Saturday, July 22, 2017
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Arelettes are a genius French cookie, very, very similar to the palmier cookie, yet very, very different in method and structure. Similarities are that only puff pastry and sugar are used. Differences are in the out-of-this world caramelization and crisp of the cookie.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Setting up a sundae bar for dessert is a very fun and easy way to end a meal, requires no cooking, and is interactive where everyone builds their own sundae. All you need is a good tub of ice cream and arrange all the various fixings and toppings.
Friday, July 14, 2017
We've seen how fragrant and delicious Qatari desserts can be (remember sago and ageeli?), now it's time to try their equally fragrant, perfumy, and delicious chicken. The medley of spices almost seems random, until you give it a taste and see for yourself the magnificent outcome. Onion and garlic do form the base, but the heaps of dry lemon, saffron, ginger, turmeric, and others make the chicken sing.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
For such a simple dessert, the result was fantastic both in presentation and flavor. I would almost consider it a cheat's fustuqia, because compared to my (also amazing) pistachio mafrooka of five years ago (!), the pistachio crust consists of three ingredients versus the classic eight. The "secret ingredient"? Powdered tea biscuits.
Monday, July 10, 2017
Baba ghanouche comes of as a very tame relative to this pungent and ferocious aubergine dip. Slowly caramelized onions merge with fragrant seeped saffron, which melds with sauteed garlic and plenty of dried mint, all to combine with silky roasted aubergine flesh. But that's not all.
Friday, July 7, 2017
I think this cake should be renamed to Brown Sugar Cake, but that is no where near as attractive as chocolate cake. I got two reasonably-sized loaves of cake from this recipe, all of which contains a grand total of only 100 grams of dark chocolate. Therefore, what really gives it that special texture and taste is the ratio of brown sugar and butter.
Monday, July 3, 2017
While the overly-healthy concept is enough to throw most people off, this dessert must be given a fair chance. I for one, had to google how to eat yogurt bark. Making it was less of a problem than eating it. Sure enough, the gone-in-three-bites serving size is recommended to avoid messy fingers and face.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
This is a near instant oat bread that barely requires kneading, and absolutely no rising time is involved. Baking powder is the leaving agent, and to add on to how easy the bread is, it is also a very forgiving dough. Too dry, add milk or yogurt. Too wet, add oats or flour.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Eid al Fitr 1438 mubarak to all my Muslim family everywhere, especially the blessed muhajireen and mujahideen. May Allah bless our Umma and unite us under His name.
This date rahash dates is a masterpiece. It combines the two favorite Arabian flavors of dates and sesame halva in a tart, held together by the softest and kindest pie crust you can come across. Add some crunch in the form of pecans and almonds, and you've got a tart fit for Eid.
Friday, June 23, 2017
I may have mentioned before that curries are numerous and vast in nature, soaring beyond the borders of India, merging with many cultures, each lending their own flavor to the dish. The Thai green curry is so vastly different from the Indian coconut curry, which in turn bears little resemblance to the Iraqi chicken curry. This vegetarian curry features the Indian cheese paneer, and green peas.
Monday, June 19, 2017
This tart has all the components I love together. A flaky butter crust, topped with a tangy herby luscious lebne, and a gorgeous array of slightly overlapping courgette circles, grilled to perfection. To make it even better, there is not a tart tin in sight.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
We wanted some saffron-infused ageeli cakes this Ramadan, but in a new bite-sized form. Que the mini baked donut tin. This Qatari cake is perfume to your tastebuds; the luxurious combination of saffron, rosewater, and cardamom will have you feeling like you are feasting in Aladdin's tent.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
I am a strong believer that every one of us is responsible to support local produce and buy seasonal produce. This is not just a lesson in community values, but it is also better for your health (less chemicals and GM go into seasonal fruits) and better for your tastebuds (the reason why tomatoes smell and taste so much better in the Summer). So for this MENA Club entry, I am highlighting Qatari local produce.
Monday, June 12, 2017
Unofficially, Ramadan in the Arabian Gulf involves almost as much quick cooking oats as it does Vimto. Ranging in everything from soups, puddings, cookies, cakes, overnight suhoors, and more, it is one of the pantry staples we stock up on all throughout the year.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Stews and a side of rice are the ultimate comfort food for me. Thoroughly Iraqi, bamia and ccourgette stews are two that I can never say no to, no matter what else is on the menu. However, stews can easily demand several hours of, well, stewing, to really get there. This quick, nourishing, and accidentally healthy saute is the Palestinian relative of the Iraqi chill-fry, which I have yet to post on MCW.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Aloo bhujia is the most incredible Indian snack I have only recently come to discover. It is sold in the chips aisle of the supermarket, and is cheaper than your average packet of Lays chips. It is a legume and potato mixture, mixed with various magical spices, formed into vermicelli and fried. Chaat masala is an Indian spice mix, of which the prime ingredients is dried mango. Mix these up in a chickpea salad and you've got yourself an exotic spicy and very moreish dish.
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.