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Mezze with the Daring Cooks, this Feb

by on February 14, 2010
 
What’s in a name?

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To me, as an African,….a Nigerian, I could say it was everything. I look at myself today and wonder what would have happened if perhaps, I had another…name, and not Ozozoma. Which is my full name. Twice shortened: first at home in Nigeria to Ozoz, the full version only making punctuated appearances when Mum/Dad reached the limit critical. Thankfully no second name joined the first on those occassions.

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And second time around in Europe….to Oz. For the benefit of most who can’t comprehend Oz-Oz. And while I don’t mind, I do frown on references to the Wizard of -…..merely because I’d rather have positive associations made with my name. I know that people outside Africa think little of witchcraft but in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, it connotes a whole different aspect of being.

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Note that in Africa, when children are born, most names are sentences! Parents and family members name their children, not only based on how the names sound but what they mean. These names are thought out….and tend to be blessings and more…..hopes, dreams, desires….all wrapped up in a name. And as the children grow up, they’re bound to ask what these names mean. My sister’s name mean’s celebration – she was born on the 31st of December. My husband’s – strength. His mom had prevailed in bringing him forth. The association with past experience and hopes for the future encapsulated in a name. Saying that, people in Nigeria also have names like Friday, Sunday and Valentine, too! And so, this is how I think of me….as my full name…..”the giver of children”, though that is not my only destiny! And if you’re wondering why all I’m doing is rambling on about my name, which means ‘Everyone should give birth to children’ (I have 3 and so I think I have fulfilled my destiny!), its because when I read Sophia’s post, I smiled, having a few weeks ago penciled post titles, one of which was ‘What’s in a name?’ and the other? ‘Security through Obscurity’. She asked ‘Can you cook a dish that you think defines you the most?’ My answer is – ‘Yes I can’ ….and that dish wouldn’t be one….it would be a spread, a collection of many…..a bringing forth and bearing fruit, a birthing….and a celebration of ‘Mezze’! IMG_4785 And, I can now say…..(as per Blog checking lines), The 2010 February Daring COOKs challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid. The MANDATORY recipes for this challenge were the Pita Bread and the Hummus. The VARIATIONS ALLOWED were:
  1. The pita bread recipe uses all purpose flour – if you cannot digest wheat flour, you may tweak the recipe to use alternative flours.
  2. You can flavor the hummus however you’d like, for example, you can use olives, sun dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, etc. but stay with the recipe given. You cannot use your favorite hummus recipe or any other recipe.
  3. You can use however many optional recipes for mezze that you’d like – you can make all of them, or none of them.
  4. You can tweak any of the OPTIONAL RECIPES however you’d like to fit your tastes, or needs.
I decided to add other little dishes to the compulsory Pita and Hummus…..and this was served up as dinner, tonight.

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On the list: Marinated olives, Sizzling prawns, Dates wrapped in bacon and stuffed with almonds, Pizza sarnies, Salad, Halloumi skewers, Dukkah and Pita chips,….with some orange tea…to wash it down! Though it seems like a super long list, the beauty of it…..like having children is that some can be made (had/born)….before the others and in the end, they can all be assembled…..at the table, just like a family! Child #1 – Make ahead
Marinated olives
Dukkah
Child #2 – days before (~3 days)
Hummus
Pita chips
Pita bread dough
Child #3 – on the day
Pita bread, baked
Dates wrapped in bacon and stuffed with almonds Pizza sarnies
Salad Halloumi skewers
And as you can see…..the things to make increases progressively with each child, sorry set of dishes – please don’t be discouraged….as mothers the world who have multiple kids will let you know….things change…..for the better. More noise, more diversity….all the things you love in a meal! To be honest, for child #3, you can multi-task and combine the preps so….don’t be overwhelmed. You can for instance, prepare the bacon, pizza sarnies and pizza chips all at the same time. First of all, pop the bacon in the oven and after 5 minutes, put the pita chips in and then after 10 minutes, add the pizza. 8 minutes later, put the top on the pizza…. Then, after that 10 minutes, bring the bacon out everything. Let the bacon rolls cool down and while that’s happening, cut the pizza If you don’t want to use butter, you can spray canola or olive oil on them and sprinkle with herbs or seasoned salt. I split the pitas, cook the rounds and then break them into pieces when they come out of the oven.

