Friday, 24 July 2015

Savoury Moroccan fekkas (biscuits) with spicy salami and cheese

Every time I make these savoury biscuits I end up eating more than a handful in one serving. That's how they are addictive. They can perfectly replace a bowl of salty nuts, chips or pretzels on the table.


The last 25 to 30 years have seen these savoury bites starting in Casablanca as a good idea for nibbles among a few families only to become a national treat in many other cities and with various flavouring ingredients and shapes..


This combination I'm posting today is one one my favourites and it's actually one of the firsts we've seen in the market one they started making savoury fekkas in Casablanca. It also gets better in the next days..

We usually make these and place different sorts in the middle of tables during wedding ceremonies, along with roasted salted almonds, to keep the guests busy before the big ceremony starts..

The variety of fekkas I'm proposing today is coin-shaped and is usually between 1 and 2 cm. However, I do personally shape it using small cookie-cutters and serve as it is or as mini-crackers.

When I don't feel cutting the whole batch, I properly wrap the rods of unbaked dough and leave them for another time. It takes 15 minutes to bring them to a decent texture and cut them and another 10 minutes to bake them. Then you end up with another fresh batch of nibbles.





Ingredients
Serves 20 persons 
Prep: 20 min - Chilling: 2 hrs- freezing: 1 hour - Baking: 10 -12 min
  • 1 kg of all purpose flour
  • 250g of butter, soft or in cubes, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp of ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp of harissa paste or chilli powder or flakes (optional)
  • 2 tbsps of Dijon mustard
  • 120 g of soft cheese (kirri, la vache qui rit or philadelphia)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 80 ml of vegetable oil (substitute half with olive oil)
  • 1 clove garlic (pressedor 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 200 g of grated cheese (cheddar or Edam will do)
  • 200g of grated cooked spicy salami or spicy cacher/kacher (Moroccan cold cuts)
  • 1 tbsp of dried thyme or oregano
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water (add as needed to get a dough)

2 varieties of savoury Fekkas


Preparation

Mix all ingredients except the water, spicy salami and thyme. You should get a sort of sandy texture. A food processor can be used to cover this step.

Follow the process described here to shape dough rods and freeze them so you can produce even "coins" of dough at a faster pace.

Preheat the oven at 170 degrees C.

Line the coins of dough next to each others over a baking tray covered with baking sheet.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden and baked from the center. 

You may find some of the fekkas which may have been cut thicker then the others a bit soft from the center; just leave those in the hot oven but with the heat turned off. They'll be perfect after a few minutes.

Store in an airtight containers or in plastic bags for up to 2 weeks.

Like mentioned before, you can freeze unbaked rods of dough for at least a month and pop them out for a few minutes before cutting and baking a new batch of fekkas.

I like these fekkas the next day after they've been baked, they get better by the day and the spicy salami/cacher infuses the flavour even better.



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