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Wow Your Friends and Family With Reghaif
If the image that comes to mind when you think of the words “savory, filled dough” is a calzone from your local pizzeria or *gasp* a hot pocket from the freezer section—prepare to have your mind blown!
Reghaif, sometimes called msemen, is a savory filled pancake that comes from the Moroccan culinary tradition. Chef Mary Kiernan, associate teaching professor of nutrition and food studies in the Falk College, shares her take on the dish below, with a recipe adapted from “The Food of Morocco” cookbook by Tess Mallos.
“Reghaif has lots of potential for fun adaptations. It’s a great way to use up bits of leftovers, especially hamburgers,” Kiernan says. “Try filling it with lots of herbs for a vegetarian option. You can also experiment with the flavor profiles—if you don’t care for cumin, use whatever you like. Because there is both some fat and carb, you can season generously.”
Kiernan recommends getting creative with your reghaif—the fillings are limited only by your imagination! “Dipping sauces are not out of order either,” she says.
Yield: 12 servings
For the Dough:
- 2 tsp. yeast, active dried
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 8 oz. water, warm to touch
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2.75 cups flour, all-purpose
- Extra virgin olive oil, to coat dough for rise
- Dissolve yeast and sugar in water in mixer fitted with dough hook.
- Add salt and flour, mix on lowest speed until dough forms into one ball, approximately 15 minutes. Let the machine do the work. Dough should be silky, elastic and a bit sticky to touch.
- Remove from bowl, roll into another bowl drizzled with olive oil to coat. Cover and let rise 30 to 45 minutes, until doubled in size.
Chef’s Tip: “Over the summer, I will definitely utilize dough balls from the grocery store as they are easy to manage.”
For the Filling/Spice Kefta:
- 2 oz. butter (can substitute olive oil)
- 9 oz. beef, ground fine
- 2 Tbsp. onion, small cooking variety, finely minced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 Tbsp. cumin, ground
- 1 Tbsp. coriander, ground
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 cup water
- In a sauté pan, melt the butter or heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic and spices, sautéing until aromatic (without burning). Add beef and continue to cook until cooked through.
- Add water and continue cooking to dry off water. This allows flavors to bloom together.
- Drain any excess fat and water. Hold mixture until dough is ready.
Chef’s Tip: “Measurements for beef and onion do not need to be exact. This is a great use for leftover meatloaf or hamburgers! If mixture is too lumpy, grind in a food processor until it is of a consistency similar to couscous.”
- After dough is doubled in size, with oiled hands, punch it down, gently kneading it together into a ball. Divide dough into 12 pieces. Roll them in small balls, cover with towel to prevent drying out.
- Roll out dough ball using a rolling pin to a 7- to 8-inch circle. Put 1/12 of the filling centered on dough circle. Fold opposite sides to create a barrier edge, then fold the other two sides to enclose beef into dough like a burrito. Press seams together and press down filled dough.
- Roll out filled dough aiming for a rectangle shape. Roll as thin as possible without the meat mixture breaking through the dough. Hold on an oiled tray until all dough balls are ready to cook.
- On a hot grill or griddle, place the flattened filled doughs cooking 1 to 2 minutes per side, until done like a pizza.
Chef’s Tip: “The key is in the rolling. The first time I made them I was a bit light on the filling until I got the feel for rolling a filled dough. I find it unique to fill the dough much like a burrito and then flatten it out like a pizza before cooking.”