Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rosemary Pork Kebabs

Summer is now almost at it's close, but we still have warm days which makes grilling worth the effort for the flavor that it imparts.  Grilling is a sign of summer to me, but fortunately we do get out the grill from time to time throughout the year.  The grilled item I like most is grilled veggies, but what is better than marinated meat to give it some variety.  Particularly, I love grilled Roma tomatoes, though I have been known to grill any sort that is still firm enough to last through a grilling.  This recipe is based off one in Bought, Borrowed and Stolen by McEvedy.  The pork in this recipe soaks up the rosemary flavor in which it is marinated.  My rosemary sticks were not thick enough to actually grill the meat on, but I have seen a number of people to use that technique this summer.  If you want your veggies to have a little more flavor you can brush them with Italian dressing or I usually use olive oil and whatever spices I am in the mood for at the time.  Enjoy the last days of grilling.

Rosemary Pork Kebabs with vegetables
3 stems of rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
pork tenderloin (about 12-14 oz.), trimmed
olive oil
5-6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
sourdough or ciabatta bread (I used slightly stale homemade sourdough bread)
salt and pepper
other veggies to add to your skewers (onions, zucchini, bell peppers, potatoes, mushrooms)

Cut the tenderloin into cubes about an inch by an inch and marinate in half the chopped rosemary and half the cloves of chopped garlic in olive oil for at least an hour....but longer is better.  (I usually pour a few tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of the dish I am going to use.  Then I add the rosemary and garlic and mix.  Next take the meat and put in the olive oil mixture.  If it need more olive oil so all the meat can be coated, then add more.  Cover and marinate.)

Preheat your grill.  Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan.  Cut the sourdough into 1 inch cubes.  Fry the rest of the garlic and rosemary leaves in oil and then dip pieces of bread into the olive oil.  Season with salt.  (Season the meat with salt too.)  Once he bread is lightly fried, remove from heat and put together the skewers to grill.  Grill until the pork reaches 145 F.  Remove and serve with lemon or/and a side salad.

Not really red chicken curry

I am an avid collector of cookbooks.  I have well over 150 of them, but I have cooked out of most of them and one of my goals is to go back through them and cook more things out of each of them.  Sometimes they just get a random recipe or two made from them.  Sometimes, I really find a lot of recipes to love in them and I want to make many so cook from it for some time.  I was never all that interested in Jamie Oliver's cookbooks until a friend of mine sent me two of them for my wedding.  I sat down with one of them and read it nearly cover to cover.  These are the cookbooks that I remember what is in them and come back to them frequently.  The other one is where is recipe is based off of - Meals in Minutes.

One thing I like about this cookbook is that is doesn't give you just one recipe at a time, but three to five so you can coordinate a whole meal during one time and don't have to think about what to do next as it is all integrated.  I don't think any of my other cookbooks are like this.  Sometimes I still pick and choose, though I don't think I have ever made all the things from one of the recipes either as it is a lot of food.

This recipe is titled Thai Red Curry, but there is not any curry in the recipe hence my name no really red curry.  Curries generally have turmeric in them in addition to a lot of other spices.  This recipe has the lots of other spices hence the name curry, but it does not have turmeric.   The blend is delicious, and I encourage you to try it out.

Thai Red Curry Chicken
2 lemongrass stalks (or 1 -2 tablespoons lemongrass powder)
1 fresh serrano chile, seeds removed
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 roasted red peppers (I bought a jar and used the equivalent)
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce (buy a good quality one)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 inch piece of ginger (peeled)
1 pound of chicken, cut into 1 1/2 inch sized pieces
about a handful sugar snap peas
5-6 stalks of asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 can (14oz.) coconut milk
olive oil
2 limes for serving, cut into wedges
Serve with rice (cook while making the sauce)

In a food processor blend together the chile, lemongrass powder (or stalks), garlic cloves, the bunch of cilantro, roasted red peppers, tomato paste, fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger.  Mix until like a pate.  Put a frying pan over medium heat.   Add a few tablespoon olive oil and heat until shinny.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and fry over medium heat just until it is no longer pink.  Add 1 -2 tablespoons of the paste you just made.  Remove to a bowl and set aside.  Add more oil to the pan and add the asparagus and sugar snap peas.  Cook just for a minute and then add the rest of the spice mixture to the pan.  Cook for an additional minute and then add the coconut milk.  Once incorporated, turn the heat to medium low and simmer.   Add the chicken back to the pan and simmer until heated throughout.  Season as needed.  Serve over rice and with the lime wedges.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Broiled / Roasted Potatoes with fresh herbs

Potatoes are another one of my vegetables I like to eat when I am craving comfort food.  The good thing about potatoes is that you don't have to wait to turn the oven on.  They are excellent on the grill as well as broiled in the oven.  Some of my favorite potatoes ever were some broiled ones that were broiled in olive so they were super crispy on the outside and hot and steamy all the way through.  These potatoes are started in the microwave, so you can be sure that they will be cooked throughout, but they are finished in the oven so they get some of the crispy texture without all the oil and the time needed to broil from start to finish.

