Thursday, May 31, 2012

70. Kraft Cheese Samosa

I love it when advertising campaigns decide to put a recipe booklet with a merchandise!!
A while back I bought canned Kraft cheddar cheese, and as a Ramadan promotion, they put in this adorable recipe booklet utilizing the Kraft cheese cans.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

69. Apple Tea

Another creation I picked up in Turkey: Apple Tea!!
It was such a common yet exotic concoction! When I heard it offered to me, I was surprised and skeptical about it. Then once I had my first sip, I was thinking: Where have you been all my life??

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

68. Orange Cake

I have yet to find an Iraqi cookbook that doesn't have the necessary kaika al-burtuqal (orange cake)(كيكة البرتقال).
Successful from the first, this will quickly become a tea-time staple.

Monday, May 28, 2012

67. Couscous and Grilled Summer Vegetables Salad

I saw Jamie Oliver make this salad on one of his episodes almost ten years ago and I just knew I would be making it for years to come. It is a wonderful infusion of flavors, and a perfect accompaniment to a barbecue, and equally as good on its own.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

66. Chicken Pie

This chicken pie is boiled shredded chicken and vegetables tossed in a light curried beschamel, then poured in a puff pastry crust, topped with cheese and covered again in puff pastry.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

65. Rocket Aubergine Pomegranate Salad

This is such a bold combination of flavors, each forkful a delight in its own right.
The pepperiness of the rocket leaves, the crispiness and comfort of the fried aubergine discs, the deep nuttiness of toasted walnuts, and sweetness of fresh pomegranate seeds, all topped with a rich tangy pomegranate molasses dressing...

Friday, May 25, 2012

64. Baqlawa

Baqlawa, or baklava, is of disputed origins. Mostly the claim lays between Turkey and Syria.
In any case, there are as many varieties of baqlawa as there are varieties of apples (if not more).
In my trip to Istanbul, I had an out-of-this-world pistachio and orange rind baklava...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

63. Whole Roasted Lamb (Qoozi), version 1

Qoozi is an Arabian Gulf specialty, reflecting the generosity and hospitality of Bedouin Arabs.
It is a whole lamb, grilled (or roasted), stuffed, and served on a bed of rice and richly embellished with fried nuts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

62. Fattoush Salad

Fattoush is an Arab salad that really just uses whatever salad vegetables you may have on hand. In addition to the ingredients mentioned below, sliced cucumber, olives, and grated carrot may also be added.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

61. Fresh Lemon Iced Tea

Iced Tea was an integral treat in my childhood.
Having grown up, I still like to indulge in a glass of iced tea now and then, and especially appreciate the versatility of the drink.

Monday, May 21, 2012

60. Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

Here is another roasted potato dish, this time adapted from Gaby's blog. It takes under an hour to bake, and is a great accompaniment to almost any main dish.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

59. Turkish Simit

After a beautiful time in Istanbul, it was only natural to want to relive the memories at home...
Simit is so Turkish, and I used to have it with breakfast with a range of their home-made cheese.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

58. Aubergine Lasagna

Who doesn't love lasagna? Layers of pasta and sauce and gooey stringy cheese... What's not to love?
But traditional minced meat lasagna can get, admittedly, rather boring.

Friday, May 18, 2012

57. Petit-Beurre Balls

Dessert time!!
Petit Beurre are the French version of the British tea biscuits. They are sweet, crunchy, and dry.
The Germans have adopted the French Petit Beurre into their own version called Leibniz-Keks.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

56. Orange Chicken Fillet

As a child, my mind was set on black or white, in other words, I did not tolerate any shades of grey. Fruits are sweet and should remain as a dessert. Chicken, meats, salads, and grains are salty, and therefore should remain as savory.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

55. Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a French peasant dish, stemming from the southern region of France where the main ingredients (aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, and capsicums aka sweet peppers) are plentiful and cheap.
There are many widespread versions of ratatouille, including Julia Child's version, but I opted for the method that most stays true to the peasant origin.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

54. Arabic Coffee

Arabic coffee is a bitter infusion of lightly roasted coffee beans and cardamom. It is a form of hospitality, welcoming visitors to your abode. It is often accompanied with something sweet, generally dates, to balance out the bitterness of the coffee. It is served from a specially shaped coffee pot called a dalla, and the cups are short and stout and without handles.

Monday, May 14, 2012

53. Spinach Cones

The recipe for the pastry cones is a keeper and can be used for any stuffing you wish: cheese, chicken, meat... anything! I have stuffed these cones with a classic Arab spinach mixture: with mint and sumac added. Dill is also sometimes added.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

52. Arayes

Arayes are basically a minced meat and vegetable mixture, spread in a pita bread, and grilled. They are Arab in origin, and like many Arab dishes, several variants exist according to the country.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

51. Aubergine-Courgette Quiche

Here is another quiche, one of many possible combinations in this savoury tart. I have opted to feature a more Mediterranean flavor to this French dish, by making the stars aubergine (eggplant), and courgettes (zucchini).

Friday, May 11, 2012

50. Surimi Avocado Salad

Surimi is a crab-imitation fish stick easily found around the globe besides Asian countries. This is a simple everyday salad that takes almost no effort to make and will quickly become a favorite.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

49. Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is generally assumed to be of anglo-saxon origin, and has been a world-wide favorite for a while now. Many shapes and variants exist: plain carrot cake, added nuts, currants, or pine-apple, and even carrot cupcakes!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

45. Crispy Potato Roast

I took the idea from Martha Stewart, (you can find the recipe here). I used a mandolin slicer, but you can alternatively use a really sharp knife and slice the potatoes thinly.

Friday, May 4, 2012

44. Hotcakes

I really like children's books. They are these little treasures we overlook and underestimate. Yet once picked up, they are like the forgotten indulgence that reminds us to stop and enjoy life.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

43. Sage Crackers

I have a sage plant which has really grown. I didn't want it to go to waste, and there is only so much to be used in sage tea.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

42. Elegant Beetroot-Carrot Salad

This is a salad that is as beautiful to look at as it is to eat. Beetroot is typically a winter vegetable, but in this day and age is not uncommonly found all year around. According to Wikipedia, "beetroot is a rich source of potent antioxidants and nutrients, including magnesium, sodium, potassium and vitamin C" among many other health benefits.