• Almond and Fig

Updated: Jun 18


1 package frozen phyllo dough thawed For the filling 1 bag frozen spinach thawed 1 cup crumbled feta 1 red onion minced (you can sautée it or leave it raw) Salt and pepper to taste A few grates of fresh nutmeg Zest of one Lemon 2 tsp sumac 2 tbls pine nuts Nigella seeds or sesame seeds and flaky salt (optional) Olive oil for brushing

Filling: Squeeze the spinach until all the water comes out you can do that using a couple of paper towels. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, sumac, feta, pine nuts, onions, lemon zest.


Take 1 sheet of filo dough (make sure to cover the remaining sheets with a clean kitchen towel to prevent them from drying) Cut the sheet of phyllo into 3 even strips and brush with olive oil. Fold each strip in half creating a double layer. Place one teaspoon of the filling along the short side of the rectangle and roll creating a cigar ha! Brush the top with olive oil and add a Sprinkle of nigella seeds and flaky salt on top if you want to be fancy u know. Brush, fill, roll and repeat until you are done it goes by so fast. Line the cigars in a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a 350 oven for about 20 min until golden and crisp.

Dipping Sauce: 1 cup Greek yogurt 1/4 cup crumbled feta Juice and zest of one Lemon A drizzle of olive oil Whirl all ingredients in a blender or a mixer until smooth and fluffy Tip: Phyllo dough gets soggy after it sits out for a while just reheat in a toaster oven and enjoy

* These cigars are freezer friendly. Freeze them in a one sheet pan until frozen solid. Once frozen, pack in a freezer reusable bag. Don't defrost, reheat in a 350 oven until crisp and heated through 15-20 minutes.

In Chicago sweet corn is one of the vegetables that truly captures the summer season.

Summer corn is one of those things I don’t buy off season and when it isn’t locally grown simply because once the corn is harvested the natural sugars will turn into starch. I know It’s a long wait from September to the following July to get fresh corn, but it’s so worth the wait. Nothing like sinking your teeth into the plump kernels bursting with sweet, summer flavor. The kind that splashes everywhere along with the every bite. Lucky for us, the Midwest is known for the best corn ever in the summertime. Followed by the best and most crazy corn mazes in the fall. I was so happy to finally spot the fresh corn at the farmers market although its a bit delayed this year.

Corn is sweet, crunchy and comes already in a perfect package (husks) to throw on the grill. This simple recipe of fire roasted corn, slathered with a sumac lemon aioli is just a perfect bite for a summer dinner outside on the patio.

How to select the best corn for grilling:

Select young, tender corn. Just make sure you look for bright green husks and light yellow stalks. look for ears with moist, fresh-looking husks. Don’t worry about browning silks, which are the farmer’s cue that the corn is ready to pick.

Cook and enjoy corn soo after its harvested. The sugars in corn convert to starch shortly after being picked so it should be eaten soon after harvest.

Fire roasted corn with sumac garlic aioli

How to grill the corn:

4 or more fresh ears corn, in their husks


This method works well in an indoor or outdoor grill. The trick is you are looking for direct heat. The direct heat along with the husk it will ensure that the corn will steam to perfection and you will get some charred and delicious smoky bits.

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat

  • Trim the silk from the top of each ear to prevent it from burning.

  • Peel away the first layer of husks

  • Place the corn on the grill, cover, and grill for 5 minutes, turning the corn every few minutes until cooked through this process will take 10-15 minutes.

While the corn is cooking prepare the aioli

Simple lemon garlic and sumac aioli :

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tbls thick yogurt (love adding the yogurt it lightens up the mixture)

Juice of half a lemon (Add more for taste)

1 garlic clove finely minced

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 Tsp sumac

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use

  • Remove the corn from the grill and let it cool for few minutes to handle, this will also ensure that the husks will slip off the corn so easy.

  • The husks may char a bit, but the kernels of corn shouldn’t. To know the corn is done the kernels will turn a golden yellow color

  • Pull back the husks they should slip right off

  • If you want more charred smoky bits. After you Peel the corn, throw it back on the grill for a minute.

  • Slather with the garlic and sumac aioli and enjoy.


Mai @almondandfig

Loud music, neon signs, Crazy rides the ones that make you so dizzy but we love it, long lines and stay up so late kind of summer nights. Everyone has their own favorite part of the Fair, but there’s one thing we can all probably agree on: the food. Lots of fun food, food on a stick, fried food, sugary treats, and caramel popcorn that stick to your teeth so good.

I told my kids if I had a booth at the fun fair I will sell these kiftah corn dogs.

Savory spice scented kiftah balls coated with a sweet honey and corn batter and deep fried till crispy perfection. Dipped in pomegranate molasses and sumac ketchup for a pucker your lips goodness.

So many changes this summer but we are making the days count and creating little memories that will be forever remembered.

Check out my website and story for this light hearted recipe, I promise you there are no lines there.

Happy weekend

Serves: 10

PREP TIME: 30 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 1 hour


1 pound kiftah recipe

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cornmeal

3 tbsp. Honey

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp. kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper

1 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

Vegetable oil for frying

Dipping ketchup

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tbls pomegranate molasses

1/2 - 1tsp Sumac (adjust to your taste)



Wooden or bamboo skewers

Heavy pot for frying


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

  • Prepare the kiftah and shape into football shape about 1/4 cup each ball.

  • Since the Corn batter cooks pretty quickly we are going to partial cook your kiftah. To ensure it’s cooked through once dipped in the cornmeal batter and fried. Bake for 30 minutes.

  • Once kiftah is cooled enough to handle skewer with the wooden skewers.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients; flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, black pepper, and Aleppo.

  • In another bowl, whisk the eggs, add milk, and honey.

  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

  • Pour batter into a tall glass and let sit while oil heats.

  • In a large pot over medium heat, add enough oil to come halfway up the sides and heat to 375°. Dip the skewered kiftah into the batter and coat evenly. Fry the kiftah corn dogs , 4 to 5 at a time don’t over crowd the pot, until golden, about 5 minutes, turning to other side. Use tongs to remove from oil and place on a paper towel–lined plate.

  • Fry remaining kiftah dogs, letting oil come back to temperature between batches.

  • Serve with pomegranate molasses ketchup.

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© 2018 by Almond & FIG