The 2010 February Daring COOKs challenge was hosted by Michele of Veggie Num Nums. Michele chose to challenge everyone to make mezze based on various recipes from Claudia Roden, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Dugid.
A few weeks ago, the fondest memories of last January came back: Mezze in Kuwait. For whatever reason, last year I found myself in the middle of the desert with a scarf in my hair, looking to explore. Exploring isn't easy for a woman alone in the Middle East. I was miserable. Our hotel was in the middle of nowhere and the internet connection was ridiculously slow. There was one thing that had me excited: having dinner in one of these private tents.
The food was fantastic. I have no idea what it was but it was great. Warm weather (for someone who lives in Germany), bright sun, a couple of camels & mezze. The only thing that made me really want to leave was a glass of wine and a slice of Spanish ham (neither of which are allowed in Kuwait).
When Michelle posted her challenge, I knew this would be a chance to taste those middle eastern memories. I planned to make the hummus with a roasted red pepper. I started to knead the dough for pita bread. Something came up, I had to put the dough in the fridge overnight. I took it out the next day, rolled it out & placed it in a hot oven. At this point, I should note that I've never been able to make bread. Bread never really rises in the oven when I make it. One of my pitas puffed up, but not really. I left them in a little longer, hoping they just needed more time. The result: pita chips. Oh well, not bad.
The hummus was divine, the olives I had just bought from the market were great, and I have this supermarket around the corner that sells fresh pita bread. As wonderful as the smell of freshly baked bread is, as long as I live close to good bakeries, I'm going to outsource the task of baking.