Friday, November 19, 2010

Bee gilaleh

Well hellooooo there Internet world! How I've missed you.

I've been neglecting not only my blog these days, but my kitchen as well. My poor pots and pans, they long for my touch. But I've been a cold, cold woman to them and haven't given them the love they deserve.  And it's not that I don't want to, I do! I crave wrapping my fingers around the handle of my knife and getting lost in culinary adventures.

But there's just been such a lack these days. Lack of time. Lack of motivation. Lack of inspiration.

I've managed to whip up a few desserts recently, but only because people at work start to harass me if it's been too long since I've brought them delicious treats. But cooking for myself, meh, I've been slacking. And so, the blog has gone barren.

But blogging has a magical way of getting me excited about food, so I'm hoping it'll give me that spark I need for cooking projects this weekend.

OK- enough chatter. Time for the food!

Today I present to you bee gilaleh (pronounced bee gi-LA-leh), or what I like to refer to as Assyrian egg foo young, or a thin egg-based omelette.


It's not a beautiful dish, but it sure is delicious!

I've told you before about the really creative names Assyrians have for our food, like mestah khiareh shibbit, which literally translates to "yogurt cucumber dill," (3 of the 4 ingredients in the entire dish.)

Similarly, bee gilaleh loosely translates to "egg herbs." It's made with, you guessed it, eggs and herbs! We're just dripping with creativity...

Now I'm calling it an Assyrian dish, but when I was telling my aunt I mastered my bee gilaleh recipe she had no idea what I was talking about! I was shocked. I thought everyone's mom made this for them. So while it's not as pervasive as Assyrian dishes like dolma, it's definitely something that has its Middle Eastern flair. I even found this Armenian blog with a recipe for an eerily similar dish made of parsley, onion and eggs. Who knew?!

But my bee gilaleh has more than just a few ingredients. Parsley, cilantro, green onions, green peppers, jalepenos, spices and eggs to create yet another delicious breakfast-for-dinner dish.

And I'm a sucker when it comes to breakfast-for-dinner.

Other than the handful of minutes it takes to chop all the herbs, this dinner comes together in no time flat! If you've ever made pancakes before you can easily make bee gilaleh. All you have to do is:

Chop and mix


Pour and cook


Flip and cook some more

Eat and enjoy

Hope that if you do decide to try this dish you'll enjoy it as much as I do. And I wonder how many Assyrians have heard of this dish before? I think I'll take a little Facebook vote and see what the results are...

Buen Provecho,
Jacqueline

Bee gilaleh, based upon memories of what my mom's dish tastes like
serves 3-4

Notes: like most Assyrian dishes, I love this because you can add/subtract ingredients based upon what you like, what you have on hand, etc. This dish isn't nearly as eggy as an omelette; the eggs basically just "hold" everything together. My ratio is (loosely) ~ 2 cups of veggies/herbs to every 4 eggs. Feel free to add more or slightly less eggs to taste.

The cooking process is similar in many ways to cooking pancakes. There's almost no way to mess it up. And if you do, just go ahead and mix the whole thing together while cooking for an egg scramble. Either way it'll taste delicious.

Ingredients

1 bunch parsley, about 1.5 - 2 cups finely chopped
1 small bunch cilantro, about 1 - 1.5 cups finely chopped
5 medium green onions, chopped, ~1/2 - 3/4 cup finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper, or other colored pepper if you want to be a rebel and actually add   some color to this dish
1 jalapeno, ~ 2.5 TBSP (I think...), finely chopped
1 heaping tsp paprika
1/8 tsp curry, optional
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1.5- 2 tsp baharat (a Middle Eastern spice blend, one of my favorite spices ever)
8-9 eggs

Directions

1. Finely chop the herbs, peppers, and green onions. Place in large bowl. Add salt, pepper and spices.
2. Add 8 to 9 eggs and mix with a fork to blend.
3. Heat a 10" non-stick pan on medium to medium-high heat until hot. Lightly spray with non-cook sticking spray or olive oil.
4. Pour 1 cup or so of the egg mixture into the frying pan. Spread it out if you'd like the eggs to cook up thinner. Add more if you'd like the eggs to cook up thicker. Otherwise, just leave it be.
5. Now here's the essential part: don't touch your "egg pancake" at this point! Allow the eggs to cook for 1-2 minutes, or until you can see that the edges are browning and the bottom of the "omelette" is brown (much like when cooking pancakes).
6. Using a large spatula (or a flip of the wrist if you're feeling adventurous), flip the "omelette" over. Continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes.
7. Move to a platter and re-spray your dish with cooking spray. Repeat until you're done with all the egg mixture.
8. Serve with some bread if you're like my mom, or just a fork if you're like me.

Cooking notes:
* The time it'll take to cook the eggs depends on how thick or thin you spread the "omelette." I prefer mine slightly on the fatter side.  At least 1/2" thick.
* I like my bee gilaleh to get a bit brown on the outside. If you're spreading them thin, you may want to brown them less to prevent overcooking the eggs.

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