Wednesday, October 31, 2012

223. Akawi Cheese Sambousak

Akawi cheese is native to Palestine, and of a very salty nature. It is hard and crumbly, and soaking it in several changes of water removes excess salt. It melts similar to mozzarella, a soft and stringy consistency.
Paired simply with Nigella seeds (or aka black seeds), the result is succulent and beneficial at once.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

222. Pignoles

These little cuties were originally one large pinenut tart, which I've decided to make into a mini popover pan, because I remember enjoying them with a foaming mug of chocolat chaud in a café in Europe.
They have this bistro quality and vintage aura about them, and this recipe is the best one I have found that resembles those in my memory.

Monday, October 29, 2012

221. Iraqi Spinach Stew

Spinach stew (مرقة سبانغ) can be made according to taste.
The addition of chickpeas and dill is optional.
Some people even add tomato paste. Others leave out the meat to make it a vegetarian dish.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

220. Kiri Croissant

These little cream cheese croissants are so addictive to the point that you are likely to eat them like a bag of chips! I tend to use kiri cheese because it is conveniently firm and perfectly square, but you can use a teaspoon of any cream cheese to fill each croissant.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

219. Chicken Liver Pilaf

This chicken liver pilaf (rice) is a recipe from the cookbook I got on my trip to Istanbul.
It can be made with chicken livers, or cut up sheep's liver with the membrane removed.
I used it as a bed to a simple roasted chicken I made, and tend to find the presentation far more alluring than serving them each in a separate dish.

Friday, October 26, 2012

218. Kibbe Bil-Siniyeh

Blessed Eid Adha To All, With Many Happy Returns

Kubba come in many shapes and forms. The literal translation for kibbe bil siniyeh (كبة بالصينية) is kubba in a tray. The "crust" is formed of a mixture of minced meat, onion, and burghul. Burghul is a form of tiny cracked wheat commonly sold in Arab and Turkish stores.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

217. Zaatar Manaeesh

Manaeesh are a popular Arab pastry, specific to the region of Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon.
The most popular topping is zaatar and olive oil. Others include cheese, minced meat, spinach, and so on.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

216. Chicken Lemon Saffron Stew

The sunshine colors of this stew are incredible, and all the more enhanced by the exotic and luxurious strands of saffron. Despite having a mere four ingredients (barring water and salt), the flavors are so intense and burst your senses.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

215. Meat Sambousak

Sambousak, aka samosa, is of an Indian origin I believe, and the wonderful thing about them is that they can be filled with almost anything: meat, chicken, shellfish, or vegetarian. Sort of like kubba.

Monday, October 22, 2012

214. Oatmeal M&M's Cookies

Sometimes I feel like I post recipes in reverse.
For instance, I have this great recipe for oatmeal cookies that I haven't posted yet.
And here I am posting another different recipe for oatmeal M&M's cookies, which I ought to post after the original recipe.
But all in good time. I made it, I liked it, I shared it.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

213. Stove-Top Mac and Cheese

American food is fast, excessive, and very comforting.
Where Italians suffice with a grating of cheese on their pasta, American must bathe their macaroni in a pool of cheeses.
Hence the concept of mac&cheese.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

212. Felafels

I've been "taught" how to make felafels by an actual Egyptian (who call it ta'amiah), and the recipe ran something like this: drained cans of chickpeas, parsley, onion, potato, flour, and eggs. Add water if too thick. It turns out that five of the seven ingredients listed are a complete no-no for successful felafel making, and the addition of water being the fatal error.

Friday, October 19, 2012

211. White Bean Stew/Maraq Fasoulia

White bean stew, or marqa fasoulia bayda (مرقة فاصولية بيضة), is another popular stew in Iraq, although the bamia trumps it in popularity.
The basis of the stew is similar, yet slightly different from bamia, and the beans lend it an altogether different taste. Whee the bamia uses garlic, this stew uses onion.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

210. Roast Leg of Lamb

Roast lamb is festive, without a doubt. Be it an occasion, or honoring guests, or simply for a family get-together, it hits the bull's eye every time.
I kept the spice mixture to a minimum this time, and mixed it with tomato paste which lends a very mellow sour taste that tenderises the meat beyond description

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

209. Roasted Vegetables

I absolutely love this dish in that it makes you forget that these are "only vegetables" and lets you savor their flavor as a dish in its own right. Deliciously savory with a tinge of caramelization.
But that doesn't go down with most Arabs. A meal without some form of meat is an incomplete one.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

208. Potato Chap/Kubba

Potato chap is basically the Iraqi nomenclature for a potato kubba (or kibbi).
Lightly crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and encrusting a fragrant Arabic spiced minced meat mixture.