Child #1 – The week before

Marinated Olives, adapted from Best of Morocco edited by Valerie Ferguson

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Ingredients
225g (1 1/2 cups) green or tan olives, unpitted (for each marinade)
For Moroccan marinade
3 tablespoons fresh coriander
3 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
good pinch of cayenne pepper
good pinch of (dry-roasted) cumin
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 – 3 tablespoons lemon juice

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For the spicy herb marinade
4 tablespoons fresh coriander
4 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 red chilli, seeded and finely sloced
1/4 preserved lemon (which I didn’t have….), I used lemon zest instead.
Directions Crack the olives to break the flesh but not the stone. You can do this by pressing the flesh with your fingers Leave in cold water overnight Drain and divide between two jars Blend the ingredients for each marinade and stir into the two jars
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Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 week, before use, shaking the jars occassionally. IMG_4710

Dukkah – Cleopatra’s Spice Mixture. Recipe from Hot! Hot! Hot! by Marianne Kiskola and Sanna Miettunen

IMG_3978Ingredients
100g peeled pistachios
100g peeled pistachios
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried thyme
25g sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Directions Roast pistachios and almonds in a hot, dry pan until they change colour

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Stir carefully and set the nuts aside to cool Also roast the coriander, cumin and sesame seeds with the dried thyme. Stir carefully. IMG_3986 Combine all ingredients and crush theim in a mortar. The end result should be a crumbly mixture….not a paste.

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To serve, dip chunks of Pide (Turkish bread), or quails eggs first in olive oil and then in the Dukkah. Scrumptious!

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But this delicious mixture can be used a topping for bread, in place of bread crumbs….on meat/fish and anything you can thing off…..I’m thinking ice cream with olive oil, dukkah and some salt, just like the gelato con olie e sale!IMG_4761

Child #2 – days before

Hummus – Recipe adapted from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden Prep Time: Hummus can be made in about 15 minutes once the beans are cooked. If you’re using dried beans you need to soak them overnight and then cook them the next day which takes about 90 minutes. IMG_4728
1.5 cups dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight (or substitute well drained canned chickpeas and omit the cooking) (10 ounces/301 grams) 2-2.5 lemons, juiced (3 ounces/89ml) 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed A big pinch of salt 4 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste) OR use peanut butter or any other nut butter—feel free to experiment) (1.5 ounces/45 grams) Additional flavorings (optional) I would use about 1/3 cup or a few ounces to start, and add more to taste
Directions: 1. Drain and boil the soaked chickpeas in fresh water for about 1 ½ hours, or until tender. Drain, but reserve the cooking liquid. 2. Puree the beans in a food processor (or you can use a potato masher) adding the cooking water as needed until you have a smooth paste. 3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

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My adjustments:
  • I used tinned chickpeas
  • I rinsed them once out of the tin and rubbed the peas together to remove the skins, which I discarded – this makes an incredibly smooth hummus
  • I roasted the chickpeas with some cumin seeds, garlic cloves and olive oil for about 10 minutes, till the chickpeas turned a golden yellow and the garlic softened. I love roasting because I think it smooths out the taste, mellowing, yet deepening the chickpea flavour.
  • I got my food styling tips from Beth of Dirty Kitchen Secrets!
Pita chips – I used a recipe from Martha Stewart.

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I must say they taste terrific………thin, light and crisp. It appears that crackers will never be the same for me…..and they make a delightful vehicle for any manner of dip!

IMG_4768Child #3

Pita Bread – Recipe adapted from Flatbreads & Flavors by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid Prep time: 20 minutes to make, 90 minutes to rise IMG_4786
2 teaspoons regular dry yeast (.43 ounces/12.1 grams) 2.5 cups lukewarm water (21 ounces/591 grams) 5-6 cups all-purpose flour (may use a combination of 50% whole wheat and 50% all-purpose, or a combination of alternative flours for gluten free pita) (17.5 -21 ounces/497-596 grams) 1 tablespoon table salt (.50 ounces/15 grams) 2 tablespoons olive oil (.95 ounces/29 ml)

