Sfeeha doesn't sound very Saskatchewan, does it? But all the main ingredients in the Middle Eastern meat pie are available locally. Lamb from a local farmer. (You can substitute beef.) Vegetables from the Saskatoon Farmers' Market. Dried red pepper from my garden. This dish satisfies my two daily objectives: to eat locally and to eat something picked by my own hand. I served it with Fattoush, a fabulous Middle Eastern salad. (See recipe at 2 May 07)
I adapted this recipe for Sfeeha from Time Life Foods of the World, which I picked up last week at the giant Symphony second-hand book sale. I'm sure I'll be trying more authentic Middle Eastern recipes from this little book.
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 pound ground lamb
1 large tomato
¼ cup finely chopped green pepper
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
¼ cup lemon juice
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp dried red pepper, crushed
1 tsp salt and pepper to taste
In a skillet, heat the oil on medium high. When the surface of the oil shimmers, add the pine nuts and stir until they brown. Remove from heat. Put the pine nuts into a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the dough) and stir together. Work this mixture with your hands to a smooth and fluffy consistency. (I used the Kitchen Aid with paddle attachment – much quicker and cleaner.)
Form the dough into 8 balls about the size of a large egg. Using your fingers, press each ball into a flat round. Divide the lamb mixture onto the 8 rounds of dough and spread evenly with your fingers. Drizzle with more olive oil, if you like. Bake in 400 F oven for about 25 minutes, until the dough is toasty brown. Serve warm.