Tanoreen, a popular Middle-Eastern restaurant based in Brooklyn and run by Palestinian-American chef Rawia Bishara, was featured in last week’s edition of the Explorers and the highlight of the visit was Rawia’s homemade Knafe, which they described as “the deep dish dessert pizza of your wildest dreams”. I’m not really familiar with Palestinian Knafe but I am pretty sure it’s not a pizza and it looks nothing like a deep dish pizza.
Nevertheless, Rawia’s Knafe and dishes look really appetizing and her story is an inspiring one. Check out the video, get out and enjoy a Knefe in this cold weather 🙂
Here’s how she makes her Knafe:
Bishara uses an original family recipe she learned from her mother, and you can taste the old-school approach in the creamy, aromatic end result. The dish begins with ghee — ultra-rich, clarified butter — which is mixed into shredded fillo dough and pressed into a round baking tin. Bishara then adds more ghee and natural red dye for a bright pop of color, followed by a mix of two cheeses — traditional, unsalted cheese curd and her homemade cream cheese, for a softer texture and more robust flavor. Then it’s another layer of shredded fillo dough, and a final pour of ghee. After going in the oven for 15 minutes, the decadent knafeh is flipped out on a serving tray and finished off with a pour of rosewater and orange blossom-infused simple syrup, and a sprinkle of fresh pistachios.
“People love to eat,” says Bishara. “If you give them good food, it’s the greatest thing in life.”