We had a couple of tickets to Disney leftover from our October trip, so decided to use them for Evan’s birthday. With his birthday right before Easter, we postponed the vacation a week to avoid the holiday crowds. We stayed at Disney’s Pop Century Resort and spent the week visiting Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Universal, and Legoland. I decided to do the same thing as last October and recreate foods from the trip. For those who missed it, here are my posts from our October visit: Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2013 (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5), Legoland Florida, Downtown Disney, and Magic Kingdom.
I’m starting this series with Epcot. Evan needed a break from the parks a few days into our trip, so he and Chad stayed at the hotel while I took a quick tour of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. The entire park was transformed with food booths, beautiful topiaries, and other floral decor. I didn’t want to leave the family alone too long, so I set a personal best and toured the entire park in a little less than 3 hours. I got back to the hotel just in time to join Evan in a much needed nap.
Since I was by myself, my stomach was only able to handle 3 food booths in such a short time and after recently eating at the Crystal Palace buffet in Magic Kingdom. I started with Fleur de Lys in France. The menu featured Gnocchis Parisienne à la Provençal (Parisian-style dumplings with vegetables, mushrooms, and goat cheese); Confit de Canard, Pommes de Terre Sarladaise (Pulled duck confit with garlic and parsley potatoes); Macaron à la Fleur d’ Oranger (Orange blossom macaron with white chocolate ganache); La Vie en Rose Frozen Slush (Yodka, Grey Goose Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, white and red cranberry juice); Kir Imperial (Sparkling wine, chambord black raspberry liquor); Rosé Pamplemousse Cocktail (Rosé wine mixed with natural grapefruit syrup); and Kronenbourg Blanc 1664 (Fruity white beer with citrus notes).
Since I had already made Gnocchi Parisienne, I decided to try the Orange Blossom Macaron. The Macaron was delicious, but quite large and extremely sweet. It would have been better if I could have split it with someone. It was also on the expensive side, at 5 dollars for just one cookie. I loved the creamy white chocolate center covered with flecks of vanilla bean. This combined with the orange blossom cookie created a flavor reminiscent of an orange creamsicle.
After Fleur de Lys, I tried the Moroccan food booth.Taste of Marrakesh featured Lamb Brewat Roll with Prunes and Sesame, Harissa Chicken Kebab with Couscous Salad, Baghrir (Moroccan Pancake with Honey, Almonds, and Argan Oil), Desert Rose (Sparkling Wine with Pomegranate Liqueur), White Sangria, Guerrouane Red, Efes Lager, and Mint Iced Tea.
I tried the Baghrir. Baghrir is a Moroccan pancake that is only cooked on one side to create many holes on the surface. These holes do a wonderful job of soaking up the honey and oil. The Baghrir had the perfect touch of sweetness and I loved the contrasting crunch of the almonds to the light pancake.
My last food booth stop was Hanami in Japan. If I had stopped here first, I don’t think I would have had the stomach room for any other booths. I wanted all the food items on the menu. Hanami offered Frushi (Fresh seasonal fruit: pineapple, strawberry, and melon rolled with coconut rice served with raspberry sauce and sprinkled with toasted coconut and whipped cream on the side); Temaki Hand Roll (Sliced panko fried chicken, curry sauce, rice, and pickled juilienne carrots wrapped in nori); Hanami Sushi (A flavorful trio of salmon, scallop, and beef-topped rice balls served atop a shiso violet sauce); Japanese Popped Rice Cake (Japanese puffed rice cakes with green tea whipped cream, sweet azuki red bean, white chocolate and raspberry sauce); Kirin Beer; Pineapple Paradise with Yuzu Slushie (Frozen blend of sweet sake, pineapple juice and cream flavored with a hint of yuzu citrus juice); and Orange Mango Slushie (Frozen blend of Nigori sake, mango, and orange juice for a refreshing fruit flavor).
I tried the Frushi, because it sounded the most interesting and I definitely plan on making it someday. It was my favorite of the three items I tried, so light and refreshing. For those who don’t want to wait for a recipe, Disney Food Blog has one available.
For a full list of the food booths featured at Epcot International Flower and Garden festival, visit Disney Food Blog.
Baghrir (Beghrir) are Moroccan crepes cooked on one side. The tops become covered with small holes that are perfect for soaking up toppings. Its popularity has spread through Northern Africa and are also popular in Algerian cuisine.
The batter is created using a combination of semolina and flour. The yeast and baking powder help to create the craters as they cook. An alternative topping to honey butter is jam.
The Baghrir at Epcot were also served with Argan oil. Argan oil is a Moroccan oil produced from the Argan tree. It is often used as a seasoning for bread and couscous. It is also popular as a cosmetic product for moisturizing skin and hair. I did not have any available so I omitted it. If you want to use it, you can try various health stores or Amazon: Mediterranean Gourmet Argan Oil, 8.45 Ounce.
If you have a good nonstick pan, the vegetable oil may not be needed.
I liked making smaller Baghrir so they would be easy for Evan to handle, but you can make these whatever size you want/your pan can handle. This recipe made quite a few, so I froze the extra in single layers on a baking sheet separated by parchment. They are best reheated in a hot pan, but still won’t be as great as when they are immediately prepared.
Baghrir (Moroccan Crepes)
Adapted from Cooking with Alia
1 1/2 cups semolina flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 egg (optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a large bowl, whisk together semolina, all purpose flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and yeast. Gradually mix in water, then egg. Transfer the mixture to a large blender and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer back to large bowl, cover with a cloth, and let rise for 30-45 minutes. Bubbles should begin to form on surface.
Place a large, nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Brush the pan with vegetable oil. Ladle small or large circles based on desired size. Cook just until no more wetness remains on the top and and craters have developed throughout the pancake. Do not flip the baghrir. Remove to a serving plate and repeat with remaining batter.
In a small saucepan, combine honey and butter over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until butter is melted.
Serve the baghrir immediately with sliced almonds and honey butter.