Saturday, July 22, 2017
Time and Again, Part 5
The fifth installment of the Time & Again series holds a veritable mishmash of favorite dishes, spanning the realms of Iraq (of course), India, Turkey, Sweden, Qatar, Palestine, Portugal, South America, France, and beyond.
Chicken Musakhan Cones. A creative spin on the original Palestinian national dish, this finger food delight is by far and wide everyone's favorite. A lot of onion, olive oil, and sumac go into this flavorsome dish. The pillowy pastry recipe is a keeper too.
Feta-Mint Bourag. A Turkish must, this pastry makes the best use of store bought or home made puff pastry. A crumbly feta filling infused with mint is sealed by two layers of a thousand layer golden puff pastry. Sort of a savory slab pie, if you will.
Grilled Brie Sandwich. Oh lala. Holey artisinal bread toasts, sandwiching decadent triple cream brie cheese, encompassing air dried beef slices, slathered in honey, all grilled in butter for a golden melty out-of-this-world treat.
Cheese Zaatar Finger Sandwiches. Quite the same creature as opposed to the above sandwich, this is a light, fresh, bright, and happy finder sandwich with an unbeatable combination of zaatar, cheese, fresh mint, fresh tomato, and fresh spring onion.
Lamb Pide. Better than any knock offs I have tasted anywhere, and I joke you not. The thin pastry bakes at a high temperature resulting in a mix of almost chips-like crunch and a bare soft pull in every bite. This is my brother in law's favorite.
Maryam's Fattouche. My adaptation of the timeless middle eastern classic salad, the secret lies in the dressing and abundant use of fresh herbs.
Melon with Viande Sechee. So simple, so classy. The mild natural sweetness of the melon is the perfect unexpected counterpart to the salty umaminess of the paper-thin air dried beef slices.
Cream of Chicken Soup. Chicken soup for the soul: you've reached it. Thick and luxurious and so tasty, this is a surprisingly simple recipe obtained from a hotel kitchen insider. It is rather heavy-handed on the butter, so perhaps not for your weekly rotation.
Roasted Vegetables. Done right, roasted vegetables are a pleasure to eat, and perform divinely as leftovers you'd want to purposely have. This mix was meant to accompany a succulent lamb roast, but I make it time and again just as it is.
Roast Potato Wedges. What I said in regards to the roasted vegetables still stands, but making a batch of those, and a batch of this and combining the two would be phenomenal. Of course, I have also made roast potato wedges time and again by their lonesome or as a side to a roast chicken too.
Green Pea Curry. While I am a carnivore, I thoroughly enjoy vegetarian dishes more often than carnivorous one. Green Peas are one of my favorites, and this curry made of them is cozy and heartwarming.
Red Lentil Dahl. Another Indian curry of sorts, vegetarian too, this time featuring red lentils. Hearty, gutsy, and very delicious. I understand this is a giant favorite in the UK too where a substantial Indian population has been residing for decades.
Iraqi Chicken Tashreeb Express. Not quite like the original, but does hit the spot with shortcuts and much less time. Sort of the non-official Iraqi national curry.
Portugese Peri-Peri Roast Chicken. The roast chicken is a human diet staple. No wonder there isn't a nation that doesn't have some version of it. This is the Portuguese take, spiced with their famous peri-peri, and flanked by rays of sun in the form of roast capsicum.
Swedish Meatballs. Closer in taste to roast lamb and gravy thank spaghetti and meatballs, this classic is a favorite for all meat lovers.
Iraqi Dolma. A veritable feast, the dolma unites people in its making and in its consumption. In the olden times, fresh Summer ingredients were used in season, and in the winter re hydrated dried versions of the same vegetables were used.
Lamb Kofta with Tahini and Pom Chili Jam. Sophistication in a dish, this one. A dish surely worthy of all the dishes to wash up in the making of various components making it the masterpiece it is.
Fresh Lemon Iced Tea. Popularized by America, this home made refresher uses fresh lemon juice that is no way to be replaced by anything artificial or substandard for that lip-smacking beverage.
Alfojore Cookies. Latino with Arab origins, the South Americans sure do love their dulce de leche, and guess what? So do we. The perfect looks of this cookie might have you put off from trying it, but it is one of those gems that is so friendly and easy to make.
Pistachio Mafrooka. A Levantine delicacy, this somewhat pricey yet oh-so-classy dessert does require some maneuvering and skill to assemble. You've never had a pistachio dessert that was this truly pistachio. Except perhaps for pistachio bakalava.
Crystalized Ginger. This has my mother's aura all around it. She used to love those little candies for their scent and flavor, as well as for their health benefits no doubt. , as a child, absolutely abhorred them and could not deal with their pungency. Well times change and here I am happily making a batch for gifting and my home.
Chocolate Fondue. Inspired by friends getting together, this too is a dish I associate fond memories to. The actual recipe is just for the chocolate dip. The dippers are limited to only your imagination, although I like to have a fair mix of fresh fruit and mini baked donut cakes.
Cardamom Cake. I have been making this cake for decades. It's got you covered for gifting, breakfast, tea time... basically everything. It is worth mentioning this is an Iraqi cake.
Karak Tea. Speaking of cardamom cake, this Qatari spiced tea and milk beverage is the delightful match for it.
Eid Kaak. Speaking of karak tea, you can't have Eid kaak without the karak, simply because these kaak were made to be dunked in karak.