Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Time and Again, Part 4

Welcome to the fourth installment of the favorite Time and Again series, where old gems are made new again from the MCW archives.
Iraqi Fried Aubergine and Pomegranate Molasses Salad. My mother's salad was a favorite of mine as a child, and continues to be to this day. The tangy freshness is given depth and moreishness from the pomegranate molasses, meaty fried aubergines, and crispness of fresh ingredients.

Salade Nicoise. Rather, Maryam's Salade Nicoise, as this is my interpretation of it, the result of several trials to perfect the dressing. A wonderful option for a light Summer meal, eaten al fresco.

Stone Baked Bread. The ideal crispy-crunchy exterior paired with an artisinal holey tearable interior is the result of a no-knead overnight bread dough. If you do not have a baking stone, just use a hot baking sheet instead. Great for open faced sandwiches to mopping up stew juices.

Baked Potato Bar. Completely customizable to suit carnivorous and vegetarian palates alike. An open bar allows the consumers to build their own potato. As fun as it is delicious.

Arayes. The second Iraqi entry for this post, we can have this grilled meat sandwich for breakfast, accompanying lunch, on a picnic, with afternoon tea, or even for a "light" dinner. Basically, any time is arayes time.

Cheesy Jalapeno Quesadilla. The Latino version of arayes, this is a simple and moreish cheesy grilled sandwich, spiced up with fresh green chili.

Chevre-Caper Scrambled Eggs. This one appeals to a slightly lesser crowd as you need to have an affinity for both goat cheese and capers. Either/or won't work here. If you will the  quota, you're golden for a majestic breakfast.

Mushroom-Cream Toast. My mother's recipe, based on the Swiss dish. I usually serve this for a brunch or weekend breakfast. It is completely adaptable to encompass any mushroom you fancy, although I personally would stay away from dried shiitake for this one and opt for European varieties like morels, chanterelles, and bolets. Failure to find these, stick with champignons de paris, cremini, and portobello.

Cheese-Stuffed Potato Rosti. Delicious in it's own right, the authentic Swiss version is unmissable if you happen to be in the region. This Maryam version is stuffed with a generous layer of cheese, sandwiched between to layers of seared mashed potato. Serve with a gravy on the side.

Fried Riceless Cauliflower Shrimp. Quite the mouthful of a title, but tries to convey that there is no rice in this stir-fried rice. Cauliflower is pulsed to resemble rice and replaces it. The other ingredients are so flavorful that you can't even detect the cauliflower.

Potato Chap. No Iraqi table can survive without those tender potato bundles of joy. Technically it is a kubba using mashed potato as the casing and stuffed with the traditional fragrant minced meat filling.

Roast Aubergine Tomato and Chicken Escalope Ciabatta Sandwich. A lot of work goes into this sandwich, and a lot of components requiring preparation and cooking before assembly. This is something I try to avoid generally, and a sandwich is supposed to be quick and easy, but try to believe me when I say the work is totally worth it for this magnificent sandwich.

Pomegranate Chicken Wings. I have learned through Lebanese cuisine the magic of sauteeing crushed garlic, lemon juice, fresh coriander, and sticky tangy pomegranate molasses. It is absolutely phenomenal. Use as a coating for cooked chicken wings, and you are in for a ride. Actually, you can use as a coating for almost anything cooked: meatballs, kubba burghul...

Roquefort Cheese Burger. Skip this if you don't like blue cheese. If you do, this is a must. Combining two cheeses oozing over an all-meat home-made burger patty is something you need to try at least once in a lifetime.

Kofta Halabi with Roasted Tomato. While kebabs are typically eaten straight off the grill, there are countless innovative ways of serving them more dressed up, and this is one of my favorites. So succulent and full of flavor, the roasted tomato sauce merges perfectly with the kebabs, rounding off a perfectly balanced meal.

Kebab Maajooqa Mushroom aka Cheese Stuffed Kofta. The only reason I am not calling this a kubba is because there is no grain in the crust; it is pure seasoned meat, therefore falls under the category of a kofta. For cheese and mushroom affectionados (everyone here at MCW), this is a dome of dreams.

Iraqi Courgette Stew. Definitely every Iraqi child's birthright, the Iraqi courgette stew is a shared favorite among every Iraqi family I know. It grows with us and we love it as adults as much as we did as kids.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa. Now this is a relatively new addition to our favorites archives. We may not be naturally inclined to pair fruits with meats, but keeping an open mind pays off. This chicken with mango salsa was a hit from the first time I made it.

Dill-Cheese Flatbreads. Iraqi, undoubtedly, and very moreish indeed. I usually make a giant batch and freeze them in a single layer. Once frozen, I can stack them in a freezer bag and easily take out one by one to grill directly in the toaster. Suitable for breakfast, snack, or afternoon tea.

Smoked Salmon Bagel Sandwich. I fell for these as a teen, and haven't looked back since. Apparently New York is famous for its smoked salmon bagels, and I truly get what the hubbub is about. A classic.

Black Beast Chocolate Torte. Oh yes, the Black Beast. And what a beast! A dense flourless chocolate cake, topped with a thick rich mascarpone frosting and a medley of fresh berries. A masterpiece.

Espresso Chocolate Ice Cream (No-Churn). Kalas, I don't want any other ice cream since I met this one. Coffee friends beware of the addictiveness of this dessert. To make it even harder to avoid, there is no churning involved and can be made from A-Z using a whisker and your freezer.

Ageeli Qatari Cake. Perfume in a cake, in the best possible way. Cardamom and saffron waft to your nose in an luxurious scent, just begging to be combined with a steaming cup of bitter Arabic coffee.

Berry Terrine. This is one of the first things I learned how to make, and it cannot get easier. Fruits of your chose are packed in a mold before a slightly sweetened and flavorless agar is poured to cover and set in the fridge. The resulting terrine is healthy, delicious, and visually appealing to serve at dinner parties.

Banoffee Pie. I learned the non-traditional banoffee pudding before I learned this classic pie; a classic case of reverse-learning. The combination however is winning: butter digestive cookie crust, layered with dense dulce de leche, sliced banana, and clouds of whipped cream.

صحة و عافية

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