B'stella with Squab

Recipe courtesy Rafih Benjelloun
TOTAL TIME: 2 hr 15 min
Prep: 55 min
Inactive Prep: 30 min
Cook: 50 min
YIELD: 4 servings
LEVEL:

ingredients

  • 2 ounces virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 squabs or quails, cut in small pieces
  • 4 parsley stems, finely chopped
  • 3 cilantro stems, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch clove
  • Salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
  • 1 package phyllo dough
  • 1/4 pound butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/6 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup roasted and crushed almonds
  • GARNISH:
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
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      Directions

      Heat olive oil in a casserole pan, then add onions, squab, parsley, cilantro, black pepper, saffron, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and salt, to taste. Stir well, then add 2 cups of water. Cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.

      Remove squab from casserole and set aside. Continue cooking the sauce and add the beaten eggs. Mix well with the sauce and keep stirring at all times, so eggs won't stick to the bottom of the casserole. When eggs are well cooked, remove from the heat and pour into a strainer. Let casserole sit for about 20 to 30 minutes.

      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover the phyllo with a damp towel so it will not dry out.

      Take an ovenproof frying pan and brush generously with butter. Very gently, spread 5 sheets of phyllo dough over the pan (in a criss-cross way), leaving some phyllo dough draped around the edges of the pan.

      Add another sheet of phyllo crunched in the middle of the pan. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Pour some of the cinnamon sugar all around the phyllo. Then, add 1/2 of the roasted crushed almonds. Cover with 3 more layers of phyllo and pour on 1/2 of the eggs with half of the squab. Cover again with 3 layers of phyllo and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar and almonds.

      Cover with 3 layers of phyllo and pour on the rest of the eggs and the squab. Cover with 2 layers of crunched phyllo and close the draping edges very gently like a rose, without pushing. It needs to be very fluffy.

      Pour the melted butter over the leaves and bake it for about 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

      Turn the pan upside down onto a large platter. Mix together remaining cinnamon and sugar. Garnish with powdered sugar and make a design with the mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Serve hot.

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