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Directions: 1. In a large bread bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Stir to dissolve. Stir in 3 cups flour, a cup at a time, and then stir 100 times, about 1 minute, in the same direction to activate the gluten. Let this sponge rest for at least 10 minutes, or as long as 2 hours. 2. Sprinkle the salt over the sponge and stir in the olive oil. Mix well. Add more flour, a cup at a time, until the dough is too stiff to stir. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Rinse out the bowl, dry, and lightly oil. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until at least doubled in size, approximately 1 1/2 hours. (At this stage, I popped mine in the refrigerator and let prove overnight) 3. Place a pizza stone, or two small baking sheets, on the bottom rack of your oven, leaving a 1-inch gap all around between the stone or sheets and the oven walls to allow heat to circulate. Preheat the oven to 450F (230C). 4. Gently punch down the dough. Divide the dough in half, and then set half aside, covered, while you work with the rest. Divide the other half into 8 equal pieces and flatten each piece with lightly floured hands. Roll out each piece to a circle 8 to 9 inches in diameter and less than 1/4 inch thick. Keep the rolled-out breads covered until ready to bake, but do not stack. 5. Place 2 breads, or more if your oven is large enough, on the stone or baking sheets, and bake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until each bread has gone into a full balloon. If for some reason your bread doesn’t puff up, don’t worry it should still taste delicious. Wrap the baked breads together in a large kitchen towel to keep them warm and soft while you bake the remaining rolled-out breads. Then repeat with the rest of the dough. IMG_4480
My adjustments:
  • I made half of the recipe with 2cups of wholewheat flour and 1 cup of white flour
  • I loved counting to 100…and 20! It seems to really activate the gluten cause in no time, I had a sponge
  • I made my dough up to the point of kneading, and because it was past midnight, I didn’t bother with the kneading but put it in the fridge and let it do a slow rise.
  • Next morning, I brought out and baked…..bitten by the bug of healthy bread in 5 minutes!
Dates wrapped in bacon and stuffed with almonds – recipe inspired by prepacked box at Sligro and memories of a recent dinner! IMG_4500
Ingredients
Streaky bacon, slices cut across in half.
Dates
Almonds – blanched or flakes

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Tips
  • Use bacon slices which aren’t too thick or you’ll find it difficult to wrap the dates
  • Stuff the dates with almonds if using, before you wrap them.
  • Secure the wraps with toothpicks. Try to stick the toothpick close to one end of the wrap, to avoid the almond in the centre.
  • Get moist, plump dates with pits and then remove the pits yourself
  • How to Preheat oven to 180 c(350 F) {Place a baking stone/skillet on a baking rack (on the lowest rungs) in your oven (this is for step #2 – the pizza sarnies)!} Stuff an almond into each date. Cut each slice of bacon in half, crosswise. Wrap each date in half a slice of bacon, and secure if needed, with a toothpick. You should stick the toothpick through the date closer to one end, so as not to run into the almond in the middle. Place dates on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for about 15 -20 minutes or until the bacon fat is rendered. {Note, when the bacon is half way through, put the pizza in the oven} Let cool for about 10 minutes because the dates will be hot and molten….and can burn!

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    Pizza sarnies IMG_4777 I had some left over Filet Americain, which formed the base, replacing passata or any other tomato sauce. In the past, I’ve made it with Muhammara too. I spread this on some  Lavash bread, followed by torn Mozzarella pieces, chopped fresh and sundried tomatoes, some oregano and some dried chilli pepper. I placed this on my heated pizza stone on the bottom layer of my oven and let it bake till the cheese was melted. When that was done, I placed another piece of the bread to cover the top….as it is quite thin. I let that toast for 3-5 minutes and then brought it out.

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    The finished pizza sarnie was cut up into more manageable bites…..and enjoyed. (My husband loves it with butter over the top, for breakfast and dinner!) IMG_4531

    Sizzling Prawns, from Best of Morocco edited by Valerie Ferguson

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    Ingredients
    450g raw king prawns, shelled and cleaned, with tails left on.
    2 tablespoon olive oil
    2-3 tablespoon butter
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    How to Heat the olive oil and butter and fry the garlic for about 30 seconds Add the ground spices. Cook and stir for a few seconds and add the prawns. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes on high heat till they change colour and turn pink, stirring frequently. Serve the prawns with the spicy butter poured over them. Garnish with lemon wedges and coriander leaves.

