Cardamom-scentedĀ Ouzi

February  3, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves four
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 good-sized carrots, small-diced
  • 1 zucchini, small-diced
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms, small-diced
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or sliced almonds or pinenuts
  • 2 cups cooked white basmati rice
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • salt to taste
  • 1 puff pastry sheet, thawed in fridge for a couple of hours
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  1. Heat olive oil in a good-sized skillet, then add diced onion. Saute for about 5 minutes, until soft.
  2. Add all the spice ingredients, and fry for an additional minute, until nicely fragrant.
  3. Add carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms (or vegetables of your choice) and stir.
  4. Pour in 1/2 cup of stock and cover pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Whisk together the egg and water, then paint the tops of the pastries with it.
  8. 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!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • thirdchild
  • hardlikearmour

2 Reviews

thirdchild July 20, 2011
I just wanted to add this comment. Some months ago my husband and I were asked to dinner at a friends' house. The chef (a psychiatrist in his 'other life', when he isn't cooking in his newly remodeled - by him - kitchen), explained that he was serving something really special. He had made it several times before, he said. Out of the oven came my ouzi recipe! I was amazed, and it tasted even better since I didn't have to labor over it! We all laughed over the coincidence, and thanked food52 for the opportunity!
hardlikearmour February 3, 2011
When I saw the title of this recipe I thought it would be a beverage, like ouzo! LOL. Sounds fabulous, T.