Gouter d’anniversaire de ma princesse…….My girl’s b’day party

Bonjour,

Apres l’anniversaire de mes deux garcons, je viens aujourdh’ui, partager quelques photos de la table d’anniversaire de ma fille , recemment celebree’.

la table etait garnie de quelques mets  sales comme les mini tajine jben, du poulet panne’ Algerien, du riz a la viande hachee’, des saucisses au poulet, et cote’ sucre’, j’ai prepare’  des truffes facons cake pops americains, des tartelettes au caramel, pignon et mousse au chocolat ( recette a venir ) des cupcakes multicolores garnis d’images et cosmetibles et le gateau barbie qui m’a donne’ du fil a retordre car c’etait la premiere fois que je l’essayais et sans moule, qui plus est..

Gateau Barbie au chocolat entoure’ de cupcakes au citron :

de plus pres:

cake pops et tartelettes caramel et mousse au chocolat :

Mini tajine jben ( un peu bronzes ):

Riz et poulet panne’ a l’Algerienne :

une vue d’ensemble :

Publicités

« Braj  » or how to celebrate Spring the Algerian way……Braj…..ou comment celebrer le printemps a l’Algerienne…..

 
 
From the dawn of history, Spring has always been a symbol of hope and rebirth ,a time to celebrate the return of light and warmth, and new crop planting after months of harsh and tiring weather .
Ancient civilizations like the Egyptians with their “ cham enissim” or Persian “and their “noruz” celebrated the return of spring with house cleaning, picnicking and the preparation of a given food typical to each culture…..
Algeria, whose history has mingled with all its neighboring mediterranean civilizations , is no exception. Even though the celebration has no official status, people of the eastern part of the country continue to celebrate the coming of spring that falls on the beginning of March according to the crop- based ,Amazigh calendar.
 Men, women and children get outside for a picnic enjoy nature  , collect edible plants and eat « braj » which is a sort of semoulina shortbread , sandwiched with date paste and flavored with orange blossom water.This celebration is called  » rbi3″ or  » tafsout » meaning spring in arabic and Amazigh . for more info, click on this link  that depicts the celebration of tafsout in Aures , one of the eastern provinces of Algeria.Indeed for the Algerian collective memory, braj is the symbol of spring and the beautiful weather ……and when march is around the corner, either they have time to go for a picnic or not, people would remember this typical Algerian cake and enjoy it with a big glass of  « lben  »

the term braj, means losange in Algerian dialect. until a near past, this was the favourite shape of Algerians, every thing edible would be cut into a losange or a diamond shape… makroud, rfiss, braj, watermelon, even baklawa, tthe worlwide turkish delicacy is cut into lozanges. this opssession with the shape go beyond food and can be extended into jewelery , carpet , potery drawings and even to the tatoos worn by elderly women …… I am not a sociologist nor a historian but I dare think it’s one of the infuences of Amazigh culture ….
nowedays, the spell of the diamond shape has been broken in pastry giving birth to tens  of new cookies with different shapes and forms…….
 
And because, we like braj, and enjoy the scent of food that take us back to our childhood, I prepared it this weekend  : 
Note that Algerians traditional recipes measure the volume of ingredients and not their weight. the idea is to take any measure , be it a cup, a glass or a big container , fill it three time with the dry ingredients (semoulina in this case) and one time with fat ( butter, ghee, etc….) the choice of the measure will determine the quantity of the pastry…..if you want a small quantity, choose a small containeer, and vice-versa…….INGREDIENTS :3 measures of semoulina ( I  used  a coffee mug  )
1 measure of ghee /clarified butter
2 pinches of salt
orange blosom water diluted in water

FILLING:: I can’t give you an exact amount since the quantity used depends on the amount of date you want to have in the cake. I personnally like to have a generous layer of date paste .

date paste, a pinch a cinnamon, and few drops of oil to knead the paste

PROCEDURE :

mix the semoulina with the melted and cooled ghee, add the pinch salt, rub it with the palm of your hands as you would do with makroud, so that the ghee gets fully incorporated by the semoulina. leave the mixture to stand for few hours.

•Gradually add the orange blossom water and the water mixture until you get nice dough , neither dry, nor too soft. let it stand for half an hour.

in the meantime, knead the date paste with cinammon and oil, if you fancy, add a spoonful of toasted sesamy seeds.
on an oiled cling film, flatten and give it a round shape

 
divide the semoulina dough into two equal balls .
 

 
 
flatten one of the semoulina balls, place the date paste on top and cover it with the remaining semoulina ball. flatten this sandwich cake with a rolling pin .
 
 
 
 
 cut into losanges or squares and cook on a low-heated, un-greased « tajine » or » mraa  » returning both sides with a spatula until they get a nice golden brown colour.
 
