Recipe Name: Vegan Knaffe with Yemeni Zahoug
Recipe Chef: Mohamed Aboghanem
Type of Cuisine: Arabic Fusion
Food Category: Appetizer
Vegan shredded phyllo with vegan cream cheese and wild mushrooms baked in a ramekin and served over coconut chermoulah-chipotle sauce.
Butter for greasing ramekins
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 (about 6 oz) chopped chanterelle or oyster mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1/2 cup vegetable broth or stock
2-3 cups shredded phyllo dough (kataifi) at room temperature
3-5 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
2 small tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
1 serrano chili, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly butter four 4-oz ramekins.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and paprika with a good pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the vegetable broth/stock and cook until most of the liquid has been reduced, about 3-4 minutes longer.
4. Put mushroom mixture in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.
5. Put the kataifi in a medium bowl and drizzle enough melted butter over it to just evenly coat the pastry. Toss with your fingers to evenly coat the dough with the butter.
4. Put a 1-inch layer of kataifi in each ramekin and top with the mushroom mixture. Top each mushroom layer with 1 tablespoon of the vegan cream cheese. Add a 2-inch layer of the kataifi, pressing down gently to make it compact. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
5. While the kataifi is baking, combine all the sauce ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside until ready to serve.
6. Spread sauce onto individual plates and gently unmold the knaffe on top.
Serve the knaffe warm and the sauce at room temperature or slightly cool.
A nice white wine blend of mostly dry grapes, but a couple of sweet ones thrown in for fun!