Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In My Kitchen: North African Meat Pie

One of the unique features about the Egyptian exhibit at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis (which I wrote about earlier this week here) was the inclusion of an Egyptian recipe and list of Egyptian restaurants and markets in Indianapolis. What a fun way to continue learning outside the museum walls. A few weeks later, as the protests in Egypt took center stage on the nightly news, I dug out the recipe so that we'd have some method to feel connected to this part of the world. (Afterall, isn't gathering around to share a meal the one truly global experience?)

When I gave the recipe a closer look, I decided I really didn't want to make that particular dish. But I figured Google wouldn't fail me in turning up an Egyptian-inspired recipe that was more appealing. The next thing I knew, I was stumbling around all sorts of recipes at TourEgypt.net's recipe site. (I know nothing about this company, but it has an extensive list of Egyptian recipes.) For some reason, North African sweet potato meat pie caught my attention. I then embarked on my most exotic cooking challenging to date.

I won't retype the recipe since you can see it for yourself here. I was a little intimidated and frightened when I realized the meat was the actual pie crust. But the whole point of this In My Kitchen series is to challenge myself. And I was up for an adventure.

The first step was forming the meat pie crust. Turns out it wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought.


Then I mashed up the sweet potato filling.


Then I assembled the pie. The raw meat crust was still creaping me out a little bit, I have to admit.

About an hour before we were ready to eat, I put it in the oven. (I had assembled it earlier that afternoon while the arrow was napping.)

Nothing left to do at that point than to dish it up and take a bite. I think the best way to describe it was exotic comfort food. It had just enough spices to give it a unique taste, yet it was still well within our comfort zone of flavors. In fact, I had all the ingredients on hand to make it besides the ground beef and two cans of sweet potatoes. It was a heavier dish than I typically cook, so we just had a small salad with it.

I'm sure this wasn't the most authentically Egyptian thing I could have tried. So I'd really like to venture out to an Egyptian restaurant soon and sample some more.

Have you tried Egyptian food? Any dishes you'd recommend?

This post is a part of Wanderfood Wednesday at Wanderlust and Lipstick and Hunk of Meat Monday at Beyer Beware.

Disclosure: My admission to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis was complimentary. I was under no obligation to write about our time there. The opinions expressed here are my own.