Saturday, May 27, 2017
Alhamdu lillah to He who has blessed us with another Ramadan, month of good, repentance, forgiveness, the holy Quraan, and jihad. May Allah grant victory in the struggle against our own nafs and against the enemies of Islam, allowing us to emerge with faces of noor, showered with His rida on those who seek it. Ramadan Mubarak.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
I was so reluctant to try this dish as I had a nagging feeling that it would be boring and bland, but oh my am I happy I gave it a go (and took the pictures for a maybe-posting!). While it is the delicious squeaky and firm haloomi that is supposed to be the star of the show, it was the charred corn that really made it for me.
Monday, May 22, 2017
This salmon baked in a crusty pastry is a fancy way of serving something so simple. I used a giant one kilo fillet to serve 6 to 8 people, but it is just as easy to replicate to made individually sized portions. A simple spinach sauce of sorts is slathered over the fillet before being wrapped like a gift with the pastry and sent off to the oven.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
To me, this salad screams Summer, slow days, and gatherings over the grill for delicious light meals. The actual ingredients can be counted on one hand: courgettes, chilli, mint, and feta cheese. The dressing is a splash of olive oil and a squirt of lemon juice: the perfect sauce for any salad.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
This is a banana pudding dessert like you've never had before. Finely grated zest and juice of lime give an unexpected twist to the sweetness of the banana cream, which is all the more enhanced by the raspberry puree. Truth be told, the banana mousse can be served simply on a slice of vanilla pound cake and drizzled with the raspberry puree within minutes, but this beautiful presentation needs to be made a couple of hours in advance.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
There was once upon a time when I thought of myself as non-affectionate towards Mexican food. Lately, I can't seem to get enough. Sure, most of the recipes are Mexican-inspired, but the Mexican element is still there. This crispy-crunchy salad is taco flavored, and quite honestly has all the components of a whole meal on its own.
Friday, May 12, 2017
Discovery of the two-ingredient no-churn ice cream has opened the doors wide for endless flavor possibilities. With the bountiful mulberry harvest this season, it came to me that I should try out a mulberry ice cream recipe, using that very same two-ingredient base. I was not disappointed.
Saturday, May 6, 2017
This protein-packed meal replacement smoothie is ideal for an energy-boosting breakfast or for when you're trying to cut back. I used my stock of seasonal mulberries, which I froze for convenience and long term use. You can replace this of course with any berry of choice.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Do not be intimidated by the seemingly long procedure. It is simply a step by step method to help ensure perfect results for this exceptional cheesecake. Again, I used the mulberries we are blessed with, but the same procedure applies to any berry, and even cherry.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
This was by far the braniest bran muffin I have ever tasted. Most bran muffins contain a meager 1 cup of bran per 3 cups of flour; this one is exactly the opposite. You can use a combination of wheat and oat bran, or just one type if you wish.
Friday, April 28, 2017
I made a similar dessert to this one a long while ago using cherries in tea biscuits in place of today's mulberries and sponge cake base. I am sure this no-bake fruit mousse cake dessert can be adapted to a whole variety of fruits beyond berries.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Calling this dish a pasta bake is somewhat of a misnomer. Sure, the instructions say to pour the pasta in an oven-safe dish, cover with (more) grated cheese, and broil, but in fact this pasta is closer to a one pot, stove top, cheesy wonder. If you wanted to, you could totally skip the broil in the oven step.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Eggs are the international preference for breakfast, and this spicy, multi-dimensional Qatari breakfast eggs feed a small crowd quite comfortably. This protein and fibre-rich breakfast is one of those accidentally healthy types of recipes, where the flavor was kept in mind rather than the good-for-you factor.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Chocolate cake is such an ambiguous term. It's almost subjective to interpretation. Some expect a dense creamy cake, others light and fluffy. Some go flourless, others bread-like. Some say a chocolate cake isn't so if there's no chocolate in it. So I decided to call this chocolate cake Cocoa Cake as a clear indicator to what makes it chocolate. But do not be deceived.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
This low(er) fat cheesy gratin came to me at a time when I wanted something rich, bubbly, and cheesy, like a vegetable non-tomato lasagna of sorts. It's meatless too, but remains high in protein due to the cottage cheese. I just might go as far as calling it a diet dish, especially if you moderate your portion.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
While this dessert is composed of only three ingredients (one of which is a baked slab of brownies), it is so much more than the sum of its parts. Such a casual get together can easily be featured on any elegant buffet table. Strawberries and cream are a classic. Here, they marry brownies and dance in my favorite trifle bowl, a gift from a beloved brother and friend.
