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Tunisia (Tunisian Recipes)

World Cuisine Recipes

    Along with Morocco and Algeria, Tunisia forms part of the Maghreb region of North Africa and the basis for Tunisian cookery is Maghrebi cuisine. However, Tunisian cuisine has been significantly influenced by Mediterranean cookery. Through the use of spices and seasonings, Tunisians give their dishes a certain distinctive flavor that may be traced to the neighboring cultures. Tunisia is culinarily rich and fresh fish, lamb, couscous and olives form a significant part of the diet. Spices and peppers tend to play a very central role in overall cuisine. In this respect, Tunisian food is much like other North African cuisines; it is quite spicy and hot. Hot peppers play a key role in tying a meal together; a bland meal is considered by most Tunisians to be a bad one. Also, most dishes are heavily spiced with a variety of seasonings such as bay leaves, cumin, caraway, saffron, cumin, cinnamon, and mint. In the eyes of Tunisians, usage of seasonings in meals adds to its flavor and overall quality.
Tunisian Egplant Salad
Serving: 4
1 lb Eggplant
1 lg Green bell pepper, chopped
1 Garlic clove, crushed
1/2 c Olive oil
1/3 c Red wine vinear
1 t Dried oregano, crushed
1 t Salt
1 cn Chunk-style tuna (12 1/2-oz), drained
1 lg Tomato, seeded and chopped
1/4 c Crumbled feta cheese
Crisp salad greens
Cooking Instructions:
Cut eggplant in 1-inch cubes. Steam over 1/2 cup boiling water 2 to 5 minutes until eggplant is tender. Drain. Arrange with green pepper in 2-quart shallow casserole. Combine garlic, oil, vinegar, oregano and salt in covered jar. Shake well. Pour over eggplant mixture. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Drain marinade and reserve for other use. Toss marinated vegetables with tuna and tomato. Spoon into salad bowl lined with crisp greens. Top with cheese.
Tunisian Eggs & Peppers
Servings: 4
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 fresh red chile, seeded and finely chopped
6 tomatoes, peeled and quartered
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
4 eggs
Mint sprigs, to garnish
Cooking Instructions:
Heat oil in a heavy skillet. Add onion and cook 5 minutes or until soft. Add bell peppers and chile, cover and cook 8 minutes or until bell peppers are just tender. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Add tomatoes to bell pepper mixture, cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes or until vegetavles are blended but still retain their shape and texture. Season with salt and pepper and stir in mint. Divide mixture among four ovenproof dishes. Make an indentation in vegetables and carefully add an egg to each one. Cook in oven 12 to 15 minutes or until eggs have set. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve.
Tunisian Carrot Salad
Servings: 4
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Cooking Instructions:
Cook carrots in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Drain well. Stir oil, cumin and cayenne in heavy large skillet over medium heat until aromatic,about 30 seconds. Add carrots, then 1/2 cup water and vinegar. Simmer over medium heat until liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Cool. Mix in cilantro.
Tunisian Vegetable Stew

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
Dash of salt
1 large green bell pepper, cut in thin strips
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, (or to taste)
1 28 oz. can undrained, chopped tomato
1 16 oz. can drained garbanzo beans
1/3 cup currents or raisins
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups cooked couscous (below)
4 tablespoons feta cheese
Toasted slivered almonds
Salt, to taste
Cooking Instructions:
In a large non-stick dutch oven, saute the onions in olive oil for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the cabbage, sprinkle with salt, and continue to saute for at least 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell pepper, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne to the pot and saute for another minute for so. Stir in the tomatoes, chick peas, and currents or raisins, and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve over couscous, top with crumbled feta cheese, and toasted almonds if you like.
Tunisian-Style Greens and Beans
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed chile flakes
4 cup chopped greens, such as beet greens or Swiss chard
1 cup diced tomatoes with juices
1 cup cooked beans (garbanzos are my favorite)
Approx. 1/2 cup bean cooking water
Cooking Instructions:
Stew the onion and garlic in a little oil until the onion is soft. Stir in the salt and spices. Chop the greens and stir them in. When the greens wilt, add the tomatoes, beans and some of the bean cooking water. Cook for 10 or 15 minutes. The finished dish should be a little saucy, but not soupy. Add bean water or plain water accordingly.
Chickpea Soup

