P1100529So many cultures have snacks or appetizers that involve stuffing wrapped with pastry or something similar. Greece has kreatopetes. India has samosas. East Africa has its own take on samosas, with spicy ground meat. South America and Spain have empanadas. Asian cuisines have various kinds of egg rolls and spring rolls. And Morocco has briouates–envelopes.

We had them a few times in Casablanca, but the best were at the home of friends, who baked, rather than fried, them. (Actually everything we ate there was heavenly.) When we got home, I had to try to make them myself.

I made both chicken and beef fillings, because the Carnivore considers chicken unworthy. While I gave these Moroccan spices, it’s clear from the international list at the top that you can make them however you like. With holidays coming up, it’s nice to have some easy-yet-impressive appetizers or snacks that you can make ahead.

You can fold the briouates into triangles or roll them like fat cigars. I did triangles. I used “brick,” which is easier to work with than phyllo/filo (you don’t have to worry about it drying out in seconds), but not quite as light. Although I linked to a recipe for making brick, I bought it ready-made–it’s easy to find here.

I used chicken thighs because all the meat gets pulled off the bone and minced up after cooking. Cooking with the bones adds flavor. I didn’t go so far as to cook with the skin, though. P1100524Chicken Briouates

500 g/1lb. chicken thighs, skin removed if you prefer

1 large onion, minced

3-5 garlic cloves, minced

a handful of pine nuts (if you can afford them!) or slivered almonds

1 carrot, grated–this is my determination to add vegetables to everything, not at all traditional

1 teaspoon ras el hanout (easy to find in stores here but you can make it yourself, too)

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 package feuilles de brick

1/4 cup melted butter (you might use more, but melt it a little at a time)

Olive oil

Salt, pepper

2 eggs

Drizzle some olive oil in a Dutch oven or deep skillet–just enough to cover the bottom. Brown the chicken. Add the onions and garlic. When the onions start to get translucent, add the spices and carrots and stir to mix well. Add a good cup of water. Cover tightly with a lid and let it simmer until the chicken falls apart easily with a fork. If there’s still a lot of liquid, take out the chicken (see below) and cook the remaining mixture uncovered, stirring often so it doesn’t scorch.

Remove the chicken to let it cool so you can pull the meat from the bones. If pieces of chicken are large, tear them up or set them aside to chop up. Return the chicken to the onion mix in the skillet, and stir in the eggs. Cook it over low heat for a couple of minutes, just to set the egg a little. Let all that cool.

P1100445
Tastes better than it looks. No wonder it’s a filling!

Heat up the oven to 180 C/350 F.

Using scissors, cut the rounds of brick according to the size you prefer–if you want big briouates, you can go with half. I cut each brick into four strips (about 7.5 cm/3 inches) to make dainty briouates.

Have a baking sheet ready (I use silicone mats for easier cleanup; you can put parchment paper, but I don’t think briouates pose a sticky cleanup mess). You also need a clean space for folding–I used a cutting board. And you need the melted butter and a pastry brush.

To fold, you have several videos: This one, or this one, or this one that has interesting music. They all do it differently. The first one folds the half-rounds of brick lenthwise to make a strip. The others cut the brick into strips. I did strips because doubling over a half-round seemed like way too much crust.

Swipe each strip with butter–not much, just enough to make them crisp up in the oven. Deposit a spoonful of filling at one end of the strip, leaving about a centimeter/quarter-inch flap at the end. Fold over to make a triangle; as you continue (anybody who was a scout will recognize that it’s like folding a flag), the flap will tuck in. Make sure you push the filling all the way to the tip of the triangle; you can add more filling if needed. When you get to the end of the strip, fold the excess or cut it into a triangle (like the first video) and tuck it inside. In some videos, they glue the ends with a dab of flour/water mix. But I didn’t find that necessary.

You can bake these fairly close together because they don’t expand. They will be brown and crispy in 15-20 minutes. About 10 minutes in, turn them over.

P1100527To make them ahead, make sure you don’t overdo the browning in the first place. They are best reheated in the oven for 5-10 minutes–it keeps them from getting soggy. While the folding takes time, it isn’t difficult. As recipes go, briouates are a sure-fire success.

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10 thoughts on “A World of Finger Food

  1. I would love to devour these! They really look gorgeous. I need a gluten-free option – my quest right now is creating a g-free starter for sourdough for my husband. I first developed one from einkorn (has gluten but can be consumed by some intolerant) but he couldn’t tolerate it. So I need to start one from teff or sorghum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmm. The link on the word “brick” specifies “high-gluten” flour! I have had Ethiopian injera, made from teff flour. Delicious! But not the same as brick or phyllo, which are flaky. OTOH, who says these need to be flaky? You could totally make injera and use it to scoop up, Ethiopian-style, this or another filling.
      Good grief, I just ate dinner and now I’m hungry again with all these images of Ethiopian food!

      Like

  2. Looks wonderful, will try when I return home.
    How is your weather now? Aparently a record amount of rain here….the end of it is in sight supposedly. We are still having fun regardless.
    Ali

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad the rain isn’t damping or dampening your fun. We have sunny skies and balmy weather–T-shirts in the afternoon. And the washed-out road has been repaired. Life is good.

      Like

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