September 2019’s Intelligencer’s theme was “Food and Wine” where our editor Betty Hass included some of our own Mensans who have written a cookbook or make their own wine out of local fruit.

Here’s a recipe for b’stilla from one of our members, Elna Tynes:

Years ago a friend took me to dinner at a local Moroccan restaurant, where the dinner included lamb with honey and almonds, minced fresh vegetables served with bread, an amazing pie made with buttered filo dough, shredded chicken, eggs, spinach, almonds, sugar and cinnamon, and powdered sugar, and mint tea served from an altitude of about 4ft. I was enchanted. Years later I found a Middle Eastern cookbook and inside was a recipe for b’stilla, the pie I had loved.


I have since made it a number of times, bringing it to a number of potlucks where it disappears very quickly. The recipe involves about eight sheets of filo dough, 4 to line an iron frying pan (butter the pan and each sheet), a layer of cinnamon, sugar and almonds, a layer of cooked shredded chicken, a layer of eggs scrambled with spinach, and two more layers of sugar/cinnamon/almonds, chicken, and eggs, topping it all with more sugar/cinnamon/almonds. Fold the edges of filo dough over the top. Butter and fold the remaining four layers of filo dough to create a lid, edges down. Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Sprinkle powdered sugar in a pattern on top. When ready to serve, cut into wedges.

Elna Tynes

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