Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
16

1- To work with phyllo or yufka sheets the key is to keep them from drying out. A damp, but not dripping, towel laid over the sheets is essential. Cover it after each time you take out a sheet. They dry out very fast and then just disintegrate. 2- The butter should be melted but not hot. Many recipes call for it to be clarified as well but I don't ...


14

Yes. Make it again and don't add horseradish. I'm totally serious - no traditional hummus recipe in the known universe has horseradish in it. There is nothing you are going to be able to do to your existing batch to remove that flavor, other than diluting it, but I don't think you'd be able to dilute it enough to be worth the effort.


13

The magic word is "water" - the dough needs sufficient moisture to stay moist while it expands to one big pocket and enough to generate the steam to make that pocket. Most people when doing doughs make them too dry because they're easier to work with. As the dough rests, it will pull together more. Ideally make your doughs for this kind of bread slightly ...


10

Just toured 17 tahini factories in Palestine. The traditional process soaks the sesame seeds in salt water, first to soften the hull for de-hulling, again to separate the hulls from the seeds, and finally to obtain the desired flavor. The seeds are rinsed in fresh water prior to drying and roasting. Alternate de-hulling processes avoid the initial salt water ...


10

You cannot make good hummus from canned chickpeas, you should make it from fresh dried beans The beans need plenty of soaking and rinsing When cooking, add one tsp of baking soda per cup of beans. Baking soda chemically softens the bean proteins. Never add salt or other flavourings during the bean cooking stage Traditional hummus is somewhat coarse, but ...


10

While you can make a decent hummus with a blender, it will be thinner than the hummus you would make in a food processor (at least thinner than my recipe). If you have a potato masher or ricer, either would do the job nicely, giving you a texture that is less smooth than you might get with a food processor, but definitely good. I like the texture when done ...


9

I was able to track down the dish. It is called Lahuhe. There is a picture of it here. Thank you to everyone for trying to help me out.


9

For the times I've done gyros as such, you basically make a 'paste' out of it in the food processor. Throw ground lamb in and give it a whirl, mix your spices and such in, put it on a spit, fridge to give a bit hard, and then on the spit. It comes out with a texture like that. That's how that kind is often done. For 'proper' tasting meat (more like the ...


9

Growing up, my mother always used to bake them. They do turn out a bit drier than if you deep-fried them, but not overmuch. They cook for about 15-20 minutes at 400°F (~200 °C), or until golden and crispy on the outside. Alternately, you can pan-fry them, as other answers have suggested. Or you can split the difference and oven fry them. If you're ...


9

In Israel I have often seen hummus/falafel/thina served with a hot sauce called skhug, I have mostly seen the green variety (skhug yarok), which is a sauce made of fresh herbs, garlic, chili, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and some spices. Hummus is often just served with thina on the side and with olive oil, but there is a lot of variety ... I have seen ...


8

Both crispy and caramelized onions are cooked for a long time, and will be very brown. However, they are cooked slightly differently. Caramelized onions are usually cross-cut on the onion to release its moisture, and then cooked over very low heat in a crowded pan, stirring infrequently, so that they gradually release their sugars and liquid and it turns ...


8

Here, in Turkey, cabbage dolma is also very popular. I have no clue about cooking, but probably you may need to cook it differently.


7

Greek yogurt is simply strained yogurt. It was only fairly recently that Greek yogurt was widely available in the United States, so prior to wide availability, a simple substitute was to strain normal yogurt. The type of sauce you are trying to make would definitely use a strained yogurt. Whether you wanted to strain your own or buy strained yogurt (aka ...


7

You need a temperature of at least 250°C (480°F) to get a real good steam puff inside the bread the moment it goes in oven. It is the initial rush of heat that cooks just the outside layer, and also makes steam inside which forces open the bread and makes a pocket. Once the bread is partially cooked through, you wont get a single clean pocket Traditional ...


7

Being Greek I don't paticularly like this kind of lamb. It's really a compressed meat loaf if you ask me. But you can watch Alton Brown make this version on Good Eats http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MabT40VRvZk In your first photo I prefer when the meats are stacked up like on the left side. You can also use ground beef, lamb, chicken or pork season them ...


7

Baklava truly is the dessert of the gods. One of my favorites! And a real treat for many people who are used to desserts that simply compete with one another to be as fatty and as sweet as possible, with as many different "types" of chocolate as can be reasonably crammed in. The rich flavor of nuts and the floral sweetness of honey and rose water can be a ...