Monday, October 15, 2012

207. Apple Caramel Hand Pies

I really enjoy making food from beginning to end, or as the Americans put it: from scratch.
But once in a while, I am not above using a convenience food here and there.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

206. Simple Dry-Roasted Chicken

I had no intention to publish this dry-roasted chicken at all. But the final result made such a pretty picture that I decided to share.
It's not really a recipe, merely a technique.
Usually when I roast an chicken, there is one golden rule that I always adhere to.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

205. Lemon Ginger Infusion

'Tis the season... of colds and flu!
This is a miraculous infusion consisting of three super foods that strengthen the immunity and fight off bacteria. It also de-congests the nose (ginger), soothes the throat (honey), kills bacteria (lemon), and boosts the immunity (ginger, honey, lemon).

Friday, October 12, 2012

204. Soy Ginger Glazed Salmon

This salmon dish is truly easy and delicious.
An unexpected basting mixture consisting of three ingredients yields the most surprising results.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

203. Home-Made Granola

This granola is extra crunchy and holds its shape in cold milk.
I was about to label this recipe Muesli instead of Granola, but since starting this blog I've had this compulsion to research everything, so I researched granola and muesli. Turns out they are not one and the same, as I thought they were. In short: granola is baked, muesli is raw. So this is definitely granola.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

202. Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

There is alot of hubbub about salted caramel around the internet food world.
I was always a bit hesitant to try it, but when I came across this recipe on the blog Portuguese Girl Cooks, I decided to go for it... and was not disappointed at all!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

201. Hummus Tahina Express

Hummus is an Arab spread or dip made from cooked chickpeas pureed with some basic ingredients like lemon juice and tahini. It is a dish so very rich in  nutritional value, and satisfying as well.
I named this recipe hummus tahini express because it uses canned chickpeas, rather than soaking and cooking your own  chickpeas which would take hours.

Monday, October 8, 2012

200. Vineleaf, Onion and Prune Dolmades

There is no one recipe for dolmades. It is a common idea for a dish which spans across nations and continents. There is a traditional version to each region. There is of course the Iraqi dolma, an Arabian Gulf malfoof version, all the way to the Turkish and Greek dolmades.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

199. Chicken Sandwich

Sometimes one really needs a break from cooking, frying, baking, sauteeing and the like.
This is where a well-stocked refrigerator and home-made staples make you feel really grateful.
In addition to the simple bread loaf I made yesterday, I found some overnight roasted chicken and roasted garlic in the refrigerator. So the only natural thing to do was to indulge in a sandwich!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

198. Simple Honey Wheat Bread

This is a really simple and delicious bread recipe that is great for sandwiches and/or toast.
It freezes really well, so you can make a large batch at the same time, and it doesn't need any fresh ingredients, only simple pantry staples.

Friday, October 5, 2012

197. Apple Chips

I first tasted apple chips in France. They were a delight, and never would I have thought for a moment that I would be able to make them myself... even better tasting than the original!!
I'm not even sure if this qualifies as a recipe, since it has a single ingredient: apple.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

196. Salmon Fillet in Fig Tree Leaf

Fig tree leaves are inedible, unlike grape leaves which are commonly used in various cuisines globally.
I can't pinpoint the source where I picked up the idea of roasting salmon fillet wrapped in fig tree leaves, but when I searched for it I found that surprisingly it is quite common around the internet world.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

195. Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

Apples and cinnamon, and irresistible combination in autumn. These little cozy apple cupcakes are certainly dressed the part! Delicious chunky cupcakes are covered with and frosting of choice dyed red, a little pretzel stick acts as the stem, and some green marzipan shaped for the leaves. There you immediately have an awe-inspiring sweet that cleverly uses simple and common pantry staples!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

194. Chicken Muskhan Cones

Chicken musakhan is a favorite Palestinian dish, consisting of staples of the area: chicken, onion, sumac, and bread. The traditional recipe roasts whole chicken, and serves it on a bed of bread discs drenched in the onion-sumac mix, and sprinkled with fried pinenuts.
I transformed the dish into a more finger-food friendly presentation, and if I may say so, it is absolutely magnificent.

Monday, October 1, 2012

193. Grilled Langoustines

Langoustines are also known as scampi.
They are something of a cross between shrimps and lobsters, being giant shrimps or tiny lobsters.
It is not unusual to simply poach the crustaceans for a few short minutes then serve it plainly with butter.