Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Doights de Fatma (Stuffed filo "fingers")

Yes, they are long and thin, like fingers, but the name is more curious than descriptive and I still delight in saying it for the humorous effect. “Doights de Fatma” – fingers of Fatma (Some maintain she was the sister of the Propeht Mohammed, some say his aunt, some his daughter.) At any rate, they are “finger-lickin’ good”! 

Traditionally, in Tunisia, malsouka wrappers are used but we can approximate the requisite crunch with buttered filo sheets. Filled with seasoned ground beef, cubed potatoes and parsley they are rolled spring-roll style then fried to a golden crisp Upon each bite, they delightfully crunch into flaky bits; a crunch like that created by stepping on a dried autumn leaf or biting potato chips. The sensation just makes you want tobite again! A squirt of fresh lemon juice brightens the mild parsley and garlic components and velvetizes the milkiness of the potatoes. Anisa, a wealthy adventurous Tunisian hostess, shared a lighter chicken version, the filling similar to the tajin recipe. Gruyere cheese adds a nutty sophistication to the flavors and is accented with the addition of lemon juice as well.








Doights de Fatma:
2 tab. olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced
1/2 cups minced parsley
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 dozen lumpia/malsouka wrappers or filo pastry sheets 
Oil for frying

-In large saute pan, heat 2 tab. olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and saute for 5 minutes until onions are soft.  Add ground beef and garlic,and saute until meat is browned.  

-Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper 
and stir in potatoes, parsley and eggs.

-If using filo pastry, melt 1/2 cup butter. Place 2 sheets of filo on a dry working surface.  Brush with melted butter.  Place 1/3 cup beef mixture on the short end of pastry sheets and press filling to 3 inches in length. Roll one time, encasing filling.  Fold 1 inch of edges on each edge over filling then continue rolling tightly to create a spring roll shape.  Rolls should be about 1 - 1&1/2 inch in diameter.  Set aside, seam side down.

-If using lumpia/malsouka wrappers, place wrapper
at a time on dry work surface.  Place 1/3 cup filling 
along one edge of pastry.  Roll tightly as described 
above.  Brush edge of pastry with water and set 
doights aside.  Fry as described above. (You do not 
need to use butter with these wrappers.)

-Heat 2 inches of oil in frying pan until hot (a bread 
cube should brown within 30 seconds)and place 
doights seam side down in oil. Fry over medium-high heat, turning until rolls are golden on all sides.  Pull rolls from grease with tongs and allow extra oil to drip back into the pan.  Set on paper towels to drain and cool slightly.

-Serve warm with fresh lemon wedges. 

Anissa's Chicken Doights de Fatma
2 cups shredded cooked chicken  
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 eggs
1 cup shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese
1 cup cubed cooked potato
1/2 cup chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup butter
2 dozen lumpia/malsouka wrappers of filo pastry

-Saute onion and garlic in 2 tab. oil until transparent.  Stir in chicken.  Beat egg and add to chicken mixture. Cook and scramble over medium heat until egg is lightly cooked.  Cool mixture.  Stir in salt and pepper, cheese potato and parsley.  

-If using filo pastry, melt 1/2 cup butter. Place 2 
sheets of filo on a dry working surface.  Brush with
melted butter.  Place 1/3 cup chicken mixture on the
short end of pastry sheets and press to about 3 inchein length.  Roll one time, encasing filling.  Fold 1 inch of edges on each side over filling then continue rolling tightly to create a spring roll shape.  Rolls should be about 1 - 1 1/2 inch in diameter.  Set aside, seam side down.

-Heat 2 inches of oil in frying pan until hot (a bread 
cube should brown within 30 seconds) and place 
doights seam side down in oil. Fry over medium-high heat, turning until rolls are golden on all sides.  Pull rolls from grease with tongs and allow extra oil to drip back into the pan.  Set on paper towels.

-Serve warm with fresh lemon wedges.