Enjoy, warm or cold with a glass of buttermilk or your favourite drink

FRENCH VERSION :

c’est une specialite’ Algerienne qu’on prepare au debut de mars pour marquer la venue du printemps:

Alors il vous faut:
3 mesures de semoule
une mesure de beurre clarifie’  fondu et refroidi
2 pincees de sel
eau+eau de fleur d’oranger.
ghars(pate de datte ecrasee’) travaillee’ avec un peu de canelle et huile  

preparation: 
melanger la semoule,le sel,et le beurre fondu.bien travailler en frottant entre les mains.ajouter progressivement le melange eau et fleur d’oranger, jusqu’a l’obtention d’une pate maniable.deviser la en deux boules identiques. 

entre temps,mettre un grand sachet ou un papier film sur la table de travail,, huiler le legerement,deposez la pate de datte dessus et l’aplatissez en formant un cercle d’environ 1,5cm de diametre. 

prendre une boule de pate,l’abaissez en formant une grande galette.soulever le sachet et deposez dessus la pate de datte .

 abaisser la deuxieme boule de bate et deposer la sur la pate de datte
 . etaler la galette avec le rouleau a patisserie ou la paume de la main .couper la galette en bandes dans le sens de la largeur ,pour faire des losanges .

 faire chauffer le tajine ou la poele , diminuer le feu .faites cuire les losanges sur les deux faces ,et degustez avec l’ben.

Bonne degustation

Tajine Algerien aux poulet et olives /Algerian chicken tajine with olives

Salam to all,

le poulet aux olives et un plat maghrebin par excellence. la facon de le cuire et les epices utilisees different d’une region a une autre. la version Algerienne ne contient souvent pas de citron confit, souvent associe’ a la cuisine Marocaine. chez nous, le citron frais est plutot presse’ sur le poulet une fois cuit et decore’ avec . en effet, les quartiers de citron ainsi que le persil hache’ sont souvent utilises comme note finale pour decorer les tajines Algeriens.

il existe des dizaines de versions de ce plat. voici comment j’aime le preparer :

INGREDIENTS:

un poulet netoye’ et coupe’ en morceaux

1 gros oignon

3 a 4 gousses d’ail selon leur grosseur

sel ( ayez la main legere avec le sel car les olives sont deja salees)

poivre, curcuma, gingembre

smen/ghee  de preference ( beurre clarifie’)

un bouquet de persil hachee et des quartiers de citron pour la deco.

PROCEDURE:

Pour un gout plus savoureux, melanger le poulet avec les epices et le laisser mariner plusieures heures, voire,une nuit.

sinon,

Sur feu tres doux, faire revenir pd 10 minutes environ  les morceaux de poulet avec l’oignon hache’, l’ail presse’  et le reste d’ingredients. remuer de temps en temps pour eviter que le poulet  ne  cole au fond de  la marmite, couvrir d’eau chaude et laisser cuire. quand les morceaux de poulet sont presque cuits, ajouter les olives vertes denoyotees. et prealablement dessalees .

laisser mijoter jusqu’a  la reduction de la sauce. Avant de servir, vous pouvez prelever le poulet, melanger 2 cuilleres a soupe de sauce avec une noisette de beurre , badigeonner les morceaux de poulet avec ce melange et les faire rotir au four, ou bien, les sauter dans un melange d’huile et de beurre, ou les  laisser  natures.

pour presenter le tajine. placer les morceaux de poulet dans un grand plat, ajouter la sauce reduite et les olives, et decorer avec le persil et les quartiers de citron ( facultatif)

ce plat ce deguste avec une bonne kesra matlou Algerienne

ENGLISH  VERSION :
A staple ingredient of Mediterranean cuisine, olives are very present in Algerian cuisine. They are used in a  versatile ways , marinated , added to local pies and « boureks »   to  stews  and gravies to bring more flavor or as simple appetisers.

The recipe, I’m suggesting today  is a classical Algerian dish ..i.e Chicken with green olives…..aka « chtit’ha bezitoun » in Algerian dialect …..dozens of varieties exist according to regional and family heritage  , some prefer a spicy  versions, others add a handful of chickpeas for extra character,some prefer the use of parsley, others of cilantro leaves….etc….the version I’m suggesting  today is the one i learned  from the women of my family and the one I cook for my guests…….
Note that the Algerian version of this classical North African dish calls for the use freshly squeezed lemon instead of the preserved one.
if fresh olives are used , make sure to desalinate them first  by  soaking  them 2 to three times in hot water before adding them to the tajine . if you use canned olives instead  , just  wash them thoroughly  and use them as instructed below.

INGREDIENTS:
1 chicken cut into pieces
2 onions chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
Salt ( go easy on the salt as the olives are already salted )
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon of ghee or butter
1 cup green olives, pitted

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 lemon cut into quarters to decorate

PROCEDURE:

For better results, coat the chicken with the above spices and let it marine overnight. If that is not possible, just place the chicken, spices, onion  garlic and the ghee in a normal skillet and brown for 10 minutes under very low heat.  turning over ,now and then so that the chicken pieces don’t stick to the bottom of the skillet. cover with hot water and let it simmer on medium heat. when the chicken is half cooked, add the pitted olives and continue cooking until it gets tender and the gravy is thick and reduced.
before serving , you can take out the chicken pieces, mix two tablespoon of gravy and a knob   of butter ,  brush  the chicken  with this mixture  and get it roasted in a hot  oven, alternatively , you can  fry them in a mixture of oil and butter or just leave them as they are.
to serve, place the chicken pieces in a big shallow plate , add the gravy and the olives, squeeze  some lemon juice and decorate the dish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.
serve hot with Algerian bread ( kesra ) or french baguette , never ever with rice or couscous…..