Broiled Potatoes
potatoes (as many or as few as you want)
olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano, etc.) chopped, if desired

Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Cut the potatoes into wedges and put in a microwave safe bowl.  Add 1/2 lemon or 2 half lemons if 2 pounds or more.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 7-10 minutes or until nearly cooked through.  Check to be sure potatoes are nearly cooked through (or cooked through is fine too).  Add the fresh chopped herbs (if using) and a splash of olive oil.  (The amount will depend on how many potatoes you are making, but enough to lightly coat the potatoes in olive oil...usually 1-3 tablespoons.)  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Make sure everything is mixed well together.  Pour into a oven proof dish and put on the top rack of your oven.  Broiled until golden and crisp.  Depending on the amount this should take about 20 minutes.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Chicken Enchiladas

I live in a state with a lot of Mexican food.  I am also lucky enough to have eaten Mexican food prepared by Mexicans (and not just eaten Americanized Mexican food).  One of the things that shocked my husband was ordering a chicken burrito at a Mexican restaurant.  He looked at me and said there is only chicken inside.  I laughed and said that it was the way Mexicans eat Mexican food.  It isn't filled with all sorts of things that we Americans can possibly think to add to make it not really Mexican food anymore.  This version of chicken enchiladas is definitely Americanize as there are things added to just the meat.  It is based on a recipe found on Food Network, but modified to spice it up a little more.  If you have not used chipotle peppers before, you might want to start with one or two as they add heat quickly.

Chicken Enchiladas
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 - 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast (boneless)
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-3 green chilies, finely chopped (I used a combination of serrano and jalapeno)
4 chipotle chilies (from a canned), chopped
1 28oz. can stewed tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
about 16 corn tortillas
1 28 oz can green enchilada sauce
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Garnish: scallions, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, lettuce

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a large pan with olive oil.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Brown chicken over medium heat (about 7 minutes each side) until no longer pink.  Sprinkle chicken with powdered spices above before turning over.  Remove chicken to a platter to cool.

Saute onion and garlic in the chicken drippings until tender and clear.  Add the chiles.  Stir to combine.  Add canned tomatoes and saute for about a minute.

Pull the chicken apart....the easiest way to do this is to put it in the mixer and turn on a lower speed.  My KitchAid does this in about a minute.  Add the shredded chicken to the saute pan with the vegetables.  Dust with corn starch to help set.

Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds (this prevents them from breaking).  Coat the bottom of a 9x12 inch pan with enchilada sauce.  Dip the tortillas in enchilada sauce and fill with chicken mixture.   Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese melts and mixture is hot throughout.  Serve garnished with cilantro, sour cream, lettuce, scallions and chopped tomatoes.   Serves about 8 (2 enchiladas per person).

Friday, August 22, 2014

Quick Cucumber Salad

Cucumber salads are perfect for summer.  They grow easier in gardens and in pots.  I have a wonderful "patio snacker" variety in a pot on my deck this year and it is producing wonderful smaller sized cucumbers.  So now that the bounty is coming in the question is what to do with all those cucumbers.  This recipe is very quick and yet it uses the cucumbers all the way.  It is a version based on the recipe by Jaime Oliver from Meals in Minutes.

Cucumber Salad
1 English cucumber (hothouse and have no wax on the outside)
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, juiced
small bunch of cilantro, chopped (separate the leave and stalks, use stalks only and reserve leaves for another recipe)
1/2 chile (I used a serrano), finely chopped

Grate the ginger onto your serving platter. (I used a low pasta/fruit bowl.)  Add the soy sauce, olive oil and sesame oil.  Add the lime juice and then taste for addition seasoning.  Peel the cucumber into strips.  Either discard the middle or cut into thin slices and add the the salad.  (I like to use everything as to eliminate waste.)  Add the cilantro stalks and the chile.  Toss just before serving.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fish Cakes with fresh salsa

Who does love a good crab cake?  Some really good crab cakes are to be had in Annapolis, but what happens when you aren't there?  Or in my case, I am no where near the sea, but I still want something that is as good and can make at home.  So I decided to try these fish cakes from Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes.  (This recipe is based off the one in the book.)  I have referred to his cookbook before and this is yet another pretty quick recipe to make, especially once you have made it a couple of times.   It is also easy to half or double depending on how many are eating.  Plus the variations are endless depending on what fish looks the best or is the freshest when you go to buy it.  The salsa which is served under the fish is a combination of lots of good summer vegetables, so now is the perfect time to give it a try.

