Saturday, December 31, 2016

1028. Lemon-Chili Fish Fillets

Once again, this is a quick, simple, and nutritious main completed in 10 to 15 minutes tops. Perhaps the side dish to this meal will take longer to cook! Lemon has always paired will with fish, and this lemon-chili rub is as simple as it gets, with a major flavor punch.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

1027. Ginger Cookies

One of the reasons cookies are so universally loved is because of the sheer variety that there's bound to be a cookie for every one. There's crumbly, chewey, gooey, soft, classic, modern, fruity, chocolate, spicy, and I could just keep going. These ginger cookies were described as pillow cookies, and the description is truly fitting.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

1026. Butternut Sage Sauce Pasta

This is a healthy pasta recipe that takes advantage of the natural sweetness and creaminess of roasted butternut squash to create the semblance of a rich and creamy pasta dish. Using whole wheat pasta also ups the nutritional value.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

1025. Lindor Hot Chocolate

There are many hot chocolate recipes and techniques out there. Some are actually hot cocoa, which use cocoa powder. They are good, but I believe if you have the option of a hot chocolate made with actual chocolate, why resist?

Friday, December 23, 2016

1024. Cheese Stuffed Breaded Mushroom

I don't know about you, but mushrooms rate pretty high on our favorite foods scale.We love it fried, grilled, sauteed, drenched in garlic butted, coated in cheese, sprinkled with salt, and even raw. So the appeal behind cheese-stuffed breaded mushrooms is pretty much self-explanatory.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

1023. Butternut Roast Squash with Chili Yogurt and Coriander

It is only fairly recently that I started to enjoy butternut squash and truly appreciate its qualities. It takes one taste of a perfectly roasted, caramelized, and slightly charred wedge of butternut to change your mind.

Monday, December 12, 2016

1021. Hummingbird Cake

Hummingbird cake is popular in the southern American states and has expanded to the rest of the world. The main components that make it a Hummingbird is the combination of coconut, ananas, banana, and walnut. This is a two-layer cake coated generously in a cream cheese frosting.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

1020. Roast Chicken on a Bed of Roast Potato

A good roasted chicken meal is timeless and never gets old. Low maintenance, and high rewards, it is the ultimate cozy get-together. Any left overs would also make the most delicious sandwiches, and feral cats simply gobble up the carcass, bone and all. Everybody wins. So when you serve this golden roasted chicken on a bed of crispy yet fluffy bed of potatoes, you know you've upped your game.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

1019. Creamy Lemon Linguini

One-pot meals are gaining popularity fast. A certain ex-con made a pretty penny by writing a cookbook with solely one-pot recipes. One-pot pastas are the leading trend in that category. My first try-out was in fact a couple years ago, here.

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Taste of Qatar

Renown Qatari cook Nawal Al Sayed is hosting a two-week event at Qatar Foundation called "A Taste of Qatar." Any one can drop by the HQ cafeteria and help themselves to a generous array of Qatar food, buffet style. This Qatari food however comes with a twist; a healthy twist. Traditional dishes are made using lighter ingredients and healthier substitutes. The vineleaves, for instance were made using fresh silverbeet leaves and stuffed with quinoa instead of rice. The fish was baked, not fried. A variety of tangy, spicy, and sour pickles were placed at every table and the flavors simply burst in your mouth. Unfortunately I was only able to attend today, and the event ends this Thursday 8th December. A buffet meal goes for 30 QAR (about $8), and is a great experience to the sadly under-the-radar rich Qatari food heritage.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

1017. Date Dessert Timbales

Timbales was a favorite form of food presentation in the seventies and eighties, and continues to be for catering companies and hotel buffets. It is basically a food, savory or sweet, individually portioned into a mold similar to an espresso cup and then unmolded before serving. These dessert date timbales are a modern take on that vintage concept.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

1016. Fish Fillets with Tomato Cream Sauce

Quick yet nutritious meals are necessary to have in one's repertoire for when the need strikes. Completed in less the time it takes to get a food order placed and delivered, and way more nutritious too. This is a standard white fish fillet, breaded and lightly fried to a crispy crunchy finish, and topped with a creamy pink tomato sauce.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