7

This is an answer to the "how to make it faster" portion of your question. Here's how you make it, quick, easy, and 99% as good as if you'd spent an hour painting each phyllo sheet using a brush made with magical unicorn tail hair. Take half the phyllo and place on baking sheet Spread nuts/sugar/cinnamon on top Take other half phyllo and cover the nuts/...


7

Allspice is, indeed, the only commonly used spice* native to North America. It is also very commonly used in various Arabic, Central Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is a standard part of the cuisine-defining North African spice mixes baharat and ras al hanout. The vast majority of global Allspice is still grown in Central America. You ask a good ...


6

I make hummus often, too, and I've used an immersion blender, mini food processor, and blender. The secret to getting a smooth hummus, regardless of the tool, is using plenty of olive oil but adding a small amount of water to make it easy to blend thoroughly. I use about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of olive oil per batch (with one 16-oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed and ...


6

In answer to "And is this authentic or just an American bastardization of the authentic gyro meats?", it could be American bastardization, or just lazy cafe owners? Shawarma is made by stacking strips of meat on the skewer. Like spokes on a bicycle wheel, where the skewer is the hub. One end of a strip goes on the skewer, the other hangs out The meat is ...


6

You've certainly got the right idea - cream of tartar is nothing more than an acidifier and so any acid can be used as a substitute. It combines with water to create tartaric acid. Two important characteristics of cream of tartar are that it is (a) dry and (b) mostly flavourless. Vinegar, lemon juice, etc. are all wet and add some flavour of their own. The ...


6

McCormick Science Institute: History of Spices: Papyri from Ancient Egypt in 1555 BC classified coriander, fennel, juniper, cumin, garlic and thyme as health promoting spices (3). Records from that time also note that laborers who constructed the Great Pyramid of Cheops consumed onion and garlic as a means to promote health. The Spice Encyclopedia at ...


6

Capsaicin dissolves easily in oils (and alcohol). Steeping or gently heating chili peppers in oil will easily produce a spicy oil. You could use crushed red peppers but you might get more interesting flavors by using a fresh pepper. A single habanero would give you an interesting fruitiness and all the heat you could ever want. As for the lemon- Lemon ...


6

The recipe calls for simmering 30 mins, baking 30 mins, resting 10 mins. This isn't quite an accurate representation of the recipe. The recipe calls for baking cauliflower and eggplant for 20 minutes each prior to assembly. Once assembled, the rice gets simmered for 30 minutes. Then the completed dish rests for 10 minutes. The cook times will likely not ...


5

mortar and pestle works perfectly. Watch out for your fingers, though. When the pestle gets all slippery it is pretty easy to hurt yourself. In a pinch, I have also used a heavy glass (think mojito) with a thick bottom as a pestle, and a plastic bowl as a mortar. Messy, but when you must have hummus messiness is just a detail.


5

Of course there are other types of dolma, but they are not supposed to be similar to grape leaf dolma, just like ricotta isn't similar to cheddar, even though they are both cheeses. To imitate grape-leaf dolma, I would look for a big-leafed green vegetable with some taste on its own and slight acidity. Sadly, most types of salad will be way too tender for ...


5

It depends if you want a nice baklava or a quick one. I am not familiar about the quick baklava, so I will share my tips on delicious baklava: Phyllo pastry needs to be at room temperature before you handle it. Otherwise it retains some of the moisture that make the individual sheets stick to each other. However, do not take it out of the package till you ...


5

"Tahini Sauce" and "Taratour Sauce", which are sauces based on tahini, are often simply called "tahini". Generally the recipe is tahini, lemon juice, salt, and optionally herbs and/or garlic. Example recipes: http://mideastfood.about.com/od/dipsandsauces/r/tahinisauce.htm http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2009/11/simple_tahini_sauce.php


5

I have no idea why it starts with Greek yogurt. Wherever I've had it - at home, restaurant-made, or ready-bought, it contained just plain yogurt, water and salt. (The ratio varies to taste). This includes ayran made in traditional Turkish restaurants run by Turkish owners. Also, I can't think of a practical reason why true (strained) Greek yogurt could make ...


5

It's almost certainly a type of pogacha, or possibly kruh. Originally, "pogacha" basically meant "bread baked on a hearth", or in other words, "bread" (when the word was invented, almost all bread was baked on a hearth). Thus, there are as many different kinds of pogacha as there are of bread. The word derives ultimately from the Latin panis focacius, i....


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