Egypt in an RV
Mar. 1, 2010 7:42 pm
Updated: Mar. 8, 2010 4:30 pm
You ever have one of those nights where you just wanna throw in the towel and go to bed? Right now is one of those for me. I layed this beautiful blog out on blogger and went to copy and paste it here like I have been doing, but, oh h3ll no...it won't let me. But I am nothing, if not determined, so I'll just post it the old fashioned way. With that being said...
Tonight was Egypt night in the ol' RV! On the menu was Sheesh Tawook (Chicken Kababs), Couscous with Currants and Cumin, Orange & Radish Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette and Ruzz Bi-Laban (Rice Pudding). All of these recipes can be googled with success. It's been one of those weeks. I found a neat website called simply Egyptian Food, I planned my menu, made my chicken marinade this morning and got the chicken soaking, made the vinaigrette for the salad, went to go and look again and it was GONE! Gone, I tell ya! So, I had to hunt down other recipes and I looked at many and they all looked pretty similiar. Disaster averted!
Egypt is famous for its ancient civilization and some of the world's most famous monuments are located there, such as the Giza pyramid complex and the Great Sphinx (I wanna go!). The southern city of Luxor contains numerous ancient artifacts, such as the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings.
Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East. The majority of the estimated 77.4 million people live near the banks of the Nile River, in an area of only about 15,000 square miles. This is where the land is the most fertile for growing crops. The large areas of the Sahara Desert are sparsely inhabited.
Like any crossroads culture (Egypt's land bridge connects with Asia), Egyptian cuisine contains ingredients and foods that grow the best in the fertile land of the Nile. The Sheesh Tawook is a popular form of Egyptian street food. Meats are generally grilled and the predominant meats are lamb and chicken.
I know when I hear Egypt and food in the same sentence, I immediately think SPICE. I can picture an Egyptian bazaar with huge displays of spices...from the yellow of saffron to the ochres of curries to deep blues of powdered indigo dyes. Food is spiced, but not spicy. It is typical to find salt and cumin rather than salt and pepper on a restaurant table.
With the Sheesh Tawook, I would not recommend marinading more than about 4 hours or the acid from the lemon actually starts to cook the chicken, like ceviche. I cut each chicken breast half into 8 chunks and put 4 chunks per soaked wooden skewer. This grilled up super quick and was absolutely delicious and garlicy and lemony.
The couscous, well, neither of us really cared for it much. I thought it was ok, Bob, the trooper that he is, ate one big bite and no more...we wound up scraping it in the garbage. I tried!
The salad was unusually delicious and I was wary after reading how to make cinnamon vinaigrette...it didn't sound right. But it was right and this salad and dressing went together like macaroni and cheese. Super yummy, I highly recommend trying it for something different.
The Ruzz Bi-Laban was a huge disappointment. Not taste wise, that was great, but texture-wise. The recipe I read said to simmer the rice in milk for 20 minutes or so until the rice got tender. I simmered for 45 minutes and it never did. It did taste phenominal, crunchy but phenominal. I must have used the wrong type of rice or something. I don't know!
For those of you who don't know, I do keep a World Journal (fancy title for a spiral notebook) with details from each country. So far I have cooked from nine different countries; 9 down and 43 to go! To date, in order, the countries are: Italy, Mongolia, India, Poland, Cuba, Morocco, Korea, Russia and Egypt. Each week, I give myself a $20 budget for food and supplies and whatever change is left over, I put it, literally, into a Crown Royal bag and that's my Beach Bag Fund. At the end of the year, I'm using the money for a trip to the beach. My groceries this week came to $11.45, so I was able to put $8.55 into the Beach Bag. The grand total after week 9 is $58.74....a good start for my beach trip next January.
Again, I would like to thank every person who voted for next week's blog country on the recipe exchange yesterday. Bob picked Argentina and I chose Thailand. We had 57 people vote (a new high record number of voters, I'd like to add) and 24-33...next week's country is Thailand.
Bob and I would like to thank everyone for all the well wishes, thoughts and prayers that all of you are sending our way. It's really touching and I do believe in the power of positive thinking and prayer. His surgery is tomorrow, early afternoon. He is having 2 scopes and a biopsy done on his throat and vocal cords. I won't know anything tomorrow, but I'll let you all know as soon I find something out. So, I'll see you all in Thailand next week and until then, peace....
World Journal...I plan menus, add links, attach grocery reciepts and summarize countries in this!
Orange & Radish Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette...not only gorgeous to look at but tasty as well!
Couscous with Currants and Cumin
Sheesh Tawook (Chicken Kababs)
Ruzz Bi-Laban (Rice Pudding) Mine turned out rather crunchy!
Can I get a volunteer to help with the dishes????? Please?