Thursday, April 17, 2014

613. Fried Feta Cheese


I think this is an Egyptian appetizer and one of those recipes done by eye measurements.
I tried to measure as best I could, but in reality the recipe is very forgiving.
Too loose? Add flour. Too stiff? Add lemon juice.
If you are too busy or lazy to make this in the morning, make it the day before and simply reheat it for breakfast.


Ingredients:

1 cup feta cheese
1 egg
1-2 Tbsp flour
grinding fresh pepper
1-2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil, for frying



Method:

Mix all the ingredients except for the olive oil in a bowl.
If it is too loose, stir in a bit more flour. If it is loo stiff, stir in a bit of lemon juice.
Heat the two tablespoons olive oil in a pan.
Drop in the mixture by teaspoons, and flatten slightly with the back of the spoon.
Flip over when browned and golden on the bottom side, and allow to get golden browned on the other side.
Drain on absorbent paper towels and serve warm alongside bread, tomato, and fresh mint.


 صحة و عافية

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

612. Red Velvet Brownies


These red velvet brownies are one of those recipes that kids very much love and adults indulging their inner kids do too. Much like rice crispie treats and peanut butter cornflakes balls. Too sweet and utterly childish!
A few tips for success: #1: DO line the pan with a large sheet of parchment paper; it makes life so much easier. It will break if you don't (honestly, the picture show I did not line my tray and I paid the price. Lesson learned.). #2: Make sure the icing sugar is super powder by sifting it; its awful eating something so good to have it marred by the crunch of the sugar. #3: Consume the day after it is made; the sugar dissolves even better after sitting for a while, the brownies get a bit more moist, and the icing hardens juuust a little bit to allow you to eat it mess-free.
Recipe adapted form Rose.



Ingredients:

Red Velvet Brownies: 
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp red food colouring
2 tsp vanilla extract,
1/2 cup butter, soft
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs,
1 1/4 cups flour
a pinch of salt

White Chocolate Buttercream: 
1/2 cup butter,soft
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g white chocolate
1-2 Tbsp double cream 
1 pack of blueberries


Method:

Preheat oven to 350F.
To make the brownies, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition.
Add the food coloring, vanilla, and cocoa and mix until smooth and uniform.
Slowly add flour and salt, until left with a smooth batter.
Pour into lined baking tray.
Cook, on the middle shelf for 20-25mins.
To test if they're cooked, poke a knife into the very middle, if it comes up clean, it's done.
Leave the brownies to cool in the pan, and while they're cooling, make the topping.
Break up chocolate and melt it in a microwave or bain-marie.
In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Beat in your vanilla extract.
Now add melted chocolate and keep going until it's all one mixture.
Finally, add double cream and stir well; set aside until brownies fully cooled.
Turn out brownies upside down and peel off the parchment.
Smear the frosting in top, cut into squares, and pile with blueberries.


 صحة و عافية

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

611. Flaxseed Loaf


This gluten-free bread is virtually void of carbohydrates and is completely grain-free.
If you want to reset your metabolism and un-bloat your tummy, this is the food to do it.
Flax seeds, aka linseed, also used in my cool-rise flax seed loaf , is an amazing health booster especially for women. In addition be being extremely rich in fibre, it also naturally contains estrogen, helping a woman look and feel the best she can. I store my flax whole, and grind them into a meal just before I need them. This prevents them from oxidizing and getting rancid.
Don't overdose, though. You have been warned.
I picked up the recipe from Rose whose pre-diabetic mom makes it as her substitute for bread.

Ingredients:

4 eggs
3 Tbsp water
1 cup of flax meal
1/2 cup of ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt



Method:

Pre-heat your oven to 400F.
Whisk the eggs and water; set aside.
Whisk the flax meal, almond powder,baking powder, and salt.
Whisk the eggs into the flax mixture.
Pour mixture into a loaf pan, level out, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.


 صحة و عافية

Monday, April 14, 2014

610. Tuna Paté


It's amazing when something so basic as a pantry staple can of tuna transforms into a fancy decadent hors d'oevres. Fish paté is constantly found served in hotels for high tea, all elegant on crustless mini round toasts or spread on finger sandwiches.
Give yourself less than five minutes, and you've got your own home made paté.
The butter in this prevents it from getting all stiff and dry.
Remember this is something you are supposed to taste; not get full on!
Depending on personal taste, you could also add a teaspoon on Dijon mustard or horseradish paste.


