Friday, November 30, 2012

253. Mushroom Risotto



Flipping through my (very) old Jamie Oliver The Naked Chef  cookbook, I was inspired to make the mushroom risotto. The wonderful thing about Jamie Oliver's recipes is that he gives you so many options to vary the same recipe.
In this mushroom risotto recipe, you may use any kind of mushroom you come across or have on hand.
But that's not all: you can even use dried mushroom (which you re-hydrate)!
Isn't that wonderful?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

252. Pear and Blue Cheese Crostini


I could live on appetizers and side dishes.
And dessert.
Don't you find the best part of a meal are the apps and the sides?
And dessert.
Appetizers can easily contain all the food groups, rendering the main dish moot in my opinion.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

251. Vanilla Tea Cake


Unpretentious cakes are cosy, homey, and so welcoming!
This plain vanilla cake is a slightly lesser sister to my cardamom cake and orange cake, but homey none the less. Light, fluffy, mild, and it's basically a hug in a cake.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

250. Lablabi: Iraqi Chickpea Soup


Lablabi is a popular Iraqi chickpea broth that is commonly sold even in the streets.
All it is, is boiled re-hydrated chickpeas. Literally.
The consumer then can add flavorings as they like: lemon juice, hot sauce, a good grinding of pepper, or simply consume it as it is.

Monday, November 26, 2012

249. Sea Salt-Crusted Whole Fish


This is a strange but amazingly delicious method to cook a whole fish, and does not taste overly salty at all.
It is very easy to make, and fun and sociable to eat.
The meat just magically separates itself from the bones, and almost presents itself as a fillet because it's so easy to separate.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

248. Baked Breaded Mushrooms


Don't all breaded and fried foods taste delicious??
In an attempt to slightly healthify (?) breaded mushrooms, I opted for baking them instead.
So this isn't really a recipe. It's more of a technique which you may apply to alot of different food: mushroom, aubergines, chicken, fish... you name it.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

247. Peanut Butter Cornflake Balls


These peanut butter cornflake bites are a must for all peanut butter lovers.
The combinations of texture and taste are incredible.
Chewey, crunchy, a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, and a whole lot of deliciousness!

Friday, November 23, 2012

246. Tabboula


Tabboula (aka tabouleh, tabouli) deserves its very own fan club. It is so popular, so delicious, so unique!
Tabboula is a Levantine Arab salad consisting of bulghul (cracked wheat), tomato, green onion, and parsley. The main ingredient is the parsley.
I have come across some salads labeled tabboula which are almost entirely made of couscous, with just a garnish of parsley.
That's not tabboula, that's a joke. Avoid them. This is the real deal.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

245. Pumpkin Soup


Spicy roasted pumpkin and roasted pumpkin seeds lead to pumpkin soup!
'Tis the season of pumpkin, after all...
This pumpkin soup heralds so many memories for me, and really is timeless.
It is one of the first things I learned to cook, and is still, in my opinion, one of the tastiest.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

244. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


The spicy pumpkin roast left me with some beautiful pearly white pumpkin seeds, perfect for roasting and nibbling on for a snack or salty fix.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

243. Spicy Pumpkin Roast


Pumpkin has sort of always been foreign to me except in soups.
Roasted in this manner however, is my new favorite way to eat it.
I used mini pumpkins, but this can be adapted using regular pumpkin or even butternut squash.
Although my beautiful sage plant gives me fresh sage leaves all year long, I mostly associate sage with Autumn.

Monday, November 19, 2012

242. Date Molasses and Cardamom Cake


This delicious cake is eggless, and apart from a quarter cup of brown sugar, it completely replaces sugar with date molasses. Date molasses is common in Arab countries, and is the liquid reduction of dates.
I picked this recipe up from the fantastic blog Arabic Bites.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

241. Spanish Tomato Bruschetta


Crostini and bruschetta are often used interchangeably. Both consist of toasted bread sliced topped with anything that appeals to the imagination. The main difference between the two is that bruschetta is rubbed with garlic and olive oil before grilling or toasting, whereas crostini forgo the garlic step.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

240. Paprika Roasted Baby Chicken Stuffed with Rice


This rice-stuffed roasted baby chicken is hearty, earthy, and highly satisfying.
If you want it to be festive, it can certainly be that too!
There are quite a few spices utilized for the basting and for the rice stuffing, but the star is the paprika.

