Middle Eastern Cuisine, From Scratch

It's that time again.  Yep, from scratch weekends, here we go.  Since we are both off from work on Monday for Martin Luther King Day, we decided to do our big culinary "from scratch" adventure on Sunday.  We just finished up and I am STUFFED!

This week we decided to make middle eastern food...could be Israeli, could be Egyptian, could be anything in between, so just a good ol' fashioned mid-east FEAST.  For those of you not familiar with 'from scratch weekends' click here to learn more.  We have already done an Italian meal and an Indian meal.  So far so good as we started this with the new year, well right after NYE.

Anywho...on to the meal.  Starting with the the longest part of the meal, the bread.  The pita bread that is!!!

This was a pretty easy looking recipe and I was excited it alowed me to use my bread machine to mix the dough and let it rise.

Can we stay oh so sticky dough...oh no!

So we added some mroe flour and that helped some.  This recipe made 8 pieces of pita bread.

Yeah, I learned today that with sticky dough I am really not good at making nice round circles.  Oopsies. 

But in the end, they did poof up nicely in the oven and we were able to get a nice pocket inside.

See, not so bad with the finished product.  We crispied a few and they didn't form pockets, but that was ok because we turned them into awesome pita chips for later.

What is any good middle eastern meal without falafel.  Garbanzos here we come!

Score!  Ryan actually got to use his mortar and pestle to grind up some corriander seeds.

Slap chop once again came in handy.  It does garlic and onions really well, but everything else we have tried so far, not so much.

Oh yes, I totally used a potato masher to mash these suckers up.

Cute little balls of mashed chick peas.

Fry time!

Ok, not so crispy on the outside.  As long as they taste good, who cares what they look like.  Part of 'from scratch weekends' is having fun and trying new things.  Remember, looks aren't everything...

Ah, and the final product for this meal...that's right...the hummus.  I had to find a recipe that would work for us since we did not have tahini.  None to be found on the island, and I could have truly made it from scratch too, but I would have had to track down more seasame seeds to roasted and so I decided to pass.  Plus, tahini is not my fave.

Pretty nice if I do say so myself.  Not the best because the best of the best of all hummus comes from my step dad's mom.  It is super authentic since she is from Egypt.

What is any meal from the mid-east/Mediterranean without feta cheese and olives.

As usual, the fancy table set up!  Complete with candles lit.

Pita sandwich making time, here we go.

Spread some hummus on both sides, shove in some lettuce, tomato slices, a little feta, 2 falafel balls, and top with a tad more feta.

Another angle on this.

DELISH!  Another 'from scratch weekends' success.

If you are wondering why we are already finished eating dinner, we are 4 hours ahead of east coast time, and this was also an early dinner since we had a late breakfast.

QUESTION:  Do you like Middle Eastern Foods?  What is your fave mid-east dish?  I worked at an Egyptian restaurant for years and I love, love, love all vegetarian foods from this region?

There are also some great giveaways going on, so let me give you the scoop:

1) If you like chocolate you will want to enter this giveaway of Theo Chocolate (ends Jan 22) from An Apple a Day.  She also has 2 Greek yogurt giveaways still going on.  One for Chobani (ends Jan 22) and one for Oikos (ends Jan 21).

2) Katie, from Chocolate Covered Katie, is giving away a super duper awesome Vitamix 5200 blender.

3) Andrea of Andrea's Wellness Notes is giving away a copy of Core Performance for Women, a book she has just reviewed on her blog.  Ends Jan 21.


Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

What a great meal! I love everything! Great job!

All of our meals this weekend have been really simple (and mostly made from scratch). But you have inspired me to step out of my comfort zone a bit more again...

Gina; The Candid RD said...

Lovely!! This is my FAVORITE type of ethnic cuisine. My friend Smita has us over sometimes (she's from India) and makes us a from scratch Indian meal, which always includes pita bread (called naan, right?) and lots of chickpeas.

The first of the from scratch weekends looks great!

thanks for your comment on my blog earlier. I liked your advice for how to deal with buffets. I think making a plan is a great idea, before you just go up there and grab whatever you see!

Abby (Abbys Vegan Eats) said...

AMAZING.. Im so ashamed.. everytime I post my Mediterranean food.. its from a restaurant. Those pitas seriously look great.. you rock!!

I love falaffel and hummus and stuffed grape leaves.. you name it! This is my type of cuisine!

Abby (Abbys Vegan Eats) said...

um please excuse the numerous spelling errors above.. i just re-read my post.. my goodness!

Unknown said...

mmm falaffel and hummus!!

MelissaNibbles said...

Wow, you are quite the chef! Great job. It all looks yummy!

Shannon said...

I tried falafel for the first time this past year. Yum! And I eat hummus like it is goin gout of style! I would have loved that meal! I am again impressed by your culinary skills!

Beth said...

hmmm falafel...I think I have a box in the pantry...maybe it's time to break it out!

FoodFitnessFreshair said...

I love making (and eating) falafel! I'm impressed you made your own pita, that's great!

Anonymous said...

Melinda, your falafel look out of this world! I burned mine :( Oh, and mine came from a box (lame!). So impressive! I LOVE Middle Eastern food. I worked in a Middle Eastern restaurant in high school and I loved everything other than my scent when I left the place. YUM!

sophia said...

Cool, I've been thinking abt making my own hummus to make spreads. But hummus is sorta expensive, but I don't have tahini, and I was wondering whether it was possible to make hummus without tahini. Yay!

I love gyro. Is that considered middle-eastern?

Special K said...

Okay...I WANT that pita bread! So great! This weekend in Poland, I ate a TON of perogi and that is my next meal feat for the week...must get a recipe for that dough, though! So yummy!
Can can I say that I JUST love your scratch weekends. Very creative and fulfilling. Like what a sunday meal is supposed to be, you know?

Unknown said...

Okay, Melin! This is pretty amazing! And whose fault was it that you worked at Al Pacino's for soooo long?! LOL-You know this has always been my very favorite type of cuisine and it's 1 am and now I'm craving falafel! In SD we have a few places that make really good middle eastern food but they all call it Greek and most of them are Mexican or maybe Italian-not a lot of Egyptians round these parts....aw kinda missing Pikesville now! Thanks-but way to go on the meal and I love your FROM SCRATCH idea! My girlfriend is from Louisianna and she's been making gumbo and jumbalaya every other week so it's been a real treat for me. PS- I actually cooked twice myself last week-you'd be proud!

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