I mentioned a while back that I have joined Kitchen Play’s new program: Cookbook Tour. It is an innovation program aimed at both supporting food blogging cookbook authors and exploring the idea that food bloggers are crucial in promoting cookbooks through reviews and social media. You guys know how I feel about that–I’ve been reviewing cookbooks on this site for forever. I genuinely love cookbooks, so no hardship here! As of this writing, I have also been compensated for participating with a small stipend for the work I have done. My opinions on this site are always my own. For tracking purposes, any links to the cookbook are through Amazon Affiliates, through which I will receive a small fee if you purchase the book. Our first book, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair, is a cookbook I am super excited to share with you.
I confess before Faith’s book came out, I had never been to her site, also called An Edible Mosaic. She is in my RSS reader now! Her site is a fantastic smorgasbord of whatever she is cooking, but the inspiration for the book came from learning to cook Middle Eastern food from her mother in law and living in Damascus for 6 months. And the book itself is gorgeous–glossy pages, tons of photographs. I already have several recipes bookmarked!
For this first event, all of us participating made a dish from Faith’s cookbook. We had a prix fixe theme in mind; between the 6 of us we made 2 entrees, 2 appetizers and 2 desserts from An Edible Mosaic. I hope you visit everyone’s reviews and check out the different dishes. Casey also has a great page dedicated to our little potluck at Kitchen Play. We hope you feel inspired to create your own Middle Eastern feast.
Falafel (appetizer)- Heather from Kitchen Concoctions
Spinach Turnover (appetizer)- Lana from Bibberche
Scrambled Eggs with Meat and Onion (entree–or appetizer) – Laura from The Spiced Life
Meat and Veggie Casserole with Pomegranates (entree) – Amanda from MarocMama
Coconut Semolina Cake (dessert) – Stephanie from 52 Kitchen Adventures
Date-Filled Cookies (dessert)- Jennifer from Savory Simple
I am growing herbs indoors on my windowsill above the sink in the kitchen for the first time ever. It made a dish like this one even easier–nothing can beat the flavor of fresh snipped herbs in a dish!
My particular dish, on its surface, is quite plain. I asked Faith what might normally be served with it and she said Toumieh (recipe provided below), which reminded me of a Middle Eastern aioli. I could tell instantly that the addition of the sauce would change the dish completely and I knew my family would love it. I asked my husband to pick up pita bread for us, and we stuffed the pita with the scrambled egg mixture (the next day for lunch I made it without the meat and it was honestly almost as good) slathered with the toumieh. Delicious. I have been in a bit of a cooking funk lately (probably because I spend all my time thinking about Christmas cookies!) and this dish was the perfect solution. Homemade and delicious and super easy.
About the Toumieh specifically… mine broke when I added the lemon juice. I was able to save the sauce by adding Greek yogurt–which honestly was a good thing for these Western taste buds because I started out with the super authentic recipe (not provided below), made only with oil and an entire head of raw garlic. Holy vampire repulsing, Batman!
Faith has kindly provided me with the exact recipes from her book, along with an introduction that she wrote especially for me for for the scrambled eggs dish.
Scrambled Eggs with Meat and Onion
It’s funny, during my time in the Middle East I never came across anyone who claimed to be vegetarian, yet many meals (like Tissiyeh – also known as Fetteh bil Hummous, Foul Mudammas, Falafel, and Mujaddara, to name just a few) don’t contain meat. Actually, it’s not uncommon to go several days without an ounce of meat in your diet, with protein sources coming from foods like beans, lentils, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and nuts. Meat is typically a more expensive ingredient, and so it’s used more sparingly; however, it’s always on the menu if guests are expected, since it’s thought of as a wonderful way to demonstrate your hospitality.
This scrambled egg recipe is a wonderful way to stretch a little bit of meat. This dish is traditionally eaten with flatbread, Toumieh (a garlicky mayonnaise), and fresh green onion; you would break off a small piece of flatbread and use it to scoop up a bit of the scrambled egg/meat mixture, then dip it in a bit of Toumieh, pop it in your mouth, and then take a bit of green onion. Serving a dish of eggs along with an egg-based sauce might sound strange, but I think of it as a dish similar to Eggs Benedict where a poached egg is served with egg-based Hollandaise sauce on top. In this dish, Toumieh is the perfect finishing touch – creamy with a burst of flavor.
– Faith Gorsky, Author of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ½ lb (250 g) lean ground beef or lamb
- 1 onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 sprig fresh parsley leaves, chopped (optional, for garnish)
- Add the oil to a large nonstick skillet over moderately-high heat. Add the meat and onion, and cook until the meat is browned and the onion is softened, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and using a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Stir in the salt and pepper.
- Turn heat down to medium and pour in the eggs. Let the eggs cook until slightly set, about 1 minute, then gently stir upward from the bottom so the uncooked eggs are exposed to the bottom of the pan; continue stirring like this until eggs are set, about 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Sprinkle the parsley on top, if using.
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed in a mortar and pestle with ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg whites or 1 large egg
- 1 cup (250 ml) oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- Crush the garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle until it forms a smooth paste.
- Whisk together the garlic paste and egg until well blended.
- Add the oil, drop-by-drop, while whisking (after you’ve added 1 tablespoon of oil drop-by-drop, you can add the oil a little faster). Make sure the oil you add is fully incorporated before adding any more.
- Once you’ve added ½ cup (125 ml) oil, alternate between gradually adding the oil and lemon juice and continue mixing until fully incorporated.
- Add the cold water and mix until smooth and creamy.