Chorba Frik (Algerian Soup with Cracked Wheat)

Chorba Frik (Algerian Soup with Cracked Wheat)

Chorba Frik or Jari as it is known in the western part of the country is the most requested soup during Ramadan. Chorba Frik is just one of those recipes that you MUST know if you are married to an Algerian or wanting to. It’s right up there next to Couscous, lol. No pressure though. This recipe is easy to follow and just as wonderful. From the smokiness from the frik to the tanginess of the cilantro, this recipe will be sure to tantalize your tastebuds. Pair this soup with bourek, bread and harissa.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lamb cubed (beef and or chicken can be substituted)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 zucchinis cut into demi circles
  • 2 potatoes quartered
  • 2 carrots cut into 3 sections
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup frik (cracked wheat)
  • 1/2 cup chick peas (soaked overnight)
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 cups hot water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • beef/chicken bouillon (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sprinkle with salt to sweat.
  2. Add meat and brown quickly. Season with spices and add chickpeas.
  3. Add 1/2 of cilantro.
  4. Continue browning the meat and add the carrots and potatoes. Seer the vegetables slightly.
  5. Add the 8 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute.
  6. Lower heat to a simmer and continue for 15 minutes then add zucchini. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
  7. Remove vegetables into a separate bowl with 1 cup of broth.
  8. Emulsify vegetables until smooth with hand blender or crush with potato masher/fork.
  9. Place vegetable puree back into pot and add frik.
  10. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes and add lemon juice. Adjust taste with salt.

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Adjidjettes Sardine (Algerian Sardine Patties)

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In the United States little is ever thought of when it comes to Sardines. Negative stereotypes such as that “smelly fish in a can” all came through my head when my husband told me he wanted Sardine Patties. But when he brought the fresh fish home, I started to come around. We prepared them together, gutting and deboning, disgusting to say the least but after tasting them I looked back at all the years I let pass without having them in my life!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh sardines, gutted and filleted
  • 3/4 – 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small onion chopped finely
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pinch paprika

Directions:

  1. If you already have your sardines cleaned and deboned, slice into small pieces as it will break down easier when forming patties.
  2. Place fish into a large bowl.
  3. Add to the fish the garlic powder, parsley, onion, cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper, egg and flour.
  4. Mix thoroughly with your hands creating a chunky paste consistency.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  6. Form into oversized half dollar patties and place them on wax paper until ready to fry.
  7. In a large pan of vegetable oil fry the patties on each side for approximately 3-4 minutes.
  8. Once the patties are brown in color, they are done.
  9. Blot in paper towels and serve with lemon wedges.

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*If you are unable to find them fresh you will be able to find them in any asian market in the frozen section of fish. They most likely come from Spain or Portugal. Just let them defrost and clean them.

Sablés (Algerian Cookies)

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This is my own accidental recipe in which I mistook a bottle of Lemon Extract for Vanilla, and it made for an even more decadent cookie just like my husband’s grandmother makes.  From the French word sable which means sand the dough will start off as a texture that looks as so. The cookies are easily customizable with fillings and shapes. I hope these make their way onto your list of sweets for Eid.

Special Tools Needed:

  • cookie cutter (any shape is fine but a round fluted cutter is used traditionally)
  • sifter
  • rolling pin

Ingredients: For the Sables

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla powder or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • a pinch of salt

To decorate

  • 3/4 cup jelly (any flavoring of your choice but no fruit bits)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Cut the butter into the sugar, mix until it is light and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Fold in the eggs, vanilla, lemon and sugar mixture.
  5. Mix slowly until a sand texture is made then continue to mix by hand. The dough should be soft and light. If the dough is too sticky add a bit more flour.
  6. Let dough sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to harden. It helps to handle the dough better.
  7. Roll dough out onto a floured surface with a rolling pin. Make sure to flour the pin as well.
  8. Cut out the top and bottoms of the cookies, don’t forget to punch out a hole in the middle of the tops.
  9. Place on a baking tray lined with wax paper and bake for 8-9 minutes. The cookies should be still white but set.
  10. Allow cut outs to cool on the sheet for a minute then move to a cooling rack.
  11. Find suitable matching tops and bottoms as some may not be shaped the same.
  12. While cookies are cooling heat the jelly on the stove, adding the orange blossom water to thin it out.
  13. Sift powdered sugar onto the tops.
  14. Once the jelly mixture has cooled place about 1/2 teaspoon onto each bottom and place top on.
  15. Allow to set and then store properly.

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* Sablé cookies are able to store for up to 10 days.