Friday, November 16, 2012

239. Chickpea Rice Pilaf


I invented this rice pilaf as I was cooking it, adding ingredients which I thought were complimentary to one another as I went along.
I'm fairly certain if I search thoroughly enough I will discover that it is has already been invented before, thereby nullifying my invention... but still.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

238. Everyday Tiramisú


Tiramisú is an Italian spoon dessert, consisting of ladyfinger sponge cake biscuits dipped in coffee in between unctuous layers of whipped mascarpone cheese. A wide range of variations have been made of this dessert, using the same layered concept.
There are three major substitutions in this recipe that render it an "everyday" dessert.
Regular cream cheese is used instead of mascarpone.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

237. Chicken Tashreeb


Chicken teshreeb (تشريب دجاج) is very similar to habeet, only that it is made with chicken instead of meat and the broth is much lighter.
Like quite a few "traditional" recipes, this is a very simple recipe with major flavor.
It is basically a chicken stew in curried broth.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

236. Twix Mix Pudding


I love spoon desserts. And I love an easy home-made dish using staple convenience foods.
So, admittedly this dessert is not made from scratch, with the twix and the creme caramel and all, but that doesn't make it any less delicious.
This twix mix recipe is gifted to me by another of my favorite people, and is very useful to have on hand either for either entertaining guests or family.

Monday, November 12, 2012

235. Sumac Roast Chicken


Roasted chicken can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be.
To speed up cooking and even the cooking process, the chicken is cut into parts before baking.
The flavorings of this chicken is as simple as it is surprising: sumac with a tinge of turmeric.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

234. Iraqi Carrot Rice


This hearty rice recipe is very common in Iraq, and is also fairly known throughout the Arab world.
It is simply known as carrot rice (تمن جزر).

Saturday, November 10, 2012

233. Potato Tray Bake


Potatoes are such a versatile tuber.
These tray-baked potatoes rival the best packaged crisps or frozen fries.
I flavored them simply with salt, freshly ground pepper, and powdered garlic.

Friday, November 9, 2012

232. Nutella Swirl Muffins


Originally named self-frosting Nutella cupcakes, I decided to change it to Nutella swirl muffins, for two reasons. First, there is a satisfying amount of nutella, but not enough to count as a frosting, hence the "swirl." Secondly, the cakes are more dense than a traditional cupcake, hence the "muffin."

Thursday, November 8, 2012

231. Chicken Fetteh


Fatteh (or fetta, or fetté) is a tasty Shami dish created to use up stale bread on which various ingredients are piled on top or mixed with it. The Shami region consistes of Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Jordan.
Some people consider Iraq to be a Shami country, others say it is an Arabian Gulf country.
Obviously, "various ingredients" means that there are almost infinite variations of this dish, some made popular, others created out of need to use up existing ingredients.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

230. Leesha's Cheese Zaatar Finger Sandwiches


*Leesha* is one of my favorite people on Earth.
The food created by her little delicate hands effectively make me forget all worldly woes and transport me to a serene and balmy mood.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

229. Rice Mohalabi


There is a reason why rice puddings are so popular world-wide.
Contrary to the Spanish rice pudding which uses whole short-grain rice, this recipe uses ground rice.
Any rice will do.

Monday, November 5, 2012

228. Chinese Soy Chicken


Quite a bit of the ingredients that make up this wonderful dish made me raise an eyebrow, and seemed, quite frankly, weird. Ketchup? Sugar? Vinegar?
Well, yes.
Once tasted, all doubts dissolve and a certain joy of good food takes over.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

227. Chinese Egg Fried Rice


Strictly speaking, fried rice is not specific to China, but is a staple throughout Asia.
China being the biggest country in Asia, one may understand the common misconception.
Fried rice is the Asian version of the Spanish paella. Paella is known to use up any leftover ingredients, and same goes with fried rice.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

226. Vegetable Spring Rolls


Spring rolls are an Asian appetizer consisting of a paper-thin pastry sheet filled with a choice of ingredients, rolled into a cylindrical rod, and fried to a golden crisp finishing.
I think Americans call them egg rolls, versus spring rolls. Potato potahto.
The filling is where you can really exercise your creativity.

Friday, November 2, 2012

225. Fried Iroog



The combination of minced meat, parsley, onion, tomato, and curry is a winning one in Iraqi cuisine.
Having already introduced you to Iraqi Iroog Bread, it was simply a matter of time before delving into some other iroog variations.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

224. Broccoli Stromboli


La bella Italia! What wonderful gifts to the world are pizzas. calzones, and strombolis!
This is a broccoli cheese stromboli, which is basically a pizza rolled up before baking.
If you have a well-stocked fridge and freezer, this is the simplest thing to do: roll our pre-made pizza dough, spread some store bought ricotta, broccoli,cheese, roll up, bake!