Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hummus, Tabbouleh, and Phyllo

New Year's Eve turned out to be a yummy spread of Middle Eastern cuisine, none of which I had planned to make until about 2 hours before. We were just going to order pizza for the kids and another family that joined us. But after making a trip to our local Middle Eastern market and purchasing some fresh pita bread, I got the bug. The cooking bug.

I started out making some home made hummus and slicing up some veggies. I added smoked paprika, fresh garlic and lemon to the hummus. I add only 1 tablespoon of tahini per can of garbanzos to keep the hummus low-fat.

Then I made some Tabbouleh from a package (I've tried from scratch before and it was blah). The Tabbouleh was very tasty topping a pita triangle spread with hummus.

When I was at the market picking up the pita and veggies, I saw they had a big package of blackberries for $3.29! I got them thinking that at the very least I would use them to top a bowl of oatmeal.

After making the hummus and Tabbouleh, I remembered I had some phyllo dough in the freezer that I had always been afraid of using. Today was the day. I had seen a recipe on for Blackberry-Lime Tartletts which fit into my theme merely because they used phyllo dough and I had purchased the berries at the Middle Eastern market! The tartletts were divine!! Light, fruity-sweet, with a touch of tart - a perfect nibble (which I nibbled on all night) - never feeling that uncomfortable fullness of a rich holiday meal. Susan, you are a genius!! How can I ever thank you for all your yummy recipes?

Lastly, I had some left over phyllo dough from the tarletts that I wanted to use up, so my daughter helped me find a yummy filling. Again, on Susan's website. We used the Spinach and Artichoke Pie recipe and instead tucked them inside squares of phyllo we folded over to make into triangles. My daughter and I thought they needed a dipping sauce and after trying a few, settled on a honey-mustard (yellow mustard & brown sugar) sauce which went over very well.

Overall I loved working with phyllo dough! I don't know what I was so scared of. It is flakey and tender, but naturally super low in fat. Making it a perfect choice for subbing out rich pastry-type doughs in desserts, appetizers or more. A few tips on working with phyllo that I learned.
1. Keep it moist. If you have it out on the counter cover with a damp paper towel or cloth.
2. Use about 5 layers to make good "crust"
3. Spray lightly between layers with canola oil - every layer, or just the top and bottom. Have fun Experimenting.

I don't have pics of the Spinach and Artichoke Triangles, it was too dark when I made them, and they were gone that night.

Writing this post reminds me of the children's book entitled, "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" Of which my book should be called, "If You Give A Gal A Garbanzo"

1 comment:

fivejensenboyz said...

The hummus and the tabbouleh were yummy and a perfect thing to take to the hospital! This is a definite make at home yummy thing...especially when you are in a dipping mode! :)


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