an oiled tray.

Roll the balls one by one with the palm of the hand and then with oiled fingers gently stretching the dough in all directions until it is thin (transparent) and spread evenly. Sprinkle with fine semolina flour (optional).

Classic method of folding small stuffed Rghaifs. They should
be filled generously. (Here: the stuffing is with vegetables)

Place a couple of tablespoons of filling and shape a Rghifa square by folding the opposite sides on each others. At this stage, the filled square should be no more than 6 cm large.

A modern way of shaping Small Rghaifs (here with onion and agriche only)

Place on a baking sheet and leave about 15 cm space around each Rghifa. Flatten slightly and brush with egg wash (optional). They should be around 10 cm large by now.


Baking Rghaifs

Make preheat the oven to 180-200 degrees C depending how big the oven is. Bake for about 20 min until golden from top and bottom,

You will need a good glass of tea with mint to digest ..


Notes


The star ingredients of this version of Rghaif are Khlii and agriche 

To make a traditional khlii, follow this recipe

To make an express version of Khlii, follow this recipe



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