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Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Howdy folks, as you know if you follow the blog, times a bit tight round these parts lately. Any great dinner ideas? Doesn't actually have to be quick, per se. Just easy. And are reasonably healthy, like include some kind of veggie, not just grilled cheese (unless there's something interesting thrown in too).
Oh, and tasty.
In other words, the best of the best, your family secrets.
Divulge.
CJ

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Replies to This Discussion

We just watched the video.  Now she only went up to the preparation point?  Once they are all made she will fry them ?  She only used mint, but basically you could any combination of vegetable, just saute them first?



Zoubida Ayyadi said:

These are my reasonably healthy, just easy but not necessarily quick recipes, among them some family "secrets" :))

 

Vegetable tagine

Feel free to substitute any vegetable I list, it's more a "general guidelines" list, not precision-sensitive french pastry.

 

In a dutch oven or any pot with a lid, layer the following ingredients, taking care, if you substitute, to put the longest cooking ones in the bottom and the quickest cooking ones near the top. I assume you will prep the vegies (peeled, washed, cubed or diced, or florets separated, or sliced, more or less chunky, depending on taste and cooking time requirements, i.e. medium potato cubes and thick slices of tomatoes and 1" cubes of squash or gourd...)

I don't measure, I just peel, wash, cut and make layers.

 

- Turnips or rutabaga

- Carrots

- Cauliflower and/or broccoli

- Onions

- Sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste

- 1 tbs paprika sprinkled all over

- Potatoes

- Squash or edible gourd

- Sweet pepper (any color you like or have handy)

- Tomatoes

- An other sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste

- An other tbs of paprika powder

- Roughly chopped cilantro and flat-leaf parsley (be generous)

- Olive oil all over

- 1 to 1.5 cups water (depending on the vegies actually used and your simmering habits or your stove simmering capacity)

Cover, simmer until vegies are cooked. Check on the potatoes because we generaly like them well cooked while it doesn't matter much if carrots still have some bite to them.

It should take an hour or more, I never really checked how long I cook this.

We eat this with bread or with rice.

 

My Mother's Stuffed Rghaifs

 

- Make a simple bread dough with half your usual amount of yeast, do not use sugar in it, just water, flour and salt. Make it supple, not sticky but almost.

- Divide it in tennis ball size balls.

- Shape the balls to have them smooth, oil them well (I dip them in a bowl of olive oil then coat them well)

- Put on a tray or rimmed cookie sheet, cover to prevent crusting and allow to rise while you prepare the filling.

 

- For the filling, small cubes of sweet peppers (less then 1") and same with onions, put to "sweat" in an olive oil coated pan.

- Add paprika powder, salt, pepper, a generous handfull of roughly chopped cilantro and same for flat-leaf parsley.

- If you have greens (wild or cultivated) add a handfull if you wish.

- If you have leftover meat, any kind, chop it small and add it.

- When onions and peppers are softened by the sautéing, remove from heat and spread in a plate to cool.

 

- I use a pancake griddle to make my rghaifs. Before I had it I used 2 cast iron pans simulteanously. It is also possible to lay the assembled rghaifs on a cookie sheet and stick them in a 350F oven until golden brown. When I have a crowd to feed, I assemble all the Rghaifs and use all of the above cooking tools at the same time to be able to speed up so I serve as much guests as possible at the same time.

 

- It's more efficient to assemble all of the rghaifs before beginning to cook them. Don't forget to preheat the griddle or cast-iron pan or oven when you're half way through the assembling process.

 

- To assemble rghaifs, have a bowl of olive oil on the counter or kitchen table.  Oil your surface, oil again the ball of dough, spread it in a roughly round shape (don't sweat over the regularity of the circle, it's a peasant meal, irregularity is its charm). The thickness should be similar to an apple tart dough, roughly less than 1/4" thick.

- Spread a tablespoon or two of filling, again roughly, doesn't matter if it doesn't reache the edges of the circle of dough.

- Fold the circle in two, from top to bottom (half moon) then in two left to right (you'll have a triangle). Pat it a bit with the palm of your hands and set aside under cover (plastic or cloth) while you proceed with the rest of the rghaifs.

