As I mentioned in the introduction to Algeria, we were excited to cook food from this country after enjoying the Algerian-American food at Schera’s restaurant in Elkader, IA. Although it didn’t quite live up to our expectations, it was still a good meal.
The first dish was the bourek, which is an appetizer. These fried Phyllo dough rolls were filled with ground beef and onion seasoned with parsley and a pinch of onion, then mixed with egg and Brie cheese before rolling them up. We really enjoyed these, and they went quickly (hence the lack of a good picture!). There were no leftovers, and I would happily eat these again.
The couscous was very light and fluffy when cooked with the traditional method of steaming, mixing with water/oil, and letting it rest, rather than boiling it. The vegetable stew was good, but not as great as I expected. Next time I would change the ratio of vegetables and scale back the zucchini, which didn’t hold up well in the slow cooking process. I would also decrease the cooking time… when it was all said and done, the stew had simmered for 2-3 hours, and it seemed a little more mushy than I expected. However, this was a good warm meal for a cold winter night, and we will enjoy eating the leftovers.
As I explained on the post for this bread, we had numerous mishaps along the way… in the end, we have no idea if the texture and consistency was close to authentic recipe, but it was still pretty tasty. The flavor was a little different from other breads I have eaten, which is probably the semolina flour. If we find this bread is common in a neighboring country in the future, we might have to revisit this recipe (hopefully with fewer mishaps) and see if it turns out differently.
The finished meal (not including the bourek appetizer, which was long gone by this time):
After the meal, we enjoyed a nice cup of mint tea (green tea with a sprig of mint in it), which is a traditional beverage.