Serving: 8
1 1/2 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight in
10 cups water
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 hot pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
1 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups croutons
Cooking Instructions:
In a large saucepan, bring the chickpeas and water to a boil, then cover and cook over medium heat for 2 hours. Add the remaining ingredients, except the garnish; then cook over a medium heat for a further 30 minutes or until the chickpeas are tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and olive oil. Top with croutons.
Chicken Soup with Eggs (Tfaia)
Servings: 6
1 large stewing chicken or 2 broilers, cut into pieces (about 5 pounds chicken parts)
1 lemon, halved, plus 6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt to taste
3 onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 turnips, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 leeks (white parts only), cleaned and chopped
1 tsp. saffron threads, crushed
Bouquet garni (satchet of herbs): 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, 2 bay leaves and 3 cloves, tied in a cheesecloth square
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3 pinches ground cinnamon6
6 eggs
Minced fresh mint, optional
Cooking Instructions:
Remove excess fat from chicken pieces, then rinse. Rub each piece with lemon halves and sprinkle with salt. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Put chicken in a large stockpot and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and skim the scum from broth. Simmer gently for 30 minutes. Add the vegetables, saffron and bouquet garni. Cook for about 2 hours longer. Using a skimmer, remove the solids and discard. Pour the broth through a sieve lined with wet cheesecloth into a large bowl. Chill the stock, uncovered, in an ice bath in the sink until cold. Spoon off fat. Pour the broth into a pot, bring to a boil, and cook at a low boil, skimming if needed, until reduced and flavorful. Add pepper and cinnamon. Beat the eggs with the lemon juice and stir into the soup. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Garnish the soup with the mint.
Red Pepper Spice (Harrisa)
Serving: 1
2 tablespoons caraway seed, ground
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup cayenne pepper, ground fresh
1/4 cup cumin
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 cup olive oil
Cooking Instructions:
Thoroughly mix all ingredients. Store in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid; refrigerated.
Squash and Apricot Puree (Hlou)
Yield: 3 cups
11/2 cups (1/2 pound) dried apricots, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice)
2 cups water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
salt to taste
Couscous, optional
Cooking Instructions:
Soak the apricots in hot water for 1 hour to soften. Drain apricots. In a medium, heavy saucepan, heat the sugar and oil over high heat until the sugar is melted and pale caramel in color. Add the onions, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the squash and water and cook until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Add apricots, lemon juice and cinnamon, and cook until you have a slightly chunky puree. Test for salt. Serve warm or at room temperature as an accompaniment to couscous.
Broiled Fish with Cumin (Samak al Kamoun)
Servings: 6
One 3 1/2 to 4-pound whole fish, such as striped bass, snapper, or rock cod
3 tsp. kosher salt
6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted and ground
2 Tbsp. sweet paprika
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Cooking Instructions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rub fish with 2 tsp. of salt inside and out, then rinse. Cut diagonal slits in both sides of fish, so marinade can penetrate. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, spices, garlic, pepper and the remaining 1 tsp. salt. Whisk in olive oil. Rub this paste into fish, and if baking, wrap in aluminum foil and bake until opaque throughout, 25 to 30 minutes. Unwrap and serve sprinkled with coriander. If broiling or grilling, there is no need for foil.

Gazelle's Horns (Kaab El Ghzal)
Pastry: 280 gm/10 oz plain flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons orange-flower water
Approximately 125 ml/4 fl oz
Cold water
Almond Filling:
350 gm/12 oz whole blanched almonds
85 gm/3 oz icing sugar
1 tablespoon orange-flower water
1 egg white
25 gm/1 oz butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
6 tablespoons orange-flower water
115 gm/4 oz icing sugar, sifted
Cooking Instructions:
For the Pastry: Process the flour with the melted butter, egg yolk, orange-flower water and half the cold water in a food processor until a dough forms on the blades. if still crumbly, gradually add the remaining water. Process for 1 minute more to make it elastic. Turn out the dough and knead until smooth. Divide in half and wrap in cling film, then let the dough stand for at least 15 minutes.
   For the Almond Filling: Process the almonds in a food processor bowl with the icing sugar until the almonds are finely ground. Add the remaining ingredients and process until a stiff paste forms. Mould 3 level teaspoons of the paste into a ball. Make all the remaining balls this size. Form the balls of paste into almond shapes about 7.5 cm/3-in long, tapering slightly at each end. Place on a tray.
   To assemble the pastries, roll out half the dough on a floured surface into a rectangle about 30x46 cm/12x16-in with the longer edge towards you. Place three almond shapes 5 cm/2-in up from the lower edge, 4 cm/1-1/2-in apart, and the same distance from each end. Lightly brush the pastry with water at the lower edge and between the almond shapes. Fold the bottom section over the filling, moulding and pressing the pastry around the filling to seal. With a fluted pastry whell, cut around the top of each shape in a crescent shape, about 2cm/3/4-in away from in filling to give a border of pastry. Remove each crescent and press the cut edge again to make a firm seal. Pick up each pastry, with filling-side up, and bend it into a crescent shape. Place on a greased baking tray and make 3 tiny slits in the top of each pastry with the point of a sharp knife. Straighten the edge of the remaining pastry on a board with a knife, fill with the almond mixture and shape again. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, using the pastry trimmings after the second ball of pastry is used.
   Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly coloured. Place the orange-flower water in one bowl and the icing sugar in another. Work quickly while the pastries are hot. Dip each one first into the orange-flower water, then into the icing sugar. Using a dry hand, coat each with icing sugar and place on a wire rack. Cool, then sift over more icing sugar.

World Cuisine Recipes


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