The nice part is you can choose how many types of fish you want to put in here.  I have tried it both with two fish and another time with three different types of fish.  As long as you pay attention to having the same amount of total weight for the fish, it will still serve four people.  Fish is good served with potatoes, so check out the potatoes I ate with these fish cakes.  They are a simple broiled potato with seasonings.

Fish Cakes with Salsa
Fish Cakes:
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 pounds fish (any combo: salmon, haddock, tuna etc.)
1 lemon
parsley (one bunch or as much as you feel like using), stalks removed
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
salt and pepper

1 red chile (I usually use Anaheim), seeded and stalk removed
1 green chile (I use either a jalapeno or serrano depending on what I have), seeded and stalk removed
2 scallions, trimmed
2 tomatoes
red wine vinegar
1/2 English cucumber, cut into small pieces
1 yellow pepper (or red - whatever your prefer), finely chopped
1 lime
bunch of basil

In a bowl or on a piece of foil, pour the bread crumbs.  Put the fish in the food processor.  Then add the zest of the lemon, parsley, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Pulse until coarsely mixed.  Pour the fish onto a platter and add about 1-2 tablespoons of bread crumbs.  Mix with your hands and then divide into four equal patties.  Put the patties on the remaining bread crumbs and cover with some of the bread crumbs.  Put a frying pan over medium heat and add a few tablespoons of olive oil (enough to fry the patties).  Add the two cloves of garlic to the pan.  When the oil is hot (and garlic frying) add the fish cakes to the pan.  Cook for about 7-8 minutes while you make the salsa.  Once golden flip and cook for about the same time on the other side.

Rinse out the food processor bowl. Add the chiles, scallions, tomatoes and a little salt and pepper.  Add about a tablespoon of the red wine vinegar and pulse until finely chopped.  Adjust flavors as needed.  Pour out onto a serving platter.  Mix the cucumber, yellow pepper and the juice of the lime with the salsa on the platter.  Roughly cut basil and add to the salsa.  Mix.

Once fish cakes are finished cooking, place on top of the salsa for serving.  Sprinkle extra baby basil leaves (if you desire for garnish).

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Zucchini Salad

Zucchini is in season!  What better time to figure out new ways to eat it, especially when it is freshed picked from the garden or farmer's market.  Unfortunately, I didn't have space to grow any this year, but it is something I want to put in the ground next year.  This is a simple salad based on a recipe from Meals in Minutes by Jamie Oliver.  It is very quick and has a very nice fresh flavor.  A twist on this would be to try it with the yellow squash which is the same sized and usually right next to the zucchini (at least in my grocery store).

Zucchini Salad
3 large sprigs of mint (I used sweet mint since it is growing in my garden.)
1 red Anaheim chile
1 small lemon
8 oz. zucchini (young and small are the better ones to use)
olive oil
salt and pepper

Pick the mint leave from the sprigs.  Add the red chile (seeds removed), lemon zest from 1/2 the lemon.  Chop these three things together until finely diced and nicely mixed.  Place this mixture in the middle of a serving bowl and add about 3 tablespoon of olive oil.  Squeeze the lemon juice and add to the mixture.  Add a little salt and pepper and then taste and adjust as necessary.  Peel the zucchini into ribbons over the dressing.   Toss just before serving.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Piri Piri Chicken

I tend to eat a lot of chicken because if cooked right, it can have a lot of flavor.  On the other hand if not cooked well it can be dry, tough and without much flavor.  This chicken has a lot of flavor which come from the piri piri sauce that the chicken is cooked in.  (This recipe is based off Piri Piri chicken from Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes.)  I also tend to use a lot of boneless, skinless chicken which makes it all the more important to have good flavor infused into the chicken.  This method uses a bit of cooking on the stove top as well as finishing in the oven so it gives you enough time to work on other things to serve with this chicken.

Piri Piri Chicken
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced or cubed
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced or cubed
6 sprigs of thyme
cilantro leaves
1 red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic
1 serrano chile, stalk removed
1 jalapeno, stalk removed
2 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 lemons, zested (1 lemon also juiced)
1/4 white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
fresh bunch of basil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Put a large pan on to heat (to cook the chicken).  Place the chicken on a cutting board and season it with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken into the preheat pan and cook until golden on each side.  (The first side should take about 5-6 minutes, then turn over.)