1015. Iraqi Steamed Aubergines

Steamed anything is enough to have me turning the other way, but stay with me for a second. These steamed aubergines are so flavorful, you will forget they were steamed at all! Whole aubergines are pierced throughout and left to steam in a magic shallow bath, resulting in the silkiest aubergines, and the most flavorsome broth.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

1014. Zebra Cheesecake

Cheesecake has always been a revered dessert ever since I remember being fist introduced to it at eleven years old. Before that, my favorite dessert was creme caramel; I just had to have it at every restaurant outing no matter the season, although no restaurant surpassed my mother's. So the culinary creativity in variants of cheesecake appeals to me. Baked, water bath, or no-bake; sour cream, red velvet, japanese; parfaits or crowd-serving; I love them all.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

1013. Baked Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches

I recently discovered the most delightful Brazilian blog with so many amazing dishes and beautiful pictures. While I did spend way more time than anticipated pinning left, right, and center, this cheesy bubbly oven baked sandwich casserole stuck in my mind. Layers of cheese, deli turkey breast, and tomato are sandwiched between bread and topped with an unctuous cheesy, mustard-cream sauce.

Monday, November 21, 2016

1012. Ananas Rocket Salad

Of late, I have come to appreciate the addition of fruit in savory dishes. Salads are exemplary for the addition of fresh fruit. Examples include strawberry and spinach, peach caprese, and this ananas rocket salad.

Friday, November 18, 2016

1011. Potato and Meat Empanadas

I opted to call these fried pastry delights after the latino empanada versus the Arab samosa, because of the filling. Cooked lamb or beef mince is stirred into some coarsely mashed potato and stuffed in a dough pocket, before being fried.

Monday, November 14, 2016

1010. Zaatar Caesar Salad

Zaatar caesar salad was something I came across a picture of on social media. I haven't been able to get it out of my mind, not have I been able to find a recipe for it, so I decided to experiment. Conclusion: success! I avoided anchovies in the dressing since people tend to get squirmish at the thought, plus if the dressing were to stay overnight, the fishy smell and taste would be overwhelming.

Friday, November 11, 2016

1009. Penne Arrabiata

Penne arrabiata is not an Arab dish, but a famous Roman one referring to the spiciness of the pasta. The most prominent flavors are the tomato, garlic, and chili, but it is the generosity of the Italian herbs that really makes it stand out: oregano, thyme, and basil.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

1008. Muhammara

Muhammara literally translates to "the reddened one." It is an amazing mezze that is fragrant, pungent, and bold. Despite it commonly accompanying other mezzes like hummus, tabboula, and kubba on both Arab and Turkish tables alike, it is somewhat less popular than the rest, despite rivaling each one of them in its flavor.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

1007. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

The ingredient list is actually short were it not for the spices. Sugars, butter, flour and an egg with a healthy dose of pure pumpkin puree are mixed with the perfect Autumnal spices and flavorings. After a brief refrigeration stint, the cookies are baked into a soft chewy bites.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

1006. Filo Meat Pie

This filo meat pie is very similar to my lamb baklava of years ago, but differs in terms of spicing. A cooked beef minces is sandwiched between layers of buttery flakey filo pastry, and baked in a milk and egg mixture to yield a pie that is both crispy and moist.

Monday, October 31, 2016

1005. Cheesy Garlic Baguette

Sometimes, shortcuts are the best way to go. I usually prefer making something as wholly as I can home-made. So I have made garlic bread from scratch before, but using a bought baguette is much faster.