Friday, April 14, 2017
This noodle recipe incorporates the flavor of a chicken satay with noodles for a one-bowl meal. Any type of noodle of your choice can be used here, as the chicken is cooked in the sauce while the noodles cook separately. Once both components are ready, they are then stirred together. This recipe packs a nutty Asian punch of flavors.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
The cupcake craze of the nineties is long over and replaced with macarons, naked cakes, and the like. However, once in a while, it is perfectly harmless to enjoy a dainty colorful cupcake with good friends over a good pot of mint tea. These gorgeous cupcakes are completely natural, where the vivid frosting color comes from freeze dried raspberries. The cupcake itself is pistachio.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Although I archived this cracker recipe under Bread, this is not a bread. The only relative to a bread in it is the rolled oats. Otherwise, it's seeds, seeds, and seeds to the extent you might for a second think you are making a meal for birds.
Friday, April 7, 2017
The end. No, really. Mash banana, stir in some oats, and bake. There you have a perfectly legitimate, diet-friendly chewy cookie good for breakfast or snacks on the go. And what's even better is the option to keep it plain, or go crazy with add-ins such as chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit (raisins?), or nuts.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
My mother, Allah bless her soul, would make us weeknight baguette pizzas once in a while when we were kids. This favorite tread led us into experimenting with various cheeses, including emmenthal, mozzarella, square cheese slices, and baby bell. The result with the latter was a definite favorite, that sometimes we would skip the pizza and just have grilled baby bell toast.
Monday, April 3, 2017
Tangy zingy lemon desserts have their own niche of followers. It's the kind of thing that once you liked it, there's no going back. It just might replace chocolate *gasp* as a favorite dessert. Now this cake is a triple zing threat. The cake itself is zingy with lime zest, the layers are sandwiched with lemon curd, and the whole lot is crowned with a thick lemon icing.
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Due to the popularity of merguez in France, I always thought it was French food. I kind reader of MCW corrected me that this spicy fresh sausage is of North African cuisine, specifically Morocco. It can be made using mutton or beef; and I go with lamb because of the flavor and higher fat content.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Friday, March 24, 2017
Kinder has to be the most universally childhood-associated chocolate out there, and is definitely one that can never be out-grown. Although, a sign of adulthood may come in the form of utilizing the chocolate as part of a dessert, rather than gorging on it straight out of the wrapper.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Berbine (purslane), is usually dismissed as a weed since it has a tendency of growing between your pavement bricks just outside. Iraqis have recognized the deliciousness of this weed and made a stew of that is definitely in my top five favorite stews (it's so hard to pick and choose favorite stews!). We also make a salad from it, but that's for another day insha Allah.
Monday, March 20, 2017
Danish pastries are simply hand-sized puff pastry topped with something sweet, be it a custard or jam or canned fruit. This is a French pastry that fits snugly in the Danish pastry department. It is a flakey, butter puff pastry pocket filled with some apple compote (applesauce).
Saturday, March 18, 2017
You know those single-portion size yogurt cups? The ones sold as a square of four pots which you would have to bend to snap off a cup. When we were kids my mother would get us these apple compots cups sold in the same way as the flavored yogurt pots, and we would love them as a treat. The habit continued all the way to my teens, when I would actually bother to read the ingredient list. What's amazing is that there was only two ingredients: apples and citric acid.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
This is my dear brother in law's recipe. It is very simple, yet it is one of our absolute favorites, because it is just beyond good, and because it comes from him. May Allah reward him with the best. Anything coming from this man, you know is golden. There people who are just like that, albeit a rare trait, and he excels in every field.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
One minute of prep, one more minute of cooking, and you've got a hefty, satisfying, and healthy breakfast to go or stay. The bagel, actually, is completely optional. You could forgo it for a carb-free scrambled omelette breakfast that is much friendlier to the figure. The result is surprisingly fluffy and far from the expected rubbery outcome.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Previously on MCW we've had a super food smoothie bowl, and an instant fruity vegan ice cream fit for breakfast. This breakfast bowl is a little bit of both. The reason why I say breakfast is because this much goodness is best eaten on an empty stomach for maximal absorption. It is however just a tasty as a snack or even for dessert.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
I discovered tacos after my mother died. Before that, we would always eat elaborate home cooked meals together, cooked by her, الله يرحمها. After her, we saw a taco package at the store and that's how we got started. We have been having these tacos for years now, and while they are not totally Mexican-authentic, they definitely are inspired by the Mexican version. This is a very fun and informal meal where each person is encouraged to assemble and customize their own wrap.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
I watched a food show where the chef made these sandwiches in 15 minutes. While I am not a master multitasker, not as perfectly prepared as Jamie, took almost double the time to get it done. What is so special about this recipe is that not only is it healthy, using wholesome and healthy ingredients, but it was also completely delicious.