Ingredients:

180g net drained can of tuna
100g (8Tbsp) soft butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp tobasco
2 Tbsp lemon juice


Method:

Put all ingredients in the food processor and whizz to a paste.
Serve alongside crackers, pickles of all sorts, and olives.


 صحة و عافية

Sunday, April 13, 2014

609. Zaatar Croissants


Zaatar croissant in the Middle East is equivalent to a butter croissant in Europe.
Based in my kiri croissant recipe, I did a couple of modifications to make this version  more wholesome and rustic at the same time.
Instead of using only regular white flour, I did part oat flour, part whole wheat flour, and part regular flour.
I also did not twist the ends into a crescent shape, and left then into tapered rods; I'm not sure why I did that, but I liked the result.
The dough is meant to be extra soft, fight the urge to add more flour!

Ingredients:

1 cup oats
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp powdered milk
2 eggs
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp ghee (or soft butter)
1/4 cup oil
1 cup warm water
4 Tbsp zaatar

For the topping:
1 egg, beaten


Method:

Either using a food processor, pulse the oats until ground into a flour.
Add all the rest of the ingredients except for the zaatar until a soft dough is formed.
Cover in a bowl and let rest for an hour.
Divide the dough into four balls.
Store three balls covered while working with the fourth.
Roll the dough into a large circle.
Quarter the circle, then cut each quartered into three equal parts.
Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of zaatar over the circle.
Roll up the triangle, starting at the wide side and place on non-stick baking sheet.
Brush the tops with egg wash and let rest for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 360F oven for 20 minutes, plus a minute or two on broil to give a golden color.
Let cool slightly before consuming warm or cold.


 صحة و عافية

Thursday, April 10, 2014

608. Dundee Cake


For the longest time, to me, English cake was synonymous with Christmas cake which was synonymous with Fruitcake. An English/Christmas/Fruit cake topped with whole almonds makes it a Scottish Dundee cake.
But apparently there are differences I am not aware of between the lot, despite their many similarities.
This cake cannot be made at the spur of the moment, and demands patience and respect.
First off, I made my own candied citrus peels based on my orangettes. That took a day.
Then, the medley of fruits (candied, dried, zests, and juice) needs to macerate preferably overnight in the fridge. That's another day.
Making the cake needs about 15 minutes of hands on time. Arranging the almonds on top takes about another 10 or so minutes.
Then the baking. A solid two to three hours.
The pay-off? An incredibly dense and fragrant cake, of which you cannot eat more than one thin slice at a time, lasts for weeks if properly stored, and just gets better with time.
From The Book of Afternoon Tea.


Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup sultanas
1 1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped candied citrus peel
1/3 cup halved glacé cherries
1/2 cup powdered almonds
1 orange, grated zest only
1 lemon, grated zest only
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp powdered cloves
1/4 tsp powdered nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp almond essence
1/3 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 cup butter, soft
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 cups flour
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp milk


 Method:

In a non-reactive bowl (preferably ceramic or porcelain), put the
sultanas, raisins, chopped candied citrus peel, halved glacé cherries, powdered almonds, orange zest,lemon zest, powdered ginger, powdered cloves, powdered nutmeg, vanilla essence, almond essence, and the unsweetened apple juice.
Mix well, cover, and let macerate in the refrigerator overnight.
Next day, preheat oven to 300F.
Line the bottom and sides of a spring-form pan.
Cream the soft butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
Fold in half the flour, then the milk, then the remaining half of flour.
Fold in the macerated mixture.
Dissolve the baking powder in a tablespoon of milk and fold in the cake mixture.
Pour the lot in the prepared tin, and smooth out the surface.
Top the surface in concentric circles of whole almonds, pressing ever-so lightly, just enough for it to adhere.
Bake in the middle of the oven for two hours, or up to three hours, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out dry.
Let cool in tin for 30 mins to 1 hour in the pan before removing to cool completely.
I suggest making this cake about a week before intending consumption, and storing it in an air-tight tin in a cool place.


 صحة و عافية