Friday, October 28, 2016

1004. Pesto Baked Pasta

While pasta is one of my favorite foods in almost all the forms it comes in, I do have a tendency to make a baked dish out of it. Boiling up a batch of pasta, coating it in some pesto and cheese is great. Adding some whisked eggs and cream and baking it off? A whole new level of great.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Time and Again, Part 1

Having over a thousand recipes archived on MCW, I thought it was high time I share a list of recipes I find myself making time and again. These recipes are reflective of my personal favorites, as well as family and friends' favorites, ranging from the basic breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to afternoon teas, snacks, and beyond. Unable to restrict myself to a limit, I will be posting a series of there favorites in separate posts containing 20 to 25 recipes each. Here is part 1:

Monday, October 24, 2016

1002: Knafa Cones

There is a huge market for modern takes on traditional classics. Take the Rangina for example: it is the most basic ancient Bedouin dessert made from ghee-fried flour with dates stirred in. It not comes in all shapes and forms, from a prickled ananas shape, to single-serve in Arabic coffee cups complete with a dried rose bud. Same goes for the knafa: it still comes in the traditional thin and wide disk, but caterers and sweet shops are playing around with the presentation to appeal to their customer base.

Friday, October 21, 2016

1001. Turkish Coffee

The sign of a good Turkish coffee is that it must have a face. It's a weird expression I know, but it refers to the thick light-colored layer sitting on top of the black coffee in the cup. There are three techniques that combine to help make the perfect cup of Turkish coffee.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

1000. Iraqi Mina Sima, aka Iraqi Torrone

For my one thousandth post (masha Allah!), I decided to post about an Iraqi delicacy that is a delicacy even to the Iraqis. Still with me? It is a sweet called mina sima, (من السما) which literally translates into from the sky. Historically, this is a sweet referring to one of the heavenly foods Allah sent to Beni Israel after they escaped pharoh by the miracle of Allah. Today, the real mina sima is made using the gum from a specifi tree found in the north of Iraq.

Monday, October 17, 2016

999. Laban Roast Chicken

This roast chicken is very minimalistic yet packs quite the flavor punch. The chicken is marinated overnight in the the same dish it will be baked in the next day. Here we have a yogurt drink that goes by many names: ayran, laban, shineena... The nearest thing to it in the West is buttermilk.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

998. Comoros Islands Coffee-Rub Ribs and Mango-Coconut Rice

In this round of the MENA Cooking Club challenge, we have a country we did not have last time: the Comoros Islands. I really did not know anything about this country except that we use it in an Arabic expression to denote a sarcastic notion of distance, such as: Why didn't you get me? It's not like I was in the Juzr al Qamar! It was only until this challenge did I realize the Comoros Islands are real. They are located off the east coast of Africa, and are a vibrant nation full of color and merging cultures.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

997. Oreo Torte

A short while ago I made a tea biscuit cake made from the crumbs of actual tea biscuits. This oreo torte is again a flat cake (torte) made from oreo cookie crumbs. The simple torte is then cooked and topped with a pourable frosting, and made beautiful with a pop of tangy freeze-dried raspberries.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

996. Lamb Mandi

Since my excellent experience with chicken mendi not long ago, I decided to give lamb shank mendi a go. Cooked in very much the same concept, it differs mostly in the spices used, and takes a bit longer to cook.

Friday, October 7, 2016

995. Cinnamon Rolls

These were certainly the best cinnamon rolls I have ever made: soft and fluffy dough, a just-right ratio of cinnamon, and that cream cheese glaze was quite simply the cherry on top. The dough is really special; it is of the no-knead, overnight-rise variety.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

994. Tuna Can Sushi

Despite sushi being an everyday staple in Japan, it has somehow evolved into an elegant, high class, restaurant delicacy food in the West. So I am well aware that the title Tuna Can Sushi is very unglamorous, do know that this is one of the few sushis I would put on my plate every time.

Monday, October 3, 2016

993. Cheese Stuffed Potato Rosti

Potatoes are so great, I have dedicated an entire category on MCW just for them. Whether you boil them and eat them with salt, or fry them up into french fries, they harbor so much potential, those humble tubers. This pan fried, cheese stuffed potato rosti has a very funny story of its creation.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

992. Ferrero Rocher Mousse Cake

While this is not the most unctuous or top-notch desserts out there, it is a good recipe for young starters to make, such as your twelve year old daughter. Basic ingredients are used, the finished result looks cozy, there's no baking involved, and it uses a whole lot of nutella and ferrero chocolate balls.

