Saturday, July 30, 2016

963. Vineleaf Meat Kofta

I seem to have mentioned before that I find family recipes unbeatable. They are tried and true, and stuck around for good reason. This vineleaf wrapped kofta is baked in a flavorsome broth, and can be served with bread or rice. All in all, it is a simple and delicious dish feeding four people, and can easily be doubled as needed.

Friday, July 29, 2016

962. Stone Baked Bread

By far my favorite bread to make at home is the no-knead overnight artisan bread (and its many variations), and the wholewheat loaf. The classic overnight artisan bread boule is baked in a dutch oven, simply meaning a heavy metal oven-safe pot and lid. This stone baked bread uses exactly the same recipe as the artisan, but is just baked differently. The result was very different.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

961. Iraqi Fresh Herb Platter

On these hot and sticky Summer days, sometimes it is a good idea to make a light and refreshing no-cook meal. This fresh herb platter fills thee spot. Luscious fresh herbs and greens of choice (including crunchy radish), and bread are great on their own already. But when you add some cheese and nuts? It goes just beyond.

Monday, July 25, 2016

960. Caramel Toast Cheesecake

Another recipe hailing from Manal's Ramadan 1437 series, and once more using the modern convenience of toast (sandwich bread). This was a fun cake to make, borrowing queues from an actual cake, a cheesecake, and a creme caramel.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

959. Chicken Toast Rolls

This is an innovative recipe hailing from Manal Alem's Ramadan 1437 series. It is a wholesome dish, using modern conveniences to create a simple yet comforting main dish. Sliced sandwich bread is rolled out thinly before being stuffed with a creamy chicken filling and rolled up. The decadent cream sauce makes for a golden cheesy crust and is the crowning jewel.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

958. Aubergine Spaghetti

Pasta may often be considered as the main dish, but that is rarely so in an Arab household. No matter how elaborate a pasta dish may be, it is never regarded as more than a side dish. While I live by this philosophy to save face during invitations, I happily dine on pasta by itself on girls' nights.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

957. Strawberry Jelly Cheesecake

This was a fun cake to make, and even more fun to serve and eat. The "crust" of this cheesecake is the only thing baked. It is in fact a slim cake layer, which is then topped with a cream cheese-gelatin mixture. While that is left to set, fresh strawberries are hulled and halved, to prepare for the jello crown.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

956. Kebab Maajooqa: Mushroom and Cheese Stuffed Kofta

I loved this Halabi Kebab Maajooqa (كباب معجوقة الحلبي), being a kofta presented in an almost kubba appearance. The meat makes for the thinnest of shells encompassing a molten volcano lava filling of meaty sauteed mushroom, copious parsley, and lashings of mozzarella cheese.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

955. Simplest Jerjir (Rocket) Salad

When I visited beautiful Syria before the ongoing war, they served the most delicious yet most basic salad ever, accompanying all of their dishes. I particularly loved this jerjir salad with their famous kubbas, but also so much so with their unbelievable grilled meats.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

954. Black Beast Chocolate Torte

This is one of the few examples where flourless does not signify deprivation of goodiness. Quite the contrary. The absence of flour in this torte makes it off-the-charts decadent, with an acute chocolatiness, all accentuated much more so with the mascarpone frosting. Do not skip the fresh berries as this gives a much needed fresh balance against the dense decadent chocolate.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

953. Chicken Fajita Salad

 Fajita is a Mexican dish usually consisting of seared sliced steak, sauteed capsicum peppers and onions, all wrapped up in a tortilla with some sour cream and plenty of jalapenos and coriander. This salad is fajita-inspired, using instead a deliciously marinated seared chicken fillet, and a trifecta of similarly seared capsicum.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

952. Baked Chicken in a Bag

It was my beloved brother in law who brought the oven bag back to my attention. I thought they were an extinct fad of the seventies, but sure enough a nondescript pouch of oven bags can still be found in the supermarket today. Never has meat been so succulent as this.

Friday, July 8, 2016

951. Lentil Felafels

Technically, calling these lentil fritters felafel is a misnomer. It is equivalent to calling a roast carrot dip carrot hummus. Hummus is the famous chickpea-tahini dip we all know and love. Felafel is the chickpea/broadbean fritter we all know and love. It is not a description; it is it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

950. Iraqi Zlabia

Eid Al-Fitr mubarak to all my fellow Muslims. May Allah bless Umma our beloved Prophet Muhammed and guide us in spreading His name and religion throughout the lands in pride and unwavering conviction..

Iraqi Zlabia (الزلابية العراقية) is a sort of fried cookie that comes off as a candied confectionery. It is the sort of recipe used to be taught to primary school girls for home economics, therefore it was not unusual that a seven year old girl makes this sweet for dessert on any given Ramadan night or other joyous event.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

949. Iraqi Marinated Olives

A stunning starter, an eye-rolling main dish, and a decadent dessert are all wonderful, but what really makes a meal over-the-top are the small touches. The kind that one's hand always reaches for while the head is turned away in conversation. Pre-meal nut nibbles. Side-note pickles. Accompanying bowls of caramel sauce.

Friday, July 1, 2016

948. Spinach Cheese Fried Sticks

Fried sicks of cheese are undeniably delicious, and just as undeniably bad for you. In a feeble attempt to make it a bit better nutrition-wise to consume, these fried cheese sticks come marble with cooked spinach throughout.