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Published: Saturday, 11/1/2008

Middle Eastern foods on the menu at St. Elias bazaar

Middle Eastern foods will be featured at the St. Elias Orthodox Christian Church's 29th annual holiday bazaar from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 6 at the church at 4940 Harroun Rd. in Sylvania. Area craftsmen and a bake sale will also be featured.

Sweet rolls and Syrian/Lebanese pastries and beverages will be served from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Among the breads will be Mary Rezcallah's zaatar bread and cheesebreads. This Middle Eastern treat can be a snack or a breakfast pastry. It can be made with purchased bread dough or homemade bread dough or even Pillsbury Grands canned biscuits.

Mrs. Rezcallah uses zaatar (a blend of spices) mixed with olive oil as a topping on the breads. Another topping is grated cheddar cheese and a third topping is thick homemade yogurt with water drained to become labani mixed with onion. These sell for $1 each.

Zaatar is a combination of spices that tastes like marjoram, oregano, and thyme. The blend is also mixed with oregano, sesame seeds, and sumac, according to Mrs. Rezcallah.

From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Middle Eastern foods will be sold a la carte. The menu includes meat pies, hamburger a la Middle East (kafta), green beans with meat served over Syrian rice, baked ground meat with wheat (kibbie), Mediterranean salad, stuffed grape leaves, lentil soup, and hummus. Take-out is available.

Pastries will include Syrian date cookies, nut moons, baklava, and bird's nest pastries.

The church is wheelchair accessible and admission is free. The Ladies' Society, a chapter of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America, will sponsor the bazaar.

Quick Zaatar Bread

1 can Pillsbury Grands biscuits

2 tablespoons zaatar mixture

4 teaspoons oil

On a cookie sheet that has been oiled, pat out each biscuit to 1/2 inch thickness. Mix zaatar spice and oil to make thin paste. Spoon a little on each biscuit, and spread while pressing down with the back of the spoon. Bake at 350 degrees until nicely brown.

Yield: 5 servings

Source: Syrian Lebanese Cook Book: Festive Foods

Syrian Bread

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon yeast

1 cup warm water

2 tablespoons Crisco oil

Dissolve yeast in water with salt and sugar. Add flour and oil. Knead well. Let rise one to two hours. Bake 15 minutes at 375 degrees.

Yield: 7 to 8 zaatar rolls or 1 loaf bread

Source: Mary Rezcallah

Holiday baking

The 2008 Land O' Lakes Butter Holiday Baking Brochure Holiday Classics with a Twist offers 5 recipes including Peppermint Candy Spritz, and Soft Almond Cookies. The brochure can be downloaded at landolakes.com. Or call 800-837-7702 through Dec. 31 to request a brochure be send to your home by leaving name and address on a message line.

Recipe contest

Seventh Annual Jif Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest is accepting entries from kids ages 6 to 12 and their parents for creative new peanut butter sandwich recipes. Grand prize is a $25,00 scholarship fund. Four runner-ups will receive a $2,500 scholarship fund. For information visit www.jif.com. Deadline for recipes is Nov. 14.

Satay tour

Satays are a staple of Malaysian cuisine. From open-air hawker stalls to world-class restaurants, visitors can try this snack across Malaysia. Satay consists of diced meat (chicken, beef, lamb) grilled over a wood or charcoal fire on bamboo skewers. It is usually served as an appetizer with dipping sauces, the most common one being a spicy peanut sauce.

For those in North America, here is a mini-tour of Malaysian restaurants that serve this food:

Penang in Atlanta, Ga.; LautNYC in New York City; Restoran Malaysia in Toronto; Banana Leaf in Vancouver; Satay Malaysian Grille in Las Vegas (among their versions is chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu), and Belacan Malaysian Grill in Redondo Beach area of Los Angeles.

For more information, visit www.tourismmalaysianusa.com.



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