    Salad

    I made a mixed salad of colourful and crunchy veggies. I didn’t bother with a dressing but you can dress at the table with olive oil and lemon juice. IMG_4776

    Halloumi skewers

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    Ingredients
    1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
    1 teaspoon runny honey
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon Lemon juice
    How to Mix all the ingredients, apart from the halloumi together. Season to taste and place in a shallow bowl, so you can marinade the Halloumi pieces Cut the Halloumi cheese in half across and then into 4 pieces lengthways. Put the Halloumi slices in the marinade, and  turn over till all sides are coated. Leave to marinade, till you’re ready to grill them. When ready, heat up a grill pan/frying pan. Gently push skewers through them……I will not at this point that I always have issues keeping the skewers in so I’ve taken to only pushing them in for a couple of centimetres and not all the way through. Place skewers in pan and let brown on all sides. The beauty of halloumi is that it stays firm and delicious…..great for any vegetarians on board!

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    When this feast is ready…..gather the family round the table….if they’re not already there. Sit down, break bread and enjoy this beautiful delight that is ‘Mezze’! I ENJOYED this challenge, as much as I enjoy being me – the variety, the flavours, colours, textures…..right up my street. Thanks Michelle, and thank you all for reading! Night, night and till our next encounter……♥ and lots of it!
    comments
     
    Leave a reply » 1 2

     
    • ozozoma
      October 21, 2010 at 2:30 PM

      Hello Oz,

      Just seeing your blog for the first time and am proud to say we share the same name.I think we also have the love of cooking in common.Weldone,so proud of you.

      Reply

    • February 26, 2010 at 3:17 PM

      Fab post – and I wish I could have joined you at the mezze table! Mezze are my favourites too…

      Love the bit about names – mine means God’s grace apparently. I love Ozozama as a name – I always wondered what your full name was! And in South Africa we also have some wonderful names – Precious, Blessing and Bright were among my students when I was teaching. My mom taught a System as well as a noNylon. Africa is a wonderful place :)

      Reply

    • February 22, 2010 at 8:02 AM

      Wow, I am in absolute awe of the expansive Mediterranean feast that you put forth. It is all so wonderful – and those bacon/almond dates, oh my! Just beautiful, all of it. Thanks so much for sharing and doing such a lovely job on this challenge!

      Reply

    • February 20, 2010 at 4:17 PM

      Love mezedes. I’m Greek after all. These look good!
      Magda

      Reply

    • February 20, 2010 at 12:00 PM

      What a feast honey! Another reason why i wish i was your next door neighbor.

      Reply

    • February 18, 2010 at 10:38 PM

      Thanks guys for your heartwarming comments! I enjoyed this challenge a lot, as it led me to try many new recipes!

      Reply

    • February 18, 2010 at 3:31 AM

      Oh my dear Oz, anything associated with you can only be positive! 😉 You are such a lovely person! I love the story of names.
      And your Mezze… everything you made look delicious!

      Reply

    • February 17, 2010 at 10:22 AM

      I had to take a break while I was admiring and digesting the information of whole wide range of dishes you picked for this challenge. Simply stunning and photos are truly crisp and nice!! Greatest take of this Mezze Challenge, I would say!!

      Sawadee from Bangkok,
      Kris

      Reply

    • February 17, 2010 at 8:56 AM

      Wow Oz, I love this post. I love your story of names, I actually find it very romantic. And your mezze platter/dinner is outrageous! I want to try everything you made! Fantastic! And your photography and presentation is so stunning it makes everything look 10 times mor mouthwatering and tempting. What’s your address? I’m coming for dinner! Big hug to you!

      Reply

    • February 17, 2010 at 1:00 AM

      Oz! This post is SUPER. Did it take you a lot of time as your posts are always so detailed with loads of helpful pictures. Man, I wish I were there to taste your mezze. Truly delectable! x

      Reply

      • February 18, 2010 at 10:37 PM

        Diva….hmmmmm. It did take me a little while but I try to do many things at the same time, effectively reducing the amount of time needed, and creating a huge mess…..right along with it! But, makes my heart sing, so….

        Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 9:35 PM

      wow wow and wow ! what a post, deliciously chock-full. you know what i had my eye on the most – that garlic hummus of course. BUT even more… i LOVE dates ! yum to all of the above ! :)

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 8:11 PM

      OZ,
      I love the story of your name. This is such a beautiful meal. Your attention to all of the details is incredible.
      Mimi

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 8:08 PM

      You really pulled out all the stops for this one. I didn’t realize just how good marinated olives could look. Now after passing on them for the challenge I will have to go back and give them a shot with your recipe.

      Bacon wrapped dates are one of my favorites. Only difference in mine is that in addition to the almond I also stuff them with blue cheese. Good stuff.

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 7:00 PM

      wow. you are indeed a daring cook! you did the most thorough, complete mezze i’ve seen, and i’m so jealous of anyone who got to eat on all of it! excellent work. :)

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 6:35 PM

      What a fabulous selection of mezze! This entry is a labour of love.

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 5:01 PM

      gorgeous array of mezze!! We’ve never actually cured our own olives (so much for daring, eh?) Now with your guidance, will surely try.

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 2:49 PM

      One of the best Mezzes I’ve seen so far. Really love the bacon wrapped almond stuffed dates, and the spiced pistachios look phenomenal, as does every.single.thing you made. You really went all out, and wow, just wow, Oh..to add more praise, your photos are spectacular!

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 2:36 PM

      What beautiful, mouth-watering little bites! I love all of them….mmmm

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 2:13 PM

      Oz, what a beautiful dish, especially I love those homemade marinated olives… always wondered how to prepare them 😉 Thank you for sharing story about the names, it was big pleasure to read it and getting know more about you. :)

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 8:27 AM

      I’m totally wowed at how much effort you put into this! You must be a fantatsic hostess! 😀 And I loved learning about African names too!

      Reply

    • Krista
      February 16, 2010 at 6:38 AM

      Oz, I cannot get over the brilliance of your photos! Wow, wow, wow. I’m in awe. And I love the background of your names – so special. :-)

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 5:39 AM

      The artistry in this entire post is simply marvelous. The mezze platter you’ve created is a beautiful, delicious representation of you!

      Although my and my sisters’ names are not sentences or blessings, each of our given names have a story behind them, adding a bit more personality, I hope!

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 4:11 AM

      Wow! I enjoyed reading your blog! See, i thought i’m done w/ mezze..NOT!! i’ve bookmarked this blog coz i so want to try dukkah with quails egg w/c we love and those prawns too!

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 3:50 AM

      Ozozoma – maybe your name should mean “feeder of children”.. :)

      You certainly “feed” all of us – I get full just reading your posts! Delicious!

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 1:04 AM

      This is a terrific mezze platter, wow! The Dukkah spice blend with pistachios captures my attention in particular – something my husband would really love.

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 1:03 AM

      Ozoz, this is the most amazing beautiful post. Scared me away from Daring Bakers though – it sounds as if you need the time to raise three more children! I loved the history of the Nigerian names – I write plays and carefully name my characters. But back to food – what a feast – I would have it all and am inspired to so at least a portion of it. The photos are so nticing!

      Reply

    • February 16, 2010 at 12:14 AM

      This all looks wonderful; you came up with some really delicious dishes for your platter. The photography is just beautiful too – lovely lighting, it really highlights the textures of your food.

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 11:21 PM

      I heaved this jealous, nostalgic, happy sigh at the marinaded olives, and my stomach was rumbling by the time I got to the dates. Wow. Your kids are SO spoiled; I hope they know how awesome they have it! 😀

      Clever idea in roasting the chickpeas; that might be the depth I need in my hummus.

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 11:18 PM

      What a phenomenal mezze spread. I love what you did with all of your optional dishes. You truly made the most of this wonderful challenge! I’m drooling over those dates, in particular.

      And thanks for including the tale of your name … so much wrapped up in who we are, where we came from, and the words used to describe us, isn’t there?

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 11:17 PM

      OMG, what an impressive and huge variety of mezze dishes. I also absolutely loved reading your post: the name story was really interesting! Fantastic job on the challenge. I really enjoyed the challenge, too – it was my first one with the DC. I have some new favorite dishes now ;o).

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 10:44 PM

      My goodness, what a feast! And so much work too. I am impressed! Loved watching your mezze take shape in pictures.

