Arayes - Lebanese Stuffed Pitas
This is my first time posting with the Fantastical Food Fight and the theme is Hamburgers. My quandary was how do I fit hamburgers in to an international food blog theme? Well, my Lebanese kick paid off because these delicious arayes fit the bill nicely and were so simple to make.
Or they were once I worked a few things out. I didn't have a grill so I baked them in the oven on a pizza stone. The top got crispy but the bottom turned to soggy mush. Which wasn't tasty. then I tried a broiler pan which worked slightly better, but in the end directly on the oven rack was the way to go.
The other issue I had, which was actually before the baking issue, don't add the meat in a ball and flatten in the pita, flatten before you add it to the bread. Flattening in the pita pressed the juices in to the bread and also contributed to sogginess.
And lastly the steak seasoning was my hamburger twist. if you want them kind of hamburger like go ahead and use it. If you want them really authentically Lebanese replace it with salt and serve the lettuce and tomatoes on the side with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon.
20 oz. ground beef
1 tsp. pomegranate molasses
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
1 tsp. steak seasoning (or salt)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 c. chopped cherry tomatoes, seeds removed
1/2 tsp. baharat
4 pitas, cut in to quarters
In a bowl mix together the beef, molasses, red onion, steak seasoning, pepper, garlic, tomatoes, and baharat. Mix well with your hands, kneading it slightly.
Preheat the oven to 450.
Break the meat in to 4 pieces. Cover three of them and set aside. Take the four and break it in to four more pieces. Flatten in to patties and tuck inside of the pita bread. Brush lightly with oil and place in the oven directly on the oven rack, do NOT put them on a tray, the bottom get's soggy.
Bake for 6 - 10 minutes until crisp on both sides. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Enjoy as is or tuck in lettuce and tomato before enjoying.