I know that I have posted that my coworkers and I literally start a conversation on the topic of food, around 9:45 every morning, almost every day. No lie. As busy as we are and as many requests that we service every morning and afternoon, it is really nice to discuss something that everyone enjoys, food. We discuss everything from what we ate the night before, what we wish we were going to eat for lunch, or the food shows on television; those shows most likely being Bourdain, Zimmern, Diners, Drive-ins, or Dives, or Top Chef. But I kid you not, it happens everyday, lasting only about 5 minutes, but it happens, everyday. I like that.
A recent conversation between the coworkers led us into a discussion around a No Reservations show when Anthony Bourdain was in Egypt. My coworker got really excited talking about a local street, and common food known as koshari. In a nutshell, koshari is basically rice, lentils, pasta, and garbanzo beans topped with fried or caramelized onions. There is nothing to making koshari, and as it makes a lot of food, and is packed full of carbs, there is one thing that makes this dish shine, and that is the simple, yet complex flavors of the sauce you add on top. That sauce is called shatta, or what I am calling Middle Eastern Hot Sauce. Think of the entire dish as a Middle Eastern chili recipe, but a spicy one.
This could be the new condiment, and if you like spicy, you will love this. If you cannot handle the spice, you can control that level of spice with as many peppers as you add to the mix. Mine is on the hot side, so balance your peppers to your liking.
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 3 red jalapeno peppers, stem removed
- 15 Thai bird chilies, stems removed
- 1 cup of fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 cup of fresh cilantro
- 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 6 oz of tomato paste
- 1 cup of water
Simple ingredients that are going to yield huge flavors. Throw everything into a blender or food processor, and pulse it down into you have a nice, smooth mixture. Add the mixture to a sauce pan, cover, and place on medium heat for about five minutes or until it has fully came to a boil. Stir, remove from the heat and let cool.
Serve this on the koshari, or use on pretty much anything, and I mean anything. I’ve been dipping my chips in it on a regular basis, and have also used it as a sauce in one of my homemade pizzas. However you use it, I am certain you will enjoy.