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need dessert idea for middle eastern dinner

IndyGirl Dec 16, 2009 12:30 PM

Hi everyone,

Tomorrow night I'm having my in-laws over along with my brother and sister-in-law. I'm making a vegetarian middle-eastern dinner. The menu is as follows:

pre-meal snacks
homemade hummus
baked feta and cherry tomatoes
pita

meal
tabbouleh
mujadara
homemade felafel
accompanied with pita and tzaziki, also hummus of course

Need a dessert for this. I don't really care if it's middle eastern, though that would be OK. Oh, and EASY IS GOOD but I do work quickly and under pressure really well. So give me any ideas you have, middle eastern or not, that would seem to complement this menu.
Thanks!!

  1. todao Dec 16, 2009 12:40 PM

    Chocolate covered dates, a baklava made with pistachios, cheese Quatayef.

    6 Replies
    1. re: todao
      IndyGirl Dec 16, 2009 12:44 PM

      yum! chocolate covered dates sound awesome! Do you think all three would be too much? I don't know what cheese Quatayef is,but I will google.

      I have done baklava before and it turned out well. Can I do that by tomorrow night if I still need to clean the house, make the meal, attend a party tonight and a birthday lunch tomorrow?

      (what I have I gotten myself into???)

      1. re: IndyGirl
        bushwickgirl Dec 16, 2009 12:47 PM

        How much sleep can you do without?

        1. re: IndyGirl
          todao Dec 16, 2009 01:11 PM

          Quatayef are essentially yeasted pancakes that are filled with a variety of ingredients. Quite easy to prepare and truly an authentic treat.
          Yes, I do believe that you could serve all three, offering choices to your guests (and thrilling those who absolutely "must" try all three - that's where I sit) but that's quite a time and energy commitment. If you have the time and energy, go for it.
          If you find you're in a pinch at some point (maybe at a dinner in the future) a good quality pistachio ice cream served in a brioche and sprinkled with freshly chopped pistachios (or you could substitute the ice cream with a pistachio pudding) makes a very nice dessert.

          1. re: IndyGirl
            scubadoo97 Dec 16, 2009 05:46 PM

            Here is a very easy technique for baklawa and it works very well. Forget about buttering all those layers of phyllo. PIck up a package of phyllo from the frozen section of your grocer. It usually comes in two rolls per box. Follow the basic recipe for the amount of clarified butter and filling but here is the easy part. Pour some butter into the baking dish. Unroll one whole roll of phyllo dough into the baking dish. Add the filling and place the second roll of dough on top. Cut into diamonds and pour the remaining butter all over the top and bake. The butter will seep into all those layers with out you having to butter individual layers and lay one layer on at a time. A real time saver for sure and the results are excellent. Just don't tell my Grandmother.

            1. re: scubadoo97
              r
              Rasam Dec 19, 2009 08:14 AM

              What a great idea! I can see myself doing this for spinach pie too. You say it really works?

              1. re: Rasam
                scubadoo97 Dec 21, 2009 10:22 AM

                I've not done spinich pie with this technique but baklawa I've made a few times using this simplified technique and it works.

        2. NickMontreal Dec 16, 2009 12:52 PM

          How about a vermicelli pudding with rosewater and pistachio? I guess it's more Indian but could definitely pass for Middle Eastern. I love this dessert - it's very similar to a rice pudding only it's made with noodles and you eat it cold...

          1. visciole Dec 16, 2009 01:31 PM

            Claudia Roden's Orange-Almond cake is delicious, and very easy if you can purchase almond meal.

            Orange and Almond Cake

            2 large oranges
            6 eggs
            250 g (8 oz) ground almonds
            250 g (8 oz) sugar
            1 teaspoon baking powder
            Butter and flour, for cake tin

            Wash and boil the oranges (unpeeled) in a little water for nearly 2 hours (or 1⁄2 hour in a pressure cooker). Let them cool, then cut them open and remove the pips. Turn the oranges into a pulp by rubbing them through a sieve or by putting them in an electric blender.

            Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients, mix thoroughly and pour into a buttered and floured cake tin with a removable base if possible. Bake in a preheated moderately hot oven (190C/375F) for about 1 hour. If it is still very wet, leave it in the oven for a little longer. Cool in the tin before turning out. This is a very moist cake that may serve as a dessert.

            2 Replies
            1. re: visciole
              j
              Joebob Dec 19, 2009 11:05 AM

              "...purchase almond meal."?? Fuggedaboudit! Whole almonds (not even blanched) ground in a processor works fine in this recipe.

              1. re: Joebob
                visciole Dec 21, 2009 10:04 AM

                True, but some of us don't own food processors! I usually like to do my own, but without a food processor grinding enough almonds for this recipe is a real chore. I know -- I did it once. But the bags of almond meal you can buy work fine, although they do not taste as good. Still, I'm not going to buy a food processor to make this recipe 3x a year!

            2. chowser Dec 16, 2009 03:58 PM

              Kourambiedes are easy and would work with your menu.

              http://www.andreasrecipes.com/2008/12...

              They can be made in different shapes, often crescent shaped, but round is easiest.

              1. IndyGirl Dec 16, 2009 07:28 PM

                wow, thanks to all for the extensive and quick responses!!
                I think I am going to stick with the stuffed dates (fast and easy) and the qatayef. I've never made either, but the dates sound easy. The qatayef I'm not as confident about, but these are people who will try anything, pretty much.

                1. purple goddess Dec 16, 2009 07:36 PM

                  google "sutlak". It's a middle Eastern rice pudding, flavoured with rose water and Cinnamon. Awesome hot or cold.

                  1. w
                    Whats_For_Dinner Dec 16, 2009 08:35 PM

                    HALVAH! Mmmmm. So rich and SO good. Most big grocery stores, at least around here, have it in the deli section.

                    I'm not sure what the best, or most traditional, way of serving it to a group is... I can usually barely restrain myself from eating the entire piece straight from the package.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Whats_For_Dinner
                      purple goddess Dec 16, 2009 08:41 PM

                      isn't it usually eaten with dark, thick, rich Greek/Turkish coffee??

                      Oh YUM!

                    2. IndyGirl Dec 18, 2009 07:03 PM

                      Hi everyone,

                      I made the chocolate covered dates (stuffed with almonds and rolled in unsweetened dried coconut) along with the cheese-filled qatayef and they were a huge hit!! Thanks to all for the help!! I'm saving this thread for future feasts!!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: IndyGirl
                        r
                        Rasam Dec 19, 2009 08:12 AM

                        Hi Indygirl:
                        can you share the recipes you used. I love chocolate-covered, almond-stuffed dates (only had them store bought) and would love to try making them.
                        Also share recipe for the cheese filled qatayef please.

                        Thanks in advance

                        1. re: Rasam
                          IndyGirl Dec 19, 2009 11:21 AM

                          Hi Rasam,

                          these were fabulous--http://mideastfood.about.com/od/dessertssweetspastries/r/chocdates.htm

                          qatayef
                          http://mideastfood.about.com/od/desse...

                          With more practice I got better at the qatayef. The first one was kind of sloppy!

                      2. Shane Greenwood Dec 19, 2009 07:31 AM

                        Rose ice cream is a common dessert. You just make a vanilla ice cream and add a 1-2 teaspoons of rose water (depending on the intensity of the water you have). Most Middle Eastern markets will stock it pre-made too.

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