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Dec 19, 2010 10:41 AM

Know a good Middle Eastern Dish?

Looking to try a Middle Eastern dish for my Blog Wichita Falls Foodie at If I use your recipe I will give you full credit! Thank for your time :)

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  1. Paneer

    1 gallon whole milk
    1 quart good quality buttermilk
    1 cup oil (Canola works well)

    In a large (bigger the better) pot, bring the milk to a boil over medium heat.
    When the milk begins to boil (it'll happen quickly and milk expands when it boils so watch carefully so it doesn't boil all over the stove top) begin to stir while adding the buttermilk in a slow steady stream. Stir continuously while the fat separates from the water into a curd.
    Strain through cheese cloth in a colander or similar vessel and allow it to drain off as much liquid as possible, (an hour is usually enough time) then pour the remaining liquids into another container for later use.
    Collect the curds and drop them into your food processor. Pulse the food processor for a few minutes until the curds are smooth and can be formed into a ball in your hands. You can add a little of the reserved liquid from the previous step if it's too dry.
    Knead the mixture until it's nice and smooth, the form it into a ball (much the same as mozzarella) then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Allow to rest in refrigerator at least twenty four hours.
    To prepare the final dish, pour oil into a heavy skillet (I like cast iron) over mediuim heat and cut the cheese into 1 inch square pieces. Fry these in the hot oil until they are lightly brown. Drain and pat with paper towels; serve. Goooood stuff ...

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      Ian't paneer more south asian than eastern Mediterranean?

      How about imam bayildi? Lots of recipes out there for this mezze item. We do a low fat version - the slices of aubergine are poached in passata or similar and then allowed to cool together, rather than fried. Separately, onion, pine nuts, sultanas and chopped tomato are fried and allowed to cool - this then tops the aubergine slices.

    2. Muhammara is one of my favorites. You need to find pomegranate syrup/molasses (Whole Foods may have it), but it's otherwise a breeze. There are two major kinds: with roasted red bell pepper and with tomato paste instead. I like both kinds. There are many recipes for each. Here's an easy one I've made:

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          1. Mujadarra - easy, versatile, and acceptable to Middle-American palates.

            2 Replies
            1. re: greygarious

              Another classic. There are two main variations of this -- with rice or with bulgur. I like it with bulgur better, because the bulgur is less assertive, which allows the caramelized onions and a good olive oil to shine more. But this is only true if you do a good job with the onions and use a good olive oil. It's also good with a nice basmati rice.

              Whatever you do, use LOTS of olive oil and slowly caramelized onions. Otherwise it will taste like some over-grainy dish dreamt up by weirdo vegans.

              1. re: sushigirlie

                One of my favorites, too--so easy and comforting and always a hit with those trying it for the first time. I'd had the recipe for years before I tried it, because it looked too simple to be anything special. Now I'm eager to try it with bulgar.