- HOME PAGE AND TIMELINE
- RESTAURANT REVIEWS
- SPECIALTY MARKETS - CULINARY ARTICLES - INFORMATION
- COMPETITIONS - EVENTS - SHOWS - TRAVEL CUISINE & DESTINATIONS
- APPETIZERS - EVENT PLATTERS
- SALADS - ASPIC - CHAUD FROID - COLLEE
- SOUPS - STEWS
- SANDWICHES - BURGERS - HOT DOGS
- VEGETABLES - THE DAILY BEANS
- ASIAN NOODLES - GOURMET RAMEN - KOMEX CUISINE
- PASTA - EGG NOODLES - PIZZA - CALZONE - STROMBOLI
- BEEF - STEAKS
- SEAFOOD - FRESHWATER FISH
- CHICKEN - GAME HEN - TURKEY
- PORK - HAM
- VEAL - LAMB
- BBQ - CHILI - SOUL FOOD
- WILD GAME - RABBIT - DUCK - GAME BIRDS
- SAUSAGE - OFFALS - LIVER - Pâté
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Petit-Déjeuner de Nord-Africaine
A petite North African style breakfast with Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Egyptian and French influences! A romantic French name too!
I used to work with an old French chef who was in the French foreign legion. He was posted in North Africa. We used couscous as a starch to accompany many of the entrees at his Provence style seafood restaurant. Our French Moroccan Algerian food was very popular with the older clientele that remembered the age of the French occupation of North Africa. The food was very healthy! The French chef at that Provence restaurant climbed to the summit of Mount Everest to celebrate his 65th birthday! Chef Felix was a great guy with a zest for life!
Those who like the classic Egyptian breakfast recipe, Ful Medames, will surely like this breakfast creation. The French influence and Italian influences in North African cuisine can be noticed in modern cooking. Besciamella or bechamel sauce for moussaka is a prime example. In Tunisia, Morocco and Algiers, sliced French or Italian bread often accompanies a meal. Traditionally, only unleavened breads accompany meals in North Africa.
Algerian style chickpeas (hummus) adds a very healthy nice flavor to this breakfast entree! Moroccan spiced couscous does have a very interesting flavor that is suitable for breakfast. Hard boiled eggs are traditional for breakfast on an Egyptian ful medames platter. In the old days, before paved roads, hard boiled eggs were easy to transport by Arabs on horseback or by camel. Hard boiled eggs became a traditional breakfast out of necessity.
The tomato and dried pepper harissa for the Algerian style hummus is very mild in flavor. Because I grew up as a kid in Mexican restaurant kitchen and my step grandfather was Syrian Lebanese, I got a good education on hot peppers early in life. My dad brought me gifts of canned jalapenos back from Mexico, every time that he did business in that country. I was a strange kid! I liked eating canned jalapeno peppers more than candy! No other kids wanted to steal my bag of candy, which was really a can of hot peppers!
Some people and cultures have a low tolerance for the spicy heat of chile peppers. Desert people become very sensitive with keen awareness, because of the vast subtle environment. My Syrian Lebanese step grandfather's last name translated to "The eye of the eagle." He taught me to be keenly aware of all sensory perception, like him. That is an Arabic necessity for desert survival!
When a harissa is described as being spicy hot, I do realize that that harissa may actually taste spicy hot to some people. As a person who has been eating hot chile peppers my entire life, a spicy harissa tastes as mild as an Italian tomato sauce! I do keep things in perspective and never over spice the traditional recipes in this blog. My own personal creations, that are intended to be very hot and spicy, do come with lead paragraphs that let the reader know that the level of chile pepper heat is at a maximum level! Some like it hot and some like it mild!
The easy way! The yolk is not on you! Ha ha ha!
Start the egg in a sauce pot with cold salted water.
Place the pot over high heat and cook the egg for 5 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat.
Let stand for 1 to 5 minutes, depending on the state of doneness that you want the yolk to be.
Place the pot under cold running water to cool the egg.
Peel under water.
If you use these guidelines, then the egg yolk will never have an ugly gray colored coating. Very fresh eggs will release from the shell much easier with this professional breakfast cook's method. Modern fine dining hard eggs usually have a semi soft yolk. North Africans usually prefer a fully cooked yolk.
Algerian Style Harissa Chickpeas (Algerian Hummus):
Hummus simply translates to beans in many Algerian tongues. It also translates to hummus bean paste dip. This harissa sauce does contain tomato for a nicer breakfast flavor.
Heat a small saute pan over medium low heat.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced onion.
Add 1 minced garlic clove.
Saute till the onions turn clear in color, but not browned.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of ground paprika.
Add 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.
Add 4 ounces of tomato puree.
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 pinch of coriander.
Add 1 large handful of rinsed cooked garbanzo beans or rinsed canned garbanzo beans.
Reduce the temperature to low heat.
Gently simmer till the sauce becomes thick.
Moroccan Couscous Recipe:
Boil 2 cups of water in a small sauce pot over medium high heat.
Add 1 teaspoon of ginger paste.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic paste.
Add 1 teaspoon of minced onion.
Add 1 pinch of turmeric.
Add 1 pinch of saffron.
Add 1 small pinch of cinnamon.
Add 1 small pinch of mace.
Add 1 very small pinch of clove.
Add 1 pinch of cumin.
Add 2 pinches of coriander.
Add 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.
Add 1 small pinch of paprika.
Add 1 small pinch of ground fennel.
Add 3/4 cup of small fine couscous.
Stir and boil, till most of the liquid becomes absorbed by the couscous.
Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
Add 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil.
Add 1 small squeeze of lime.
Place a lid over the couscous pot.
Keep the couscous warm.
Petit-Déjeuner de Nord-Africaine:
Use a mold or a cup to plate the Moroccan Spiced Couscous on the center of a plate.
Spoon the Algerian style harissa chickpeas on the front half of the plate.
Place several slices of toasted French baguette bread on the back half of the plate.
Cut the boiled egg into quarters and place them on the harissa chickpeas.
Garnish with Italian parsley sprigs.
Viola! A nice looking North African style breakfast with a little bit of French influence! This is a very comfortable and healthy plate of breakfast food that has plenty of flavor. There is no rule that says that breakfast has to be bland and boring! North Africans know this well! Yum! ... Shawna