Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Brik With Homemade Warka Wrappers

Oooh, would you look at that thin, perfectly fried to shattering pastry? Looks difficult, doesn't it? I promise you it isn't. Really.

Living in rural Nebraska, I can't just pop over to the store for exotic ingredients. Thanks to the Internet, and a sense of adventure in the kitchen, I don't need to shop for things like Warka pastry.

OK, I know you thought I lost it back when I made the spring roll wrappers, maybe the puff paste, but really, I swear these are a cinch to make provided you plan accordingly. The batter really needs to rest in the fridge overnight. My batter sat closer to 20 hours, but worked perfectly from the first wrapper. That's pretty impressive-even crepes typically fail at the first one.

The recipe I used came from Paula Wolfert. I trust her, and was pretty confident that the somewhat fiddly recipe would actually work, and it did-wonderfully. Paula Wolfert was teaching people how to preserve lemons back in the 80's when no one else was, and for what it is worth, I find her recipe works better than any of the other methods of preserving lemons I've found. I still use it, and at any given time have a quart or two of them on hand. Having a source you trust makes even the oddest techniques seem doable. The recipe with an excellent tutorial is HERE. You can make the warka ahead of time, which will save you time assembling and frying the brik.

I did not have a recipe for the brik filling, I just improvised. Tuna and egg are pretty typical, as are herbs. I used what I had. The filling can also be made well ahead and chilled in the fridge before filling and frying the brik. Make sure when you fill it that the shiny side is on the outside.

Brik Filling:

2 tins tuna in oil
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chopped baby rocket (because I had it-use what you have)
1 sweet onion, chopped very fine (I would have used spring onions if they were up yet)
1 clove garlic, minced
Thyme to taste
1 heaping tablespoon diced, preserved lemon peel
Olive oil for cooking onion

4-6 Eggs

Combine parsley, rocket, onion, garlic and spices in a pan with a bit of oil. Cook quickly, over moderate heat until onion is just softened. remove from heat. Mix into tuna and peel. Chill until needed.

Heat your oil hot, but not too hot (the egg has to cook). About300 degrees F. is good.

Place a warka sheet, shiny side out on a plate. Mound some tuna filling, make a crater and carefully slide the egg into it (I break my eggs in a ramekin first in case one is bad). Wrap and seal the brik and carefully slide into the hot oil. You may need a slotted spoon to hold the sheets lightly together until it begins to harden in the oil. Carefully turn and fry the other side. Drain on paper, and if you can't serve it immediately, keep warm on a tray in the oven set at 170 degrees F. Be careful cutting into it as oil may spurt out if it got trapped through a crack.

Dinner is served-brik with garlic/parsley carrots and kasha with onions and mushrooms.

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