My time off, so far, isn’t spawning any brilliance or creativity. In fact, I am further behind now than I was while I was regularly blogging! If that isn’t bad enough, we lost an hour yesterday with Daylight Savings. There is no way I’m catching up with anything.
How is everyone doing? Is anyone having a leisurely time of it? Or are we all as hectic as each other in our respective routines? I have been working on some projects however, and once they get going I will tell you all about them.
One productive thing I have done the last few weeks, is finally getting some business cards printed! It only took 3 years but here they are; what do you think? I had my own photographs printed with all my essential information on the back. I love them so much that I don’t want to give any away!
In between my hectic weekdays, we do get a calm weekend and if it’s the weekend my husband is off, it’s incredibly relaxing! We just seem to lounge the day away. On one of these relaxing weekends when I wasn’t running around with my head chopped off, and had a bit of time, I made these Moroccan spiced and Harissa laced Sweet Potato and Ground Beef Phyllo Cigars for a lunch time snack.
I had cooked and mashed the potatoes a day before and also had leftover spiced ground beef from dinner, so these were put together quite quickly. Of course, if you’re not adept at tackling phyllo dough, it may take you longer. I find phyllo dough totally frustrating and so, usually buy the #10 thicker sheets. This time however, I had the #4 thinner sheets and yes, they drove me crazy.
When you’re finally biting into the crunchy, flaky pastry you forget the torment it caused you and relish the tasty morsels; enticingly exotic from the ras el hanout and deliciously spicy from the Harissa. I alway think that something creamy inside the crispy pastry is a great combination. The sweet potatoes add the perfect creaminess with the ground beef and the flaky pastry.
- 2 large sweet potatoes, medium chunks, boiled till tender
- 1 tablespoon or to taste, Harissa paste
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- salt to taste
- 1 lb/455g lean ground beef/chicken
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 teaspoon ras el hanout spice mix
- 1 tablespoon mint, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Salt to taste
- 12 sheets phyllo, cut in half
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons milk
- Mash the sweet potatoes until no big lumps exist.
- You want the mash to be fairly lump free and smooth.
- Add the Harissa paste, cumin, coriander and salt.
- Check the seasonings and adjust as desired.
- Add more Harissa if you'd like it more spicy.
- In a large fry pan, heat the oil on medium and add the chopped onions.
- Cook until lightly browned and add the garlic and ras el hanout.
- When the garlic and spices are fragrant, add the ground beef or chicken,
- Cook until the ground meat is no longer pink and fairly dry.
- Add salt to taste.
- Add the mint and cilantro.
- Add the milk to the melted butter and keep aside.
- Unpack the phyllo sheets from the box and plastic wrap and lay on a tray and cover with a damp towel.
- Take a sheet of phyllo dough and lay on the counter or chopping board and carefully cut in half if not done already.
- Make sure the rest of the phyllo sheets are covered back up with the wet towel.
- Brush liberally with the melted butter and milk mixture.
- Lay a couple of teaspoons or so of mashed sweet potato and a teaspoon of ground meat in a log shape at one end of the phyllo sheet.
- Now, gently roll up the edges into an egg roll shape.
- Brushing with more butter and milk if needed to keep the roll moist and able to stick.
- Place on a baking sheet until you finish rolling the rest.
- Repeat with the rest of the sheets.
- Bake 12 rolls on a tray and space them apart.
- If you want to bake them immediately, preheat the oven to 375℉.
- Bake the rolls for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
I hope there are signs of spring like weather where you are and it’s bringing you great inspiration and promise of sunnier days (though I like the not so sunny days) We’ve had some great days lately and this weekend was wonderful, albeit a little windy. Trace and I drove with a couple of the kids up by Longs Peak and Estes Park with hopes of maybe getting in a hike. It was so windy we couldn’t stand up straight! The weather was beautiful though with just the right amount of sun to make Lake Estes glimmer beautifully. The wind however, was having a blast blowing snow off the mountain tops.
Today, we’re expecting snow again, and my weather app says its 3 snowflakes worth…which I think means, it’s a lot 🙂