Saturday, April 16, 2016

Ina Garten blueberry crumb cake

 I really do love Ina's recipes .. they're easy , affordable and delicious ..this cake isn’t too sweet and the crumb part was my favorite
It keeps moist up to 3 days .. if you love blueberry as much as I do I recommend add extra on the batter and not to fold it so it doesn’t sink ..

IngredientsFrom Barefoot Contessa at Home, 2006. All Rights Reserved”
For the streusel:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
For the cake:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling

Watch how to make this recipe.
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.
For the streusel:
Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.
For the cake:
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed or sprinkle the blueberries on the batter on the pan 
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers,
crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Palestinian Cauliflower Fritters "Mshat"

The ingredients of Cauliflower Fritters "Mshat" vary from one home and village to another, but all recipes call for eggs and cauliflower as the 2 main ingredients in preparing it. Less fortunate families used to add more flour to the batter and reduce the quantity of eggs they hardly afford. 

Please note that this recipe doesn't have exact measures, but you should end up having a batter very similar to cake batter after mixing all ingredients together!

Palestinian Cauliflower Fritters "Mshat" 
- 2 eggs 
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 head of cauliflower, small sized
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped parsley  
-1/2 cup of chopped green onions (optional)
-1/3 to 1/2 cup of cauliflower's boiling water 
Salt , black pepper and cumin according to preference. 

-Cut the cauliflower into medium sized pieces, boil in water until slightly tender, strain and chop into small pieces. added to the parsley and onion

-Whisk the eggs, add the cauliflower boiling water, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix.

-Heat vegetable oil in a deep frying pan, you can mix it with olive oil if you prefer. Scoop a spoonful of the batter and dump it in the hot oil, spread it lightly like a patè until it holds up and starts to cook and turn golden at the bottom

- flip over and let it fry till the other side turns golden as well.

-Repeat till you finish all quantity.

-Serve alongside pickles, yogurt, Arabic salad or Tahini salad .
-This dish can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Bon Appétit


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Kuwaiti dessert "Baid Al Qata".. stuffed fried dough

A traditional Kuwaiti dessert full of crunchy yumminess, usually served along with arabic coffee. Baid Al Qata is a deep fried dough filled with a creamy mixture of crushed walnuts, rose water and spices, tossed in powdered sugar that gives it an "out of heaven" effect. The unusual name "Baid", meaning eggs, came from the resemblance in shape with the eggs of the rare Crowned Sandgrouse bird "Al Qatta" that was very common in that geographical area in specific back then. I really hope you will like and enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
Baid Al Qata

*For the dough:
Enough to make around 60 pieces "as shown in the photo"
- 1 ½ cup cake or all-purpose flour
- ½ cup lukewarm milk
- 1 stick (100 gm) unsalted butter, room temperature
- Pinch of cardamom
- Pinch of salt
*For the filling:
- 1 cup crushed walnuts
- Few strands of saffron soaked in 1 Tbsp rose water
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp ground cardamom (or more according to preference)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp orange blossom water
- Powdered sugar for coating
Vegetable oil for frying
- Sift together the flour, cardamom and salt then add the butter and knead. Add milk gradually and knead till you get a soft and smooth dough.
- Cover and set aside from 30-60 minutes.

- Meanwhile, mix all filling ingredients together. (Walnuts, cinnamon, cardamom, sugar, rose water and blossom water)

- When dough is ready, take a small piece of it and spread lightly, then add in the center a small amount of the walnut mixture, but do not overfill it so it won't open during the frying process. 

- Fold the dough over the filling forming a ball, then turn it into an egg-shape by rolling it lightly between your palms .
- Set aside for the dough to rest again for 10 to 15 minutes. This will help the dough to maintain its shape.

- Deep fry till they turn golden.

- Strain excess oil and let them cool down a little bit.

- Toss them in powdered sugar to cover all sides, or from one side only if you don't want it to be very sweet. The original recipe calls for covering it from all sides.

- Serve it along with Arabic coffee or special saffron coffee.

Recipe alternatives:
- Blossom water, cinnamon and saffron are additions to the original recipe, but they definitely add a great flavour.
- The dough can be baked instead of deep fried as a healthier option, but the outcome won't taste as good as fried.
- An easier updated dough recipe comprises of 1 cup of flour and 1 can of cream. It tastes good as well.
Bon Appétit

Monday, December 14, 2015

gingerbread cookies

his is what my dear nephew sand when he saw these crispy spicy gingerbread cookies i  used king arthur flour recipe with little tweak

 Ingredients (  from king arthur flour with little tweak)

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice or cloves
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cups  All-Purpose Flour
  • In a saucepan set over low heat, or in the microwave, melt butter, then stir in the brown sugar, molasses, salt, and spices.
  • Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, let it cool to lukewarm, and beat in the egg.
  • Whisk the baking powder and soda into the flour, and then stir these dry ingredients into the molasses mixture.
  • Divide the dough in half, and wrap well. Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Get out several baking sheets; there’s no need to grease them, though lining with parchment saves effort on cleanup.
  • Once the dough has chilled, take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, and flour a clean work surface, and the dough. Roll it out as thin or thick as you like; for slightly less crisp cookies, roll it out more thickly.
  • Use flour under and on top of the dough to keep it from sticking to the table or rolling pin. Alternatively, place the dough on parchment, and put a sheet of plastic wrap over it as you roll, pulling the plastic to eliminate wrinkles as necessary when rolling; this will keep dough from sticking without the need for additional flour. For soft dough, or dough to be rolled extra-thin, you may choose to roll right onto the ungreased back of a baking sheet.
  • Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, cutting them as close to one another as possible to minimize waste.
  • Transfer the cookies to ungreased cookie sheets (or, if you’ve rolled right onto the parchment, remove the dough scraps between the cookies). Bake the cookies just until they’re slightly brown around the edges 8 to 12 minutes, or until they feel firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for several minutes, or until they’re set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Decorate the cookies and i used Betty’s ready-made icing 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

tuna salad sandwich with walnut and celery

when I’m not in the mood to cook something i usually make tuna salad .. this easy yet delicious recipe adapted from ” the kitchen in foodnetwork”

