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Dig Into Some East Side Pockets

Dig Into Some East Side Pockets


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Recipe: Levantine arayes are golden brown pita burgers in which the meat is cooked inside the bread until it’s just right

Arayes (Pita Burgers). Sheryl Julian

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt. Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"


Recipe: Levantine arayes are golden brown pita burgers in which the meat is cooked inside the bread until it’s just right

Arayes (Pita Burgers). Sheryl Julian

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt. Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"


Recipe: Levantine arayes are golden brown pita burgers in which the meat is cooked inside the bread until it’s just right

Arayes (Pita Burgers). Sheryl Julian

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt. Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"


Recipe: Levantine arayes are golden brown pita burgers in which the meat is cooked inside the bread until it’s just right

Arayes (Pita Burgers). Sheryl Julian

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt. Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"


Recipe: Levantine arayes are golden brown pita burgers in which the meat is cooked inside the bread until it’s just right

Arayes (Pita Burgers). Sheryl Julian

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt. Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"


Recipe: Levantine arayes are golden brown pita burgers in which the meat is cooked inside the bread until it’s just right

Arayes (Pita Burgers). Sheryl Julian

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt. Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"


Recipe: Levantine arayes are golden brown pita burgers in which the meat is cooked inside the bread until it’s just right

Arayes (Pita Burgers). Sheryl Julian

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt. Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"


Recipe: Levantine arayes are golden brown pita burgers in which the meat is cooked inside the bread until it’s just right

Arayes (Pita Burgers). Sheryl Julian

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt. Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"


Recipe: Levantine arayes are golden brown pita burgers in which the meat is cooked inside the bread until it’s just right

Arayes (Pita Burgers). Sheryl Julian

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt. Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"


Recipe: Levantine arayes are golden brown pita burgers in which the meat is cooked inside the bread until it’s just right

Arayes (Pita Burgers). Sheryl Julian

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"

Makes 8 small or 4 medium pita burgers or enough to serve 4

In her book, "The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World," Jerusalem-born Reem Kassis explains that arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pita rounds, are traditional in the Middle East. She calls them Pita Burgers and stuffs the meat into 4-inch pita rounds, then cooks them in a panini press. Those small pitas are hard to find, but you can get 5-inch breads in some markets. One brand is Pita Bread Factory, made in Canton they are small, puffy, and ideal for this. If you don't have a panini press, use a cast-iron skillet (or, ideally, two). First make a slit along one side of each pocket, slip in patties, and then press the bread on both sides to flatten the patties to the size of the bread. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook them in the cast-iron skillet for five minutes on a side (check the bottom after a few minutes to make sure it isn't burning). The first five minutes are uncovered for the second half, cover the pan so the meat cooks through. As you make them, slide them into a low oven to keep warm while you finish the rest. The ground beef is mixed with tomatoes, onion, a chile, crushed red pepper, allspice, and cumin, so there's lots of good seasonings in the patties. The golden brown pita is especially crisp after cooking, the meat is just right and quite juicy, and the arayes make the most satisfying meal.

1small tomato, halved, seeded, and very finely chopped
½small onion, very finely chopped
1small green chile pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped
3tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pound ground beef or lamb or a combination
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon salt
½teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
½teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon ground black pepper
8small (4-inch) pita rounds or 4 medium (5-inch) pita rounds
Olive oil (for brushing)
Extra salt (for sprinkling)
1cup yogurt (for serving)

1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the tomato, onion, chile, and all but 1 teaspoon of the parsley. Mix well. Add the meat, breaking it up with your hands as you add it to the bowl, the olive oil, salt, red pepper, allspice, cumin, and black pepper. With clean hands, work the meat as little as possible until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Set the oven at 250 degrees. Have on hand a large rimmed baking sheet.

3. With a knife, cut halfway around the edge of each pita to make an opening. Divide the meat into 8 or 4 pieces. Shape patties slightly smaller than the pita rounds. Tuck a patty into a round and pat the two sides of the round until the burger is almost the same size as the pita. Continue until each pita is filled with a patty.

4. Generously brush both sides of all the pita with oil. To cook the pita in a panini press: Set the press at medium-high and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). To cook in a skillet (or two skillets, one pita per skillet): Set the skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add a pita round and cook for 5 minutes (check the underside after 3 minutes to make sure it isn't burning). Turn the pita, cover with a lid, and continue cooking over low heat for 5 minutes more (again, check the underside) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 150 degrees (for medium-done meat). With a wide metal spatula, slide the pita onto the baking sheet transfer to the oven. Continue cooking the remaining pitas in the same way. If the rounds are too dark before the meat is cooked, turn the heat under the skillet to its lowest setting. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley and salt. Serve with yogurt. Sheryl Julian. Adapted from "The Arabesque Table"



Comments:

  1. Currito

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  2. Benen

    the message is deleted



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