Sunday, January 8, 2017

Time and Again, Part 2

My first Time and Again was such a success that it left me wondering why my readers do not interact with me more. The numbers prove it was a hit, but the comments come down to a big fat zero. The same great people comment once in a while, and I highly encourage all of you to speak up too.
So the Time and Again series was inspired by my having reached over one thousand posts on MCW. While that is a major achievement, it is likely that some gold nuggets slip away unnoticed. These posts are designed to bring back to the spotlight some of our favorites.



Red Velvet Cupcakes. People who truthfully and unreservedly share their recipes are rare in my experience. Those who share their signature dishes and the results come out EXACTLY? Even Rarer. But such is my dear friend and sister Fatoom.

Cheese Tomato and Zaatar Toast. Arsenal of one thousand or ten thousand, I will not let go of my childhood favorites. This toast is now being savored by our third generation, and is better than any egg mcmuffin out there.

Pumpkin Seed Granola. Up until my early twenties, my morning cereal was routine. Suddenly, everything came off as too sweet, too mushy, too... cardboardy. Store-bought granola was better, but made my teeth scream from their sweetness. This easy, simple, and frankly perfect granola recipe was the answer.

Cheese Snails. These are not actual snails, but a stuffed bread shaped like the shell of a snail. The mint and sumac in the crumbly cheese stuffing have me making this by the dozen and stocking up in the freezer. When the mood strikes for a breakfast or snack, or even afternoon tea, I take one out and heat in the oven. Good as new.

Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup. I am rarely one for a clear broth soup, but this one is so fragrant, so gutsy, so delicious, and so nutritious, that I actually crave it. Bonus? It is great for people trying to get over a cold or flu (as well as perfectly healthy people.

Watermelon Feta and Mint Salad. Watermelon and salty cheese was a staple in my childhood. This salad elevated this memory to gourmet status. Fresh, crunchy, and downright delicious.

Felafel. This is The recipe. Brother-in-law approved, I really do not need to elaborate. But since you do not know him, these little crunchy fritters with soft crumbly interiors are so fragrant form all the herbs and nutritious from the chickpeas that it deserves to be a main and not the side.

Split Pea Fritters. All the above in regards to the felafel applies to this split pea fritter, but with a spicy Indian twist.

Stuffed Cabbage Leaves. Stuffed food, while inter-cultural, is especially popular in Arab cooking. I find myself picking the vineleaves and onion pouches from a dolma, but if presented with a well-med stuffed cabbage dish, all I need is a drizzle of pomegranate molasses before driving in.

Roasted Bone Marrow. a real delicacy, despite the initial barbarous appearance. Paired with bread, this is the carnivore's equivalent to bread and butter. The tangy herb condiment on the side perfectly cuts through the rich fattiness of the marrow.

Cornflakes Chicken Strips. A childhood favorite slightly adult-ified into a (somewhat) mature version of chicken nuggets. Who can resist chicken nuggets?

Iraqi Broiled Fish with Sultana Sauce. I am the number one hater of juicy plum raisins or sultanas in savory food, but this recipe must be made with sultanas to get the full experience. How to get around gagging over the bursting of sultanas? Chop them before including in the recipe!

Bamia. Iraqi, I might add. Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter, I would happily have a bamia lunch once a week forever.

Iraqi Dill Kubba. My favorite kubba halab, laced with the delicate flavor of fresh dill. Just when you thought kubba could not get any better.

Kraft Cheese Samosa. The real gem in this recipe is the dough. I have used it time and again not only for this cheese stuffing, but for potato empanadas, haloomi-zarshk, chicken, vegetable...

Grilled Langoustines. Not a shrimp, not a lobster, but something in between. and the simple lemon-chili flavor is the bomb.

Yogurt Roast Chicken. Marinated in the yogurt overnight, the chicken meat is tenderized to a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Roasted in the same marination, the yogurt separated and curdles and looks sort of ugly, the the flavor profile is equivalent to liquid gold.

Loaded Nachos. Another maturized immature dish. This is literally tortilla chips, topped with tex-mex flavored minced meat and a generous amount of chopped salad. It's the salad that renders it mature (so they say).

Honeycomb Bread. Is it a bread? Is it a dessert? Who cares. Its a sweet brioche, bite sized, stuffed with cream cheese, and laced with saffron. Good enough for me.

Cherry Mousse Cake. Looking way more sophisticated than it could be, tea biscuits form the base of this cake. The mousse can be adapted to almost any berry I can think of. I have successfully made this with raspberries.

Anzac Cookies. I have a soft spot for oats, and these cookies remind me of a cooking lesson we had in the third grade when we made South African flapjacks. They are crunchy and hard because that is how they are meant to be. They last almost forever stored in a tin box, but if you eat them on the same day they are baked they will retain their soft center for a few hours.

Gazelle Horns. If I wrote poetry, I would write a poem dedicated to this Moroccan cookie. Like many Morroccan recipes, this is almost like edible perfume. A paper-thin casing holds a rich sweet almond filling, not much different to marzipan, but definitely more flavorful.

Berry Pavlova. The pavlova itself is the real deal here. I have made it with a variety of berries, a single type of berry, with berry curd, traditional kiwi-passion fruit, and the list goes on. Always a hit, definitely presents well, and the sky is your limit in customizing the toppings.

Golden Cake. Living up to its English origin, this cake is the ideal one to take on a picnic. It does not crumble, is just the right amount of moist, and everyone loved it. Golden syrup is compulsory.

Orangettes. This is a confection made with orange peel, candied, and coated in chocolate. High-end chocolate makes sell it for a small fortune due to the sheer time and work involved in glamorizing orange peel. The result is worth every minute, in my opinion.

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