1 can tuna, drained
2 tablespoons chopped capers
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons very finely diced celery
2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts
olive oil to taste ( i didn’t use it)
1 tablespoon  vinegar
1 tablespoon finely minced black olives
2 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley ( i used tabbouleh mix w/ bulgur)
juice of 1/2  lemon
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
to serve:  crackers, or toasted bread
Combine the tuna,onion, capers, celery, walnuts, olive oil, vinegar, olives, parsley and lemon juice in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Top the crackers with the tuna mixture and serve.
Recipe adapted from foodnetwork

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Jordanian kebab " Kfarat Kebab"

This month recipe for our facebook cooking group " Arabic Flavour"  by Hanan Smadi from Jordan - November  2015th as she described it 
Since it is olive picking season, I've decided to go with a recipe that is famous among the tribes of Kfarat villages of Jordan, an area that is famous for its pure and richly flavoured & colored olive oil.
This easy and quick recipe is considered healthy due to the process of steaming the kbab rather than frying them. It became very popular among the Kfarat villages to the extent of being referred to as the "dynamite" recipe!
Measuring its ingredients is volumetric; meaning that each cup of minced meat needs around 1 cup (or less) of
bulgur, 1 onion and some water and olive oil.

- 2 cups(700 gm) minced veal meat (fat free)
- 1 chicken breast , boneless and finely minced
- 2 ½ cups fine bulgur (dry, NOT presoaked)
- 2-3 medium onions, finely minced using a food processor with a little bit of water
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup water for mixing the dough, salt & pepper
-2 tsp ground cumin
-5 tsp ground anise
- 1 tsp allspice (I personally add a pinch of ground cardamom and ground ginger only)
- Salted warm water to cook kebabs
- Mince onions in food processor with a little bit of water in to guarantee finesse.

- Combine minced meat and minced chicken in a bowl and mix very well, add bulgur then minced onions and continue mixing. You can use a kneading machine for a faster result in this step, but the traditional way is to knead by hand. Add spices, salt and pepper while kneading. 

- Add a little bit of warm of water gradually, one spoon at a time, until you get a well combined dough that can be easily shaped. Stop adding water once you get it.
- Add olive oil (keep some aside till later) and continue mixing. 

- In a deep cooking pot, preferably Tefal or thick based stainless steel, add the remaining olive oil.
- Rub your hands with some oil and start forming the kbabs into thick flat patties, hand palm size, place them at the bottom of the pot. ( i did shape them all as round shape and shallow fry them with oil in both sides)
- Place the pot over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until you hear the sizzling of oil.
- Add salted warm water gently covering the bottom layer only.
- When it starts boiling, lower the heat, cover the pot and let it cook for 30-45 minutes or until water dries out.
- When you hear the sizzling sound and smell the kbab, turn off heat. Make sure to monitor the drying out process.
- Wait a few minutes then flip the pot upside down into a serving plate.

- Serve alongside yogurt and salad
Bon appetite

Friday, November 20, 2015

tartar sauce

صلصة الترتار
 you don't need a jar for this easy tasty sauce...I'd like to serve it with seafood 
this is my go to recipe for 3 small boats as in the picture
5 tablespoon mayonnaise 
2 tablespoon dill pickles , finely chopped 
1 tablespoon white onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped dill 
juice of half lemon
1 /2  teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Sunday, November 1, 2015

morrocan harira soup

Harira soup

Moroccan Harira Soup made with quinoa instead of legumes  (just replace the legumes with tri- color quinoa from the original recipe)  presented by Ihsan Nuri from Morocco the host of Arabic Flavour for October with traditional recipe . Since the winter season is at the door, she specifically choose a soup recipe that suits the cold weather. This authentic Moroccan soup is very popular; which I believe most of you have already heard of!
The Harira of “Amazighi” origins dates hundreds of years back. It has various ways of preparation, and evolved overtime within the different regions of Morocco. For example, there is the “Marrakechi Harirah” in reference to the red city of Marrakech, and there is also the “Wajdiah” of the city of Wajda, and the “Fassiyah” from the city of Fas. Despite time; this soup is still considered a staple in the Moroccan cuisine, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.
It is known for its high nutritional value, as it is rich in vitamins and animal and plant proteins; which makes it a complete meal.
Harirah soup is so popular; it is served in almost all top restaurants and hotels of Morocco, and since it is one of Ramadan’s main recipes; it is usually served with dates and “chebakia” dessert, yet it is served with hot bread and boiled eggs in some areas of Morocco.
#Moroccan_Harira_Soup #Arabic_Flavour #الحريرة_المغربية #نكهة_عربيه
1 medium onion (grated)
2 tomatoes (grated)
1 cup celery (chopped)
1 cup parsley and coriander (chopped)
200 grams of meat (cut into small pieces)
1 cup of chickpeas (soaked overnight)
1 cup of lentils
1 cup of dried fava beans (optional)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons rice or vermicelli pasta
1 cup flour
Salt according to preference
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (according to preference)
1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
Pinch of saffron
3 tablespoons ghee or butter, or 3 spoons of olive oil
3 liters of water.
– Soak chickpeas in water overnight. (Keep or remove skin according to preference) skip this process if using only quinoa

– In a cooking pot, add ghee or oil, onions and meat and stir fry for 3 minutes.

– Add celery, coriander, parsley, beans, tomatoes, saffron, