Mediterranean Street Food: Stories, Soups, Snacks, Sandwiches, Barbecues, Sweets, and More from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East

Overview

Who can resist a chickpea fritter in Nice, a kebab in Athens, an aniseed cookie in Tuscany, hummus in Tel Aviv, stuffed zucchini in Genoa, or a potato omelet in Spain? Cold or hot, sweet or savory, street food is everyone's temptation.

Anissa Helou loves street food. When she travels, she stops at every tea cart, sandwich stand, and candy stall to trade stories with local vendors and learn the recipes that tempt the crowds. Join her on a fascinating adventure around the ...

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Overview

Who can resist a chickpea fritter in Nice, a kebab in Athens, an aniseed cookie in Tuscany, hummus in Tel Aviv, stuffed zucchini in Genoa, or a potato omelet in Spain? Cold or hot, sweet or savory, street food is everyone's temptation.

Anissa Helou loves street food. When she travels, she stops at every tea cart, sandwich stand, and candy stall to trade stories with local vendors and learn the recipes that tempt the crowds. Join her on a fascinating adventure around the Mediterranean, where eating on the street is a way of life. Learn the secret ingredients to the perfect Stuffed Mussels sold on the streets of Istanbul. Come along to a Berber woman's Moroccan Bread stall in Marrakech. Buy a sweet, sticky Semolina Cake from a cart in Cairo. From simple salads to fragrant barbecues to irresistible dips and drinks, each dish can be enjoyed on its own, or two or three may be combined to make a meal. With lively black-and-white photographs from Anissa's travels and more than eighty-five fast, flexible, flavorful recipes, Mediterranean Street Food offers home cooks the chance to experience the tastes of distant lands without leaving the kitchen.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060891510
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/27/2006
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 413,338
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Anissa Helou is a writer, journalist, and broadcaster. Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, she knows the Mediterranean as only a well-traveled native can. Lebanese Cuisine, her first book, was nominated for the prestigious Andre Simon Award and was named one of the best cookbooks of 1998 by the Los Angeles Times. Mediterranean Street Food was described by the New York Times as "a marvelous book." It won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award 2002 as the best Mediterranean cuisine book in English. Helou lives in London, where she has her own cooking school, Anissa's School. She appears frequently on British television and radio. She has written many articles for the Weekend Financial Times, and has contributed to several other publications including Gourmet, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post. An accomplished photographer and intrepid traveler, Helou is fluent in French and Arabic as well as English.

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Read an Excerpt

Mediterranean Street Food

Stories, Soups, Snacks, Sandwiches, Barbecues, Sweets, and More from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East
By Anissa Helou

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Anissa Helou
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060891513

Spinach Triangles

Fatayer bil-Sabanegh

Serves 4

In homes in Lebanon, these triangles are made small and dainty, while those sold in bakeries and sandwich shops are much larger.

Ingredients:

For the dough:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the filling:
5-6 ounces spinach, finely shredded (about 4 cups)
salt
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground sumac
1 tablespoon pine nuts
juice of 1/2 lemon, or more to taste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the oil and work into the flour with your hands until it is completely absorbed and the flour looks like grated cheese. Add 1/4 cup water and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form into a ball, cover with a damp cloth, and let rest while you prepare the filling.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the shredded spinach in a mixing bowl, sprinkle with a little salt, and rub with your fingers until it wilts.

Season the chopped onion with a little salt and the pepper and again rub with your fingers to soften it before adding to the spinach. Add the sumac, pine nuts, lemon juice, and olive oil and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary-the filling should be quite strongly flavored to offset the mild pastry.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each into a ball between the palms of your hands. Flatten one slightly and dip all sides into flour. Shake off the excess flour and roll out into a 6-inch disk, about 1/16 inch thick.

Drain the spinach mixture of any liquid and put a quarter of it in the middle of the disk of dough. Think of the disk as having 3 sides, each 1/3 of the circumference. Lift 2 sides and pinch together, halfway down, to make a thin raised joint. Lift the third, open side and pinch it equally to both loose edges in order to form a triangle with a thin raised inverted y in the middle -- be sure to pinch the pastry tightly together so that it does not open during baking. Carefully transfer the filled pastry to the lined baking sheet and make the rest of the triangles in the same way.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden, and serve warm or at room temperature. These will freeze very well either before or after baking.


Sesame Cookies

Baraziq

Makes 18-20 small cookies

Baraziq are a Syrian specialty, but you will also find them in most shops in Lebanon. On the street they are sold only during Ramadan, when they are loaded onto wooden carts together with Ramadan and date breads. The size of those sold on the street is much larger than the dainty ones you buy in sweet shops. You can make yours either size, depending on your preference, but a word of warning -- they are much easier to handle when they are made small.

Ingredients:

For the cookies:
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 medium egg
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
pinch salt
1/3 teaspoon baking powder

For the garnish:
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup quartered pistachio nuts
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted in a nonstick pan until lightly golden

Instructions:

Put the sugar and softened butter in a mixing bowl and work together with a wooden spoon until completely blended. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend with your hands until you have a soft dough. If the dough is too soft to work with immediately, refrigerate it for 1 hour. Divide the dough into 18-20 pieces to make small baraziq or 6 pieces to make the larger size.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Shape each ball of dough with your hands until you have quite a thin disk, about 2 1/2 inches wide, and place on a large platter. When you have shaped all the disks, dip each in the egg white, then in the pistachios on one side and the toasted sesame seeds on the other. Make sure you coat them well with the seeds. Arrange on the lined baking sheet with the pistachio side down.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Let cool before serving. Baraziq will keep for up to 2 weeks in a hermetically sealed container.

Continues...


Excerpted from Mediterranean Street Food by Anissa Helou Copyright © 2006 by Anissa Helou. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2002

    Wonderful cookbook!!

    These is the real mediterranean street food! I love it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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