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A Few of My Favourite Things!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Shopping Spree

I've been doing some shopping on Amazon (well, my birthday IS coming up soon, so I told A that these could be my presents) and received my FIRST delivery (out of two) this week. I already have two of Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid's books, Hot Sour Salty Sweet and Homebaking, and love the travel writing as well as authentic, well-researched recipes (see below for recipe for Beirut Tahini Swirls). Although the covers of Seductions of Rice and Flatbreads and Flavours are not as good-looking (yes, I will judge a book by its cover), they are just as well-written and I'm looking forward to trying some of these recipes. I get so excited about trying new recipes!!!

A and I went on our usual Saturday morning walk today and enjoyed some glorious sunshine - very unusual for Melbourne at this time of year. Just two days ago, it was pouring with rain, but the sky has been blue-as-blue-can-be today. We stumbled upon Casa Iberica, a well-known Spanish grocery store, on Johnstone Street in Fiztroy during our stroll. A bought some delicious jamon, chorizo and manchego whilst I stocked up on some smoked paprika, paella seasoning and tins of sardines, cockles, cod and...fish roes (sic) with lemon, something I've never seen before. I can't say that I know a lot about Spanish food, but I love trying new things and browsing in grocery stores. A knows this, of course, and upon spotting Casa Iberica, pulled me into the store and made sure that I had time to wander through slowly - isn't he wonderful!

I wanted to try the paella seasoning straight away so I whipped up some mouth-watering cheddar cheese twists seasoned with oregano, dried parsley and paella seasoning for A.

Beirut Tahini Swirls

Bread: 1/2 tsp active yeast, 1 cup lukewarm water, 2 1/2 cups flour, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tbs olive oil. Filling: 3/4 cup tahini, 3/4 cup sugar (I replaced sugar in both the bread and filling with honey but didn't measure amounts -sorry)

1. Dissolve yeast in lukeward water then stir in 1 cup of flour followed by sugar and oil. Incorporate 2nd cup of flour, turn dough out and knead for 5 min, or until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 2-3 hours until doubled in volume.

2. Divide dough into 6 equal portions and work with 3 at a time while keeping the others covered. Roll each portion out into rectangles (5 x 10'') on lightly floured surface. Spread almost to edges with 2 1/2 tbs of tahini and sugar mixture then roll up rectangle from long side into cylinder. Coil bread around itself, flatten with palm of hand then set aside to work on other 2 portions.

3. Roll first portion out gently then let rest while rolling out other 2 portions before coming back to the first until you have rolled each to about 6-7'' in diametre. Don't worry if some filling leaks.

4. Bake at 190 C for 15 - 20 min until golden brown and flaky. Serve warm or at room temperature.

A prefers them at room temperature because you can taste the flavours better.

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