Today we decided to fulfill our mother’s requests of preparing a traditional Friday night meal. We took some recipes from each of our families, creating a feast with flavors from many different regions of the world. We started with our homemade kibbe (you can read about the process here: https://sarahandrachel13.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/recipe-kibbe/) and then moved onto the main meal. Hashu stuffed chicken (https://sarahandrachel13.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/recipe-stuffed-chicken/), challah bread (https://sarahandrachel13.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/recipe-challah-bread/), roasted potatoes, and a green salad garnished our table, and we finished off the meal with some bakery purchases. A delicious end to the work week.
The foods we made were foods we were comfortable with, used to the flavors and textures, and accustomed to watching them cook. Only this time, there were no parents to help us–tell us when things were done, and how much to make. This didn’t impair us too much, but every once in awhile we doubted our abilities.
Our first task was the challah. Since it takes some time to rise, it was a natural start to our cooking day. It was also one of the more difficult processes. Baking is a science, and so we had to be precise with our measurements, mixing times, and rising times. After we had the dough all prepared, we encountered the next challenge–braiding. Challah can be braided in many ways, but the most traditional for a normal Friday night is a four strand braid, not the three strand most girls are used to. Luckily, we figured it out okay and our challahs turned out beautifully (not to toot our own horns or anything). One of our family members even asked were we bought them.
We then moved on to our roasted potatoes, which cook for a long time. We didn’t really use a recipe for them. Instead we trusted our instincts, and again had success. Starting off, we cut about 12 medium sized potatoes into small chunks, then coated them in a thin layer of olive oil. We threw on some rosemary, and then put them in a 350 degree oven for an hour and a half (or until sufficiently golden). Yum!
Yet another daunting task was the stuffed chickens. The uncooked chickens are utterly disgusting, but in order to cook them well, we had no choice but to use our bare hands to smother them in spices. We also, having decided to stuff the chickens, had to squeeze our hashu (rice, raw meat, and spices) into the pockets of the chicken. Despite the unpleasantry of this process, and the surprisingly long amount of time it took to cook, it was a huge success! Everyone loved the chicken and it was a great centerpiece to our meal.
The last thing we did was fry up our kibbe. Unlike the long process of actually forming the meat pockets, cooking them takes little time. A few minutes in the hot oil, and they’re ready to drizzle with lemon juice and enjoy. Our kibbe got high praise from the connoisseurs at our table. They were admired for the thin shell, and to be honest, they just tasted delicious.