- You might have too much filling for the amount of dough or not enough filling. Adjut next time. If not enough filling, just fold the dough alone, nothing in it. It's good too. If too much filling, you can spread a little before the second fold, at the "half-moon" stage or just eat the filling with regular bread, it's good hot or cold or room temp. I rarely end-up with exactly the right amount of filling for all the rghaifs and I make these since a very long time.

 

- If you cook on the griddle, you'll get a hang of the best temperature setting. On mine I set it to 350F (it has a temp dial). On the stove, err on the medium low heat, more on the low than medium if you use a good ole cast-iron that you took care to preheat well. The oven is 350F.

 

- On the griddle or pan, cook on one side, check if it is golden by lifting a corner and peeking. When golden on one side, flip and cook the other side.

 

- In the oven, when it's golden, like bread, it's ready.

 

It's a bit long to make, but dead easy and it's an extremly popular meal in my house. I serve with cut-up raw vegies on the side or just nothing. It's comfort food in my exented family.

 

I'll add more recipes later and will try to take pics of the Rghaif assembly for you next time I make them.

Yes, she did only went to the preparation point since there are few ways you can prepare Rghaifs. There was no point showing the cooking since you do that always the same way and in Morocco everybody knows that (same way everybody here knows how to grill pancakes).

 

Yes, you could absolutely use whatever filling you wish, the only golden rule being the filling should be cooled, otherwise the dough will tear when you try to fill and fold. She used a kind of wild mint that is a weed, growing near water streams and which has not the same taste as the mint we cultivate. But you could use cheese or chard, spinash... Or ground seasoned meat or bacon or whatever.

 

Here is a video showing the entire process (grilling included)  for a layered version (which I don't use because more time consuming)

Layered rghaifs (meloui)


I am definitely trying this recipe, along with the tagine.  We do not eat meat so I see substituting the ground beef maybe with potato and carrot or zucchini or cauliflower.  Something.  Is the cheese topping standard?  The cheese used looked like Co-Jack.  Is there a more Moroccan cheese?  I have an electric griddle.  We use to make lefse (Norwegian potato "crepes") .  Is it served as a main dish, what would be a side?  Or is it more a snack food?  This is so exciting...I love finding something new!

Zoubida Ayyadi said:

Yes, she did only went to the preparation point since there are few ways you can prepare Rghaifs. There was no point showing the cooking since you do that always the same way and in Morocco everybody knows that (same way everybody here knows how to grill pancakes).

 

Yes, you could absolutely use whatever filling you wish, the only golden rule being the filling should be cooled, otherwise the dough will tear when you try to fill and fold. She used a kind of wild mint that is a weed, growing near water streams and which has not the same taste as the mint we cultivate. But you could use cheese or chard, spinash... Or ground seasoned meat or bacon or whatever.

 

Here is a video showing the entire process (grilling included)  for a layered version (which I don't use because more time consuming)

Layered rghaifs (meloui)


For the filling, you could simply eliminate the ground beef from the video's recipe, or use my mother's if you wish, here it is:

 

Rghaifs filling

- Small cubes of sweet peppers (less then 1") and same with onions, put to "sweat" in an olive oil coated pan.

- Add paprika powder, salt, pepper, a generous handfull of roughly chopped cilantro and same for flat-leaf parsley.

- If you have greens (wild or cultivated) add a handfull if you wish.

- If you have leftover meat, any kind, chop it small and add it.

- When onions and peppers are softened by the sautéing, remove from heat and spread in a plate to cool.

 

I don't use cheese in my Rghaifs usually. I did try to use some but it just doesn't feel right to me, probably because I'm not used to eat it in this way. Yes, we have a kind of fresh cheese traditional in our country, a taste more like yogurt and texture more like feta cheese, but not used in Rghaifs as far as I know. We also have french traditional cheeses, french processed cheeses and american processed cheeses too, all readily available. But I never saw them used in Rghaifs except in this video and a french process cheese (the Laughing Cow brand) I've seen used in France as a filling.

 

If you experiment some filling of your own for your rghaifs, I'd love to know about it and try it.

 

Oh and about layering, I prefer to fold. Layering suppose you work fast and are not interrupted. While folding, you can stop whenever and go at your own peace.

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