Monday, September 26, 2016

991. Pumpkin Kubba (Vegan)

Compared to my other kubbas, this vegan pumpkin kubba is somewhat exotic and uncommon to me. It hails from the bleeding and burning Aleppo, aka Halab, where sheer genocide and a full blown holocaust is being committed this very moment and has been going on for years now while the world watches power hungry rabid dogs tear people apart (literally!) down to the newborn.

Friday, September 23, 2016

990. Iraqi Kubba Mosel

From a very young age I had an affinity to kubba. If it was on the table for lunch, I would eat myself sick of them. By far, the Iraqi kubba halab is and always has been my favorite. The dill kubba is a close second, and this Iraqi kubba Mosel (كبة موصل), the thirteenth type of kubba on MCW, is also way up there.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

989. Banana Pudding

Banana pudding is one of those things one loves as a child, then grows out of, then loves again. Like quite a few of my recipes on MCW, this is a dish loved by adults and kids alike. A custard (optionally homemade) is rendered lighter by folding in some whipped cream. This is then layered between vanilla cupcake quarters and sliced banana.

Monday, September 19, 2016

988. Overnight Slab Pizza

Using the overnight artisan bread recipe as the base for this pizza, no kneading is needed at all. The proved dough is slowly shaped into a giant 45cm*30cm rectangle, before being topped with a garlicky tomato sauce, bungles of grated cheese, and bounties of chopped fresh vegetables.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

987. Nutella Stuffed Cookies

My basic soft cookie batter has served me well many a times be it with nuts, raspberries, or even kinder. Now it strikes again with a molten interior of ooey gooey nutella.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

986. Crusty Pumpkin Rice

In our second round of the MENA Cooking Club Challenge, we arrive to the B in Bahrain. The name of this small Arabian Gulf country literally translates into two seas, which is fitting and a huge clue to the local food. Bahrain is in fact barely a teenage in historical age, and used to be part of the larger Ahsa region before the division by British conquests.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Eid Al Adha 1437

Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim family. May Allah continue to bless our Islamic Umma, grant a steadfast victory to all our mujahideen around the globe and award us a life and death in His pleasure only.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

984. Mushroom Cream Toast, Revisited

When you have a recipe archive of almost a thousand recipes, goodies are bound to get overshadowed with the passing of time. Some especially good recipes are worth a double-take, or a revisit of sorts. For this blessed Day of Arafa, I decided to revisit my mother's mushroom cream toast, originally published almost four years ago, as it makes for an especially good Eid breakfast tomorrow.

Friday, September 9, 2016

983. Almond Butter

Of all the expansive horizon of nut butter possibilities, commercial peanut butter is by far the most common and known. Due to its being so readily available, one forgets how simple it is to make your own. A nut butter should consist of only one ingredient: the nut itself. Adding salt to enhance the flavor, and maybe a tablespoon of oil to get it going makes a total of three ingredients. The typical jar in grocery stores has a minimum of seven ingredients, including chemical stabilizers and the like.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

982. Anzac Cookies

I was given this recipe by an Australian very proud of the biscuit's roots. ANZAC is actually an acronym for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, and this cookie was what wives made for their deployed husbands back in World War I because they would not spoil for a long time and keep well.

Monday, September 5, 2016

981. Iraqi Freezer Basturma

In my childhood, an Iraqi basturma and egg breakfast was the ultimate treat for the weekend. We used to get the local store-bought basturma rods, heavily spiced, loaded with garlic, stuffed in cleaned intestines, and air-dried for weeks before deemed fit for consumers. Fried in a pan before cracking a few eggs over it to cook in its own fat, this is not your typical omelette or fritata.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

980. Hobbit Wafer Bran Bread

I tend to go through phases in regards to my breakfasts. While not everyday is an egg and toast kind of day, we somehow eat what each one wants on weekdays, then gather for a more opulent breakfast on weekends. Examples of weekday breakfasts range from cheese-zaatar toast to green monster smoothie. Weekend breakfasts are likely to included fried tomato and maybe even thareed bagilla.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

979. Cappuccino Trifle

This dessert can be considered semi-trifle and semi-tiramisu. It certainly is reminiscent of a tiramisu because of the cream cheese, lady finger, and coffee aspects. However it is vamped up several volumes by layering these ingredients with brownies and espresso home made custard.