      And I loved the story about your name. When I clicked on your comment I came up with nothing. So glad to know Ozoz is Kitchen Butterfly!

      Reply

    • Annemarie
      February 15, 2010 at 10:36 PM

      Hi There,
      You forgot to mention your latest new (nick) name:

      Zo(h) Zo(h)

      It is almost not done to translate this, but I guess you already got the hang of it….
      Could say it means mas o menos / comme ci, comme ca

      big hug from BB to ZZ

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 9:39 PM

      So soooo good! So many little dishes. The colours are amazing. You did such a great job

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 9:23 PM

      Ozoz, you make me smile so much. I smiled all the way through your tale about your name…..Then what it means, made me smile more. I smile because my name is Velva, not a typical American name.
      I absolutely adore meze platters. First, because these small dishes (btw, yours are incredible) tantalize the senses and symbolizes all that life gives to nourish our bodies.
      I am totally impressed that you made your own pita bread. I do not have the courage to tackle such a project.
      P.S. My blog post on the Nigerian Chicken Stew will post on Wednesday-enjoy.

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 9:14 PM

      Thank you so much Oz! I will look in those places. I didn’t say earlier how inspired I am with your cooking and creativity! Also, I was going to comment on the akara. It is one of my favorite snacks ever… I lived in Sierra Leone (& married a Sierra Leonean) where they also make it, but they serve it with a side of a tomato, pepper and onion ‘gravy’ – sauce really ! Yes, food bloggers in the Hague need to meet up !

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 8:56 PM

      What a fun, tasty and creative mezze platter!

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 7:50 PM

      This all looks to die for (apart from the bacony bits). Mezze is such a fun thing to eat lots of tasters to keep the tastebuds from getting bored and is great to eat with friends. Now how about positive connotations for the word Oz – we Brits generally think Austrailia is a great place to go!

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 4:32 PM

      Your mezze looks so good! And that was an interesting bit of information on your name. To be honest; I do not even know what my name means… Hmm, gotta find out if it means anything at all!
      I especially think your dukkah looks incredible!

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 4:13 PM

      What a spread! I love mezze and virtually anything wrapped in parma ham too.
      My name means Princess apparently.

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 3:49 PM

      Wow, I am drooling over my keyboard. Please please let me knoww where you found the halloumi cheese. I live in The Hague and have not seen it anywhere. Thank you !
      By the way, my name means born in May in Macedonian.

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 2:56 PM

      Love your story about names mine (Audax) means “invulnerable to fear or intimidation” which pretty much sums me up. It is always great to hear about other cultures. Your mezze spread is mind-blowing I’m speechless on how wonderful it looks and must of tasted well done, bravo bravo bravo and kudos to and I’ve bookmarked this page of later reference when I make this again. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 2:01 PM

      My goodness, look at all that lovely food! Lots of bits to pick at with the people you love =)

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 12:49 PM

      Every time I come over here,…I learn a lot about food & cultures & that’s why I just gave you an AWARD!!!

      A fine award!!

      Yeah!! Enjoy!! Come over @ my latest post & you can read wh!

      The food looks so divine!!! MMMMMM,….drool,…drool,…

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 12:46 PM

      Wow!! Congrats, a huge amount of work went into this! I will most definitely be trying your prawns, I adore prawns!! Love your blog!

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 9:05 AM

      Oh you sure have giving me reason to start back with Daring Bakers/Cooks again…. This is such an impressive spread its ridiculous. ALl the blends and spices…. I LOVE Middle Eastern food as well, esp Persian.

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 7:14 AM

      A beautiful spread and a beautiful story! I didn’t realize that is what your name meant and I think the Daring Cook’s challenge was so meant for you to share this wonderful story with us.

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 5:03 AM

      Very impressive! Good thing you spread out the cooking over a week! Great job!

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 3:56 AM

      wow what a feast love Middle Eastern food I must try quail eggs

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 2:52 AM

      You had me at hummas and sucked me in with the marinated olives. Oh my – this is my kind of eating and you hit all my weak spots!

      Reply

    • February 15, 2010 at 1:26 AM

      I adore mezzes. You came up with so many delicious morsels, I wish i could help you eat some 😀
      Cant wait for next month when i join Daring Bakers too :)
      *kisses* HH

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