Taste of Israel: Recipes to try
MANILA, Philippines - Curious about Israeli food? Why not cook your own?
Last February 28, the Israeli Embassy invited gastronomists Michal Ansky and Ruthie Rousso to prepare a bevy of exquisite tasting Israeli cuisine.
Rappler shares the recipes of some of the featured dishes straight from the chefs themselves. Bring a taste of Israel into your home and share it with friends and loved ones.
I. Starter: Bourekitas
For the dough, you'll need:
- 3 ½ cups of flour
- Half-glass of sunflower oil/corn oil/olive oil
- 100 grams of butter
- 2 spoons of natural vinegar (plain)
- ¾ cup of yogurt
- ½ teaspoon of salt
For the filling, you'll need:
- 1 medium eggplant, roasted on an open fire
- 250 grams feta cheese, crushed
- 1 egg, beaten
- Salt and pepper
For the topping, you'll need:
- 1 egg yolk
- Sesame seeds
- To prepare the dough, mix all of the ingredients in a dough mixer until the dough is fine. Make sure the bowl is dry because even one drop of water can “break” the dough.
- For the filling, peel the eggplant and chop finely. Mix the eggplant meat with all other filling ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to medium (180 degrees). Line a large flat baking tray.
- Roll the dough until it is 2-3 millimeters thick. Cut it into small, glass-size circles.
- Put a teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle. Fold in half and seal the sides using a fork.
- Place them on the tray, brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
II. Main course: Lamb kebab with grilled tomatoes and pita
For the kebab, you'll need:
- 1 kilogram lamb/beef, coarsely ground
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baharat spice
- 4 ripe red tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 hot pepper, finely chopped
- 2 onions, cut into quarters
- Cinnamon sticks
For the pita, you'll need:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup of lukewarm water
- ¼ teaspoon dry yeast
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Olive oil
- To prepare the dough, mix the flour with the yeast and water until the dough is consistent.
- Add the salt and oil and knead well.
- Put the dough in a bowl and cover with a towel.
- Let it rise for half an hour or until the dough doubles in volume.
- Mix the meat with spices and roll the mixture into kebab patties.
- Skewer the tomatoes and roast on the grill or in the oven.
- After roasting, peel and chop the tomatoes finely.
- Add garlic and hot pepper to the tomatoes and simmer for at least 15 minutes.
- Skewer the meatball kebab on cinnamon sticks and a quarter of an onion between 2 skewered kebabs.
- Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side (kebab should be partially cooked).
- In a deep oven tray, spread the tomato mixture, lay the kebab on top and cover with the pita dough.
- Cover the tray in aluminium foil and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
III. Dessert: Yogurt ice cream with honey and spices
For the ice cream, you'll need:
- 800 grams of high quality yogurt (at least 5% fat)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 30 milliliters of vodka
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
For the toppings, you'll need:
- ½ cup honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves of anise
- 1 star anise
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 dried tonka pepper
- 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pistachios
- It’s highly recommended that you filter the yogurt. Place a large strainer over a large bowl. Put a cloth folded in half on the strainer and pour the yogurt over it. Seal the edges of the cloth so that the strainer is covered. Put the strainer with cloth in a refrigerator. Keep it there for about 6 hours.
- Put sugar in the yogurt and mix it in. Control the sweetness by adding the sugar gradually. Add the vanilla extract if desired. Mix well. Refrigerate for 15 minutes and stir again. Add the vodka.
- If you have an ice cream maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and put the yogurt in the machine such that the machine is half full. Keep it in as long as it takes to make the yogurt cold, stable and yet still soft. It doesn’t have to be hard enough to mold into a ball like ice cream or sorbet. It just needs to be able to keep its shape in a glass.
- If you do not have an ice cream maker, put the yogurt in the freezer and stir every half hour for 2 to 3 hours until it is cold, stable but soft. It is high recommended to use a blender rod.
- Prepare the syrup by boiling honey with ¼ cup water and the spices on low heat for about 10 minutes. Drizzle the honey on the ice cream and serve with roasted pistachios sprinkled on top.
- With reports by Pia Ranada/Rappler.com