Monday, August 9, 2010

Middle Eastern Mezze: Moroccan Cigars

Moroccan Cigars are a delicious appetizer and a great addition to any Middle Eastern Mezze (sampler or small plates). In honor of our upcoming course, Middle Eastern Mezze, which will occur on Monday, August 23, at 7:30pm (a few spots are still available! Call 718-758-1339 to sign up!), we are sharing the following delectable recipe for Moroccan Cigars.

About this class: "The lightness and emphasis on fresh ingredients makes the cuisine of the Mediterranean and middle east the perfect summer fare. Join CKCA and one of our top chef instructors for an exploration of "mezze" or small plates and tasty nibbles from a variety of countries throughout this region."

Moroccan Cigars

1 onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pound ground Lamb, Beef, Veal or Chicken
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
freshly ground pepper
kosher salt
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
5 eggs, beaten
1 lb filo pastry (or large wonton wrappers)
6oz margarine, melted

Saute the onions in the olive oil until softened. Add the ground meat and cook until there is no more pink. While cooking, separate the meat with a spatula to avoid clumps from forming. Add spices, and salt and pepper to taste. When mixture is seasoned to your liking, add the beaten eggs and remove from the flame. Mix until the eggs become creamy. It will be slightly wet. Add the chopped parsley to the mixture, reserving a bit for a garnish.

Cut filo pastry lengthwise into a stack of rectangles. Brush the corners of three sides of the first rectangle with melted margarine. Place a small amount (approximately 2 tsp) of the filling along one of the shorter edges (the one without margarine), and roll into a tight cigar, folding in the corners as you go. Brush the end of the cigar with more melted margarine if necessary to secure it and to keep it from opening.

Place unbaked cigars on a non-stick pan or over non-stick foil. Brush tops with melted margarine. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes until golden brown. Cigars can also be finished by frying in olive oil until golden brown on all sides. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Yields 20-30 cigars, depending on how much filling you use for each cigar.

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