Sunday, March 5, 2017
This dessert is a play on the famous Brazilian brigadeiro chocolate fudge truffles. The best way I can describe it is a chocolate fudge version of the classic creme caramel. My favorite part about it is that you literally put all the ingredients in a blender, pour into the mold, and bake in a water bath.
Friday, March 3, 2017
This recipe is one of the coziest, simplest, comforting, and non-pretentious Iraqi meals out there. While the burghul can be cooked plain and served with the same simple farmer's salad, I added sauteed fresh mushroom because we love mushroom here on MCW. Using sauteed white desert truffles when they're in season turns it into a phenomenal dish. It is a vegetarian dish, vegan even, yet is so much more than the sum of its parts.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
I never thought about using vine leaves for something other than dolma until quite recently. My, did stepping out of the box pay off! I made the vineleaf koftas, which immediately became a firm family favorite. This vineleaf pie, uses the vineleaves in place of a crust: over and under and completely encosing a flavorful rice filling.
Monday, February 27, 2017
I have been making these little ugly gems for years, yet never thought about blogging it because it was a mindless non-recipe to me. Convenient for breakfast, or a savory snack, or even a light dinner, these haloomi parcels have come through many a time for me.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Chocolate bark has been around since I can remember, but its popularity has soared recently. To make your own, you should know that it is fully customizable to what you have in the pantry. Generally you only need 5 or 6 ingredients, and this combination stood out to me due to its variety in colors and flavors.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Kishk is very similar to kubba lebaniya, but the fact that it is made from fermented and dried yogurt changes everything. Some might call lebaniya pungent due to the intensity of garlic and mint that goes into the dish. Kishk is way more pungent, gutsy, and intense, due to both the buckets of garlic, and the fermentation of the yogurt (further intensified through drying). So an acquired taste, it is, but anyone who has studied the fundamentals of nutrition can tell you kishk is the super food.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Barring salt, pepper, and a smidge of butter, the only ingredients in this wonderfully tasty and uber fast dish are shrimp and sweet chili sauce. To further enhance the convenience factor of this recipe, frozen shrimp can be used. Served with a side of noodles or rice, maybe even some sauteed vegetable thrown in, this is the definition of wholesome fast food.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Mohntorte is an Austrian poppy seed torte/cake. It is also popular in Poland and Germany, so naturally each region has their input to the torte, morphing it into many variations. This version uses absolutely not butter or oil, and very little flour. The result is an almost-meringue cake.
Friday, February 17, 2017
If you like moules et frites or clam chowder, this is a recipe for you. No exotic nor tame shellfish are used here, just the domestic salmon fillet. Typical chowder ingredients are added, which include potato, corn, and cream, but non-typical ones are what truly make it pop, like dill and fava beans.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
While I do enjoy participating in all the MENA Cooking Club challenges and appreciate any cuisine of the various countries that make us One Umma, I am bias when it comes to the Iraq challenge. I love this country so much and actually feel physical pain to what it has been reduced to. But there is no despair for those who believe, and as sure as the sun blazes in the sky, Islam will conquer and its enemies will cower.
Monday, February 13, 2017
Meet the fuitcake who you will actually like: Orange Fruitcake. I don't know if you're anything like me, but I tend to buy somewhat more dried fruit than I will actually use. So I end up with small quantities of various perfectly edible dried fruit. This recipe is the perfect delicious way you can use up those little nuggets. What really makes the cake special is the orange-infused batter enveloping this colorful gems. The cake is much more fruit than cake, allowing it to have a long shelf life when stored properly.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
My mother, Allah rest her soul, used to make the most amazing spinach fatayer. What excelled them was the sour factor, combined with a perfect pillowy pastry. As is traditional, the parcels would be triangular in shape. After several trials, I think I have finally found the recipe closest to my memory of hers.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Most stews use cuts of meat that take a good while of stewing, such as lamb shanks, ribs, or backbone. While you can taste the love and comfort, the downside is the sheer time that goes into them. The Iraqi solution to have your stew and eat it too, express style, is using meatballs.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
This is a famous Lebanese family dish consisting of pearl couscous cooked in broth and mixed with cooked chickpeas and shredded chicken chunks. What sets it apart though from any carb-and-chicken dish is the unexpected use of caraway spice.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
This cauliflower savory cake is perfect eaten at room temperature with a leafy simple salad. Now I tasted it while still warm from the oven, and it was good. But when it cooled down to room temp, it transformed to an entirely new beast.