Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Individual B'stillas (Page 374)

RECIPE #1040

  • Date: Saturday, October 24, 2009 -- 10pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

My special gentleman loves anything with phyllo, so I made these Moroccan chicken and almond pies for him when he visited a few weeks ago. This recipe was quite labor-intensive. I cooked onion and garlic in butter, then added ginger, ras el hanout (see post below), and pepper. I cooked it for several minutes, then added some chicken parts, chicken stock, and saffron soaked in boiling water. I covered and simmered until the chicken was tender. I then reserved the cooking liquid and my special gentleman took the meat off the bones and shredded it. He then boiled the cooking liquid and added some eggs in a slow stream, whisking. When the eggs were set he drained them in a sieve and discarded the liquid. We then mixed together the egg, chicken, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. I then ground almonds, cinnamon, and sugar in the food processor. The individual pies were assembled via a lengthy process of brushing sheets of phyllo with butter, stacking them, dusting them with almond sugar, filling them with chicken filling, dusting with more almond sugar, rolling them up, and brushing with more butter. I repeated these assembly steps 9 times, to make 10 b'stillas. Then I baked them on a buttered baking sheet, sprinkled them with cinnamon and powdered sugar, and served. These b'stillas were pretty good. The phyllo was lovely and flaky, and I liked the sweet-savory aspect of the dish a lot. However, I didn't love the filling. My big complaint was that there was just too much egg in it. The chicken had a great flavor and I liked it with the herbs. But I wasn't loving the cooked egg in the filling, and there was a lot of it. Also, it seemed silly to go through all the work to make individual pies. It would have been much simpler to just make one big pie and then slice it. Were I to make this again that is definitely what I would do! Overall though, it was a tasty dish, and my special gentleman enjoyed it.

The recipe is here.

Marathon week is here and I am mentally preparing for the race. Last night I did my last training run -- a very short 5 miles. I am tapering before the marathon on Saturday, so no more running for me! Regardless of how the marathon goes on Saturday, I am quite happy to be done training! It has certainly been a big undertaking.

In some ways I wish the marathon had been about a month ago. Five weeks ago or so I did a 20 mile training run that went really well and I felt very ready to run the marathon. But things have been ridiculously busy since then. About a week and a half ago I did my last long run before the race. It was meant to be 22 miles. The long run was on a Sunday morning. The day before (Saturday) I spent 12 hours in my office. By the time I left I was so exhausted that I just didn't have the energy to worry about carbo-loading. I ate broccoli and tofu for dinner. Although it was tasty, it was not good fuel for a long run. I went to bed late and woke up early. I ate very little, then headed out for a run. Around mile 15 I just lost it. I was starving, and exhausted. I started crying on the trail. It was not pretty. My special gentleman came out to meet me, and he pushed me to run another few miles. I found another 3 miles in me, and I ended up quitting after 18 miles. It was not a good experience. Despite that trauma, I do think I am ready for the marathon. I just need to be smart about it. On Friday I will be sure to eat a lot of pasta, and I will try to get as much sleep as possible. Then on Saturday, with my special gentleman running with me for support, I am pretty sure that I will finish the 26.2 miles!

Wish me luck!


GilaB said...

I think the individual pies thing is a Gourmet twist, and that in Morocco, they're made like you'd like to, as one big pie.

Good luck with the marathon!

Emilee said...

I am on call tomorrow through Friday, so if I collapse in a post-call coma and forget to say it later: GOOD LUCK ON SATURDAY! I can't wait to hear how it goes. I'm sure you'll do awesome!

Deniz said...

Good luck to you and Matt! I know you'll kick butt!

mike hill said...

I'm, um, also on call, so I'll just say now:

You are gonna rock!

I am super confident that you are gonna have a blast.

Your whole experience has been a real motivator for me. I've started training for a half marathon myself. We'll see where this takes me. Not sure I can follow in your fast footsteps!

Teena said...

Thanks for all your well wishes. The encouragement definitely helped keep me motivated!