Tag Archives: Mediterranean

Bread Balloons

Guys guys guys, I’ve discovered the coolest thing ever. Whole wheat pitas! I know it doesn’t sound THAT exciting, but check this out:


I’m very clumsy in the video because I’m trying to flip over the pita with one hand, but it works! I found this recipe from Veg recipes of India, and only decided to try it because I am a health nut. I only eat whole wheat carbs, so this was a perfect recipe. Little did I know how much fun I would have.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 11/4 cup warm water – one cup and an extra one-fourth cup
  • 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 or 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp salt

Procedure:

  1. Proof the yeast by adding it to 1/4cup of warm water. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until frothy.
  2. Add 3 cups of flour to a large bowl and the salt. Add 1 cup of water and begin to incorporate it. Add the olive oil. Mix. Add the yeast. Mix and knead until it forms a ball that is elastic, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Let your dough rise, covered and oiled, for about 1 to 1.5 hours
  4. Form small dough balls. Roll it out to 1/4inch thickness and let it rest, covered, for about 10 minutes.
  5. If you have a gas stove like I do, heat up a small frying pan and briefly cook the two sides, just so that the dough isn’t floppy. Transfer it to open flame set at medium low, and wait for the magic to happen. If your dough does not puff up, try increasing the flame until it does. Char both sides.
  6. If you have an electric stove, heat up your non-stick pan until very, very hot on high heat. It should be so hot that water evaporates nearly immediately after touching the surface. Slap your dough on and cover it, until it starts to puff up. Flip to cook both sides. When I used this method, only parts of the pita would puff up, while on the open flame the whole thing would become a balloon.

Using the pan to cook my pitas

Slowly, slowly puffing…

POOF

Letting it cool – look at the stove top grill marks

I really hope you give this recipe a try; I had way more fun than I should have with this recipe =)

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Aladdin’s Eatery

I have to say, the first time I’ve ever had somewhat authentic Mediterranean food, I did not like it at all. A lot of yogurt and lemons were used, and coming from Taiwan, I was not accustomed to sour flavors.  However, I have come to love good hummus and well made bowls of yogurt, mostly from Ali Baba on Craig St. However, we decided to go here since I wanted Mediterranean food and trying something new is always fun.

Like most franchises and chain stores, this place is average.  We ordered Baba (which is their version of baba ganoush), the Mediterranean Shish Kabob Plate, Sultan’s Shawarma Pitza, and Beef Shawarma Rolled. Their menu doesn’t actually have a big selection even though it seems like it. Pitza and rolls and pockets are basically just where the meat/filling goes: on top, in a roll or on the inside.  However, the pitza portions are bigger, and it has been toasted so parts of it were nice and crunchy.

Baba served with pita bread

The pita bread is obviously store bought, but warms so it was tastey. I have never had Baba ganoush elsewhere, but I liked it because it was very garlicky and smooth. I think I might even like it more than hummus! Other than that, it was typical.

Shish kabob plate

The plates come with rice, almonds (?), tahini yogurt sauce and garlic sauce, and then heavily seasoned meat. The meat was hard and tough to chew, but I thought the seasoning was nice.

Sultan’s Shawarma Pitza

I felt like the meat from this dish tasted mostly the same as the shish kabob meat. Still tough and hard, but seasoned. I liked that the pita bread was crispy on the edges though. The roll was more or less the same as this dish, except less filling and rolled up.

Overall, a very, very average place, although I didn’t have high expectations anyway. They do have huge cakes that look good, but we were too full to eat more. They’re about half a foot tall, and probably a foot in diameter, so a slice of it was probably more than we could handle anyway. The one good thing about this place is that the prices are cheap, which is good for my wallet.

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