TRADITIONAL DISH FROM FEZ: BASTILLE
Pastilla, also called bastille, is one of the most famous Moroccan dishes. The term pastilla is Spanish, derived from the term pasta. The story tells that, in 1492, during the fall of Al-Andalus, which was expelled from Spain after the reconquest of Granada, the Moors took refuge in Morocco and brought with them their traditions and a multitude of recipes, including the pill.
But it is not just about the Moors. The pill is also believed to have Sephardic Jewish origins. In fact, after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain by Elizabeth I, there was a large wave of emigration of Jews in North Africa who also brought their knowledge and traditions with them. It is one of the oldest dishes that combines the flavors sweet and salty. It is shaped like a cake and the filling is contained in several layers of an extremely thin dough called warka or warqa (sheet of paper, in Arabic). The pastilla filling contains poultry, beaten eggs, almonds, onion, sugar and spices. , all delicately flavored with cinnamon.
For the dough wrapper
10 sheets of brick dough (or sheets of phyllo dough)
150 g butter , melted
1 egg white , beaten
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
Ground cinnamon (to taste)
For the Cornish hen and egg filling
2 large chicken breasts
1 bunch flat parsley , chopped
4 onions , sliced thin
some saffron threads
1 cinnamon stick
4 tablespoons of sugar
6 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon of turmeric
150 ml of cold water
For the almond filling
200 ml of sunflower oil
250 g whole almonds, blanched and peeled
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Put the chicken breasts in a large pot, add the onions, parsley, ginger, turmeric, saffron, salt and pepper with ½ cup of cold water, mix well and cook over medium heat for 35 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the sauce. Remove the bones and shred or chop the meat well.
Return the sauce to medium/high heat to reduce it, until the liquid evaporates, stirring constantly. Add the cinnamon and sugar to caramelize the onions. Add the eggs to the caramelized onions, stirring constantly and vigorously. The mixture should acquire the texture of a thick cream. We reduce the heat so that all the liquid evaporates.
For the almonds:
Add the oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium/high heat. Add the peeled almonds immediately and fry, without burning them, for a few minutes until golden.
Drain the almonds and blend them in a food processor with ground cinnamon and icing sugar.
Preheat the oven to 185°C.
For your Assembly
Let’s grease a round pan with butter.
We also completely grease each sheet of brick dough with butter. Important: The buttered side should always face up.
At the bottom of the plate, we place 4 brick sheets overlapping them one on top of the other and leaving half of each one hanging out of the tray.
We added a leaf to the center to consolidate the lower part of the tablet.
We spread a layer of egg mixture on the sheets, spreading it evenly over the entire surface. We cover it with a brick sheet. Add the chicken in the same way and cover with another brick sheet. Finally, we added the crushed almonds.
Fold the edges of the sheets towards the center and press lightly to seal with the layer of almonds. Cover with the egg white to seal the sheets. Cover with 2 brick sheets to close the pastille and insert the edges into the mold. With a brush, brush the edges of the last sheet with egg white so that it adheres well and does not detach during cooking.
Spread the surface of the pastilla with melted butter.
Let’s bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
Place the pastilla on a serving plate. Sprinkle with icing sugar and cinnamon and serve hot. Exotic and delicious!!! enjoy. Share the photo of your dish on @PIREALIDADALTERNATIVA’s facebook. I love knowing how the dish turned out for you!!!
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