In the meantime, make the piri piri sauce.  Add the chopped red onion to a blender with the garlic, chiles, paprika, lemon zests, and juice from one lemon.  Add white wine, Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of salt and pepper, the bunch of basil and a little water.  Blend until smooth.

Add the red and yellow pepper to the chicken.  Turn the heat down to medium and stir the peppers.  Pour the piri piri sauce into a baking dish, add the peppers then the chicken (and any cooking sauce).  Next, add the sprigs of thyme and place in the oven on a middle rack.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until everything is baked through (and hot throughout).  Chicken will be cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 160F.  Remove chicken from oven the serve with the cilantro leaves sprinkled on top. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cannellini Bean Curry

One of my favorite things to eat when it gets cold out or when I am craving some spicier food is curry.  I never ate it growing up and had no idea what I was missing until I tried Indian food.  Of course I am sure a lot of the food we get in the U.S. is in no way similar to food eaten in India.  However, I have accumulated a few different Indian cookbooks trying to get more authentic Indian food.  (Of course I ate this with a pita bread so I didn't really carry the Indian food theme through all the way.)  Another of my comfort foods is white beans.  Any recipe that has beans in it never has enough for me.  In the same way I tend to minimize meat and add more vegetables.  So this recipe is based off one from Anjum's New Indian with changed to fit how I like to cook and eat, but I would expect the same from anyone cooking off of my modified recipes.

Cannellini Bean Curry (serves about 4)
1/4 olive oil
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped (or microplaned as it bring out the ginger flavor)
5 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon ground corriander
2/3 cup good quality coconut milk
2 cans of cannellini beans drained and rinsed
6 - 10 oz. cherry tomatoes (more if you like them or less if you don't), halved
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon tamarind paste
fresh cilantro to garnish

Heat oil in a large pan.  Once heated add the mustard seeds.  Once they pop, add the onion and cook until it is soft and golden.  Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the salt to taste and the powdered spices and stir for about 10 seconds.  Add the coconut milk and 3/4 cup water and bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add the beans and tomatoes and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.  Stir in the sugar and tamarind pasta.  If you like it a bit thicker mash some of the beans against the side of the pan.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.  Garnish with cilantro and serve. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Crustless Broccoli and Cheese Quiche

 Eating quiche always makes me think of the those watery ones that my family would eat at church on Easter after the very early sunrise service.  Despite the not good as you might think eggs, I liked them.  I liked the tradition that went with eating the ham and eggs.   While this is not that same quiche, it is a while lot better.  It is based off of Keepers (Brennan and Campion) broccoli quiche.  I don't always like the combination of the eggs and cheese, but this one is well balanced and the cheese is not rubbery at all.  Plus, because there isn't a crust, it can be made very quickly.  If you like quiche for dinner, this would make for a quick week night meal.
Broccoli and Cheese Quiche
3 cups broccoli florets (about 1 large head of broccoli) or a combination of broccoli and cauliflower
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
1 cup 2% milk (though you can use any the creamier the better)
2/3 heavy whipping cream
6 eggs
butter or oil to grease the pie plate

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease a 10 inch pie plate.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season it with salt.  (This keeps the broccoli green.)  When boiling, add the broccoli, stir and blanch for just a minute or two.  Drain the broccoli and rinse with cold water (to stop the cooking).  Dry the broccoli and place in the bottom of the grease pie plate.  Add the cheese evenly over the broccoli.

In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, eggs, nut (a pinch or two to taste), 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper (also to taste).  Whisk until smooth and then pour over the cheese.  Bake until the egg mixture is just set in the center, about 35-40 minutes.  Let cool a little before serving.

Broiled Cod with Tarragon Mayo

This is another very simple recipe from the book Keepers.  My husband and I were trying out some fish recipes to eat during the winter months.  In mild weather, we both prefer to grill fish, but I wanted to switch it up to find a recipe that would work with different types of fish and be a winner every time.  Unfortunately, I am not much a fan of broiled cod fish as that was the fish I used in this recipe.  However, the broiling technique was wonderful as well as the tarragon mayo.  I have seldom used tarragon, but as I planted in my yard this year, I hope to have more experiments with tarragon next summer when it is big enough to use and not kill the plant.

Broiled Cod with Tarragon Mayo
1/4 cup mayonnaise (either self made or I like Hellman's)
3 teaspoons whole grain mustard (also great to use your own homemade mustard)
2 springs of tarragon, leaves removed and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
1 pound cod fillet
olive oil
Lemon for serving

Preheat the broiler with the rack about 5 inches away from the broiler.  Place a cast iron pan on the rack to heat as the oven is heating.  Heat until very hot (5 minutes in an already warm oven or as the oven heats).  In the meantime, mix together mayonnaise, mustard, tarragon and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Lightly coat the cod in the olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Cover the up facing side with the mayo mixture.  Transfer the mayo-covered fish to the hot cast iron skillet.  Broil until the fish is just cooked throughout and the mayo mixture is a light brown.  Remove from oven and serve with lemon wedges.  I added a spinach salad to have some greens with the fish and make it a lighter meal. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Belgium Waffles (yeast waffles)

Belgium waffles have always been one of my favorite breakfasts.  I have never eaten them in Belgium, so I had no idea that they were so different.  I actually ate these in winter from one of the many food trucks that now abound everywhere.  They were so good that I had to figure out how to make them at home.  One word of warning, though is that while you can make them in a regular, electric waffle maker (a deep one), that you will spend a long time cleaning it as the sugar in this dough sticks and makes a mess in the iron.  I recommend buying a stove top waffle iron.  These also take a bit of time to make in comparison to the regular buttermilk waffles, but they are worth the wait.  This recipe makes 4 full waffles or 12 sections.  They are sweet so I didn't even add a topping to them.

Belgium Yeast Waffles (Gaufres de Liege)
6 tablespoons warm milk (105-115 F)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla sugar
2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 2/3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
1/2 cup turbinado sugar

Dissolve the vanilla sugar in the warm milk and then add the yeast in a small bowl.  Cover while the yeast is activating. Set aside for about 5 minutes or until activated.  It should have bubbles formed along the edges.  Mix the flour with the cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt in a bowl for a mixer.  Pour in the yeast mixture.  Add the egg and the additional egg yolk.  Mix on medium speed until combined.  The dough should be yellow (due to the two egg yolks) and stiff.  It will yield slightly to the touch.  Let the dough rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

Mix in the butter until all the butter pieces are mixed in.  Turn the mixer up to medium-high to incorporate all the butter until the dough is smooth and more yielding.  Knead in the turbinado sugar gently.  Don't let the butter melt.   Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces making them into rough balls.  Place in a warm place to rise for an additional 15 minutes.   Preheat your waffle iron during this time.  Spray the waffles iron with cooking spray and place each ball in a square of the waffles iron.  Cook until golden brown.  Remove from iron and cool on a baking rake to crisp up the exterior.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pistachio Almond Cigars

I was asked to bring a dessert to a dinner party.  I am over dessert.  I used to eat a lot of sweets, but now I really enjoy eating my dinner with multiple dishes or an appetizer with dinner.  I very rarely eat something for dessert and don't bake sweets very often.  Part of that is because my husband doesn't eat much sweets either and therefore there is always too much food.  Of course our co-workers never have a problem with accepting and eating up those sweet leftovers.  At any rate, I needed to find a dessert that would go with shasuska, so I opened up my middle eastern cookbooks...and I found this recipe for Pistachio Almond Cigars.  It satisfied my desire to have something at least based on healthier choices (nuts), but of course it still is not good for you since it is fried.  Sometimes you need to live a little and enjoy it.

This recipe is based off the Sweet filo cigar recipe in Jerusalem by Ottolenghi and Tamimi.  If you have not checked out their Ottolenghi, Plenty or Jerusalem cookbooks, you should.  One day I will eat in their restaurant...but that will have to wait until another trip.
 Pistachio and Almond Cigars
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pistachios, unsalted
6 tablespoons water
1/2 cup vanilla sugar
1 large organic egg, separated
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (unwaxed)
filo pastry, cut into 6 inch squares or rectangles
safflower oil for frying
1/2 cup honey
extra nuts for garnish (sprinkled on top)

Finely chop the almonds and pistachios....I used a mortar and pestle, but you can use a small electric chopper for a finer (and quicker) crumb.  Pour nuts into a pan with 5 tablespoons water and vanilla sugar.  Cook over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Once a bit cool (so as not to cook the egg), add the egg yolk and lemon zest.  Stir.

Assemble: Take your filo squares and spread about a tablespoon in a strip closest to you.  Then roll together after folding in the sides.  Seal with a little of the egg white (which you should lightly beat before applying).  Continue this until all of your rolls have been made.  Heat oil in a pan and fry the cigars over medium-heat heat.  Be careful not to have too high heat or you will burn your cigars.  Fry quickly until each side is golden; remove from oil to a plate covered with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Once cool, place on a platter.  Drizzle with honey and extra nuts.  (They will have better flavor if you lightly toast them before sprinkling on top.  Best eaten the same day.  Makes about 15 cigars depending on how full they are filled.