I enjoyed an ouzi at a Middle Eastern restaurant, and then recreated my own version at home. This makes a great vegetarian dish, served in individual puff pastry pieces. You could add meat or chicken pieces for non-vegetarians, and you could use different vegetables, such as peas or shredded cabbage. To save myself, I didn't try to recreate the pastry, but just used store-bought puff pastry sheets. - thirdchild —thirdchild
Test Kitchen Notes
Thirdchild has created a fine recipe. A lovely mixture of fragrant rice studded with vegetables, raisins, mushrooms and nuts is baked inside a case of crisp pastry. The mixture of wild and basmati rice provides dramatic color contrast. as well as depth of flavor and texture. I shredded my vegetables (carrot, turnip, and parsnip) in the food processor, producing pieces about the same size as the cooked rice. I substituted phyllo dough for the puff pastry, using two leaves of dough, folded twice, for each serving. (Looking for a little less butter, although I brushed the phyllo surfaces with melted ghee.). If made as small-sized pastries, these ouzi would be delicious appetizers. Larger ones can be either an entree or a side dish. —AppleAnnie
medium onion, diced
cayenne pepper (or less)
freshly ground cardamom
ground black pepper
ground white pepper
good-sized carrots, small-diced
shiitake mushrooms, small-diced
chopped pecans or sliced almonds or pinenuts
cooked white basmati rice
cooked wild rice
vegetable or chicken stock
salt to taste
puff pastry sheet, thawed in fridge for a couple of hours
Heat olive oil in a good-sized skillet, then add diced onion. Saute for about 5 minutes, until soft.
Add all the spice ingredients, and fry for an additional minute, until nicely fragrant.
Add carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms (or vegetables of your choice) and stir.
Pour in 1/2 cup of stock and cover pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes.
Add raisins, nuts, and the cooked rices. Pour in the remaining 1/2 cup stock. Check to see if there is enough liquid for a moist mixture. If dry, add more stock. Stir until well-mixed, with heat under the skillet. Add salt to taste, then turn off skillet and set mixture aside.
Roll out puff pastry sheet, sprinkling with flour to prevent sticking. Cut the sheet into four pieces. Pile the rice filling onto the individual pieces, using about 1/4 of the filling for each piece, then fold the pastry over the top.
Whisk together the egg and water, then paint the tops of the pastries with it.
Place pastries on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees. Watch so they don't get too too brown!