I opened up our local newspaper this morning and ignored the 108 degree day we have ahead and went right to the article on French Macarons. Yes, you know I am addicted to these lovely morsels. They did a taste comparison on three local bakeries and all three basically tied. Ginger Elizabeth, Hawks and Le Petit Paris were all sampled and they thought all three were really good. I have had Ginger Elizabeth's, but not the other two. Le Petit Paris is a great store and they recently added a cafe. I am looking forward to trying it out. Hawks restaurant is in nearby Roseville and I have not had the chance to try it out, but I will have to put it on my list.
We are heading out to Portland next week for a family wedding. I am so excited to get out of this heat. It has been so hot here. Our air conditioning broke down a few days ago and we were sweltering. Thankfully, I was able to get a repair guy out here yesterday to fix it. Summer's in Sacramento can be awful. If the bad air doesn't get you the high heat will.
I have been trying for some time to find a recipe for Esfiha (Sfiha). Esfiha is an Arab open-faced meat pie. I first had them on a trip we made to Sao Paulo, Brazil. It's hard to describe the taste, but they are a delicious pizza like pie. They have no sauce and are topped with meat, usually lamb. In Sao Paulo, they are really popular. They have a food chain called Habib's . We couldn't get enough of these pies. They were also sold with delicious fruit juices. Not the kind of fruit juice we find here. Their fruit juices are literally pureed fruit with some water and sugar. They are really refreshing, especially with the heat they deal with there. Anywho, I found a recipe for Esfiha in one of my cookbooks called Little Foods of the Mediterranean by Clifford A. Wright. I have been wanting to make this for some time and last night seemed as good as any. I made the dough, which was similar to a pita bread dough and shaped it into rounds to rise. I then put the spices, tomato and lamb in the food processor until smooth. Then I spreaded the lamb mixture onto the bread and baked in a high heat oven. They looked good and smelled yummy, unfortunately the taste was very disappointing. The tasted nothing like the esfiha's I remembered. I will have to keep on looking.
A new product I recently tried is Aidell's pineapple bacon chicken sausage. I know, I know, that doesn't sound appetizing. I was skeptical at first, but these little sausages are my favorites now. They are just slightly sweet and have a smokey flavor from the bacon. I have used them in my Hawaiian Fried Rice and in my quesadilla's . I first take the sausage and dice them. Then I pan fry the sausage until they have a nice caramelized color to them. I remove them from the pan and blot on a paper towel. I add the corn tortilla to the pan and add shredded cheese and then the sausage. I top it off with another corn tortilla and cook until the cheese is melted. I flip the quesadilla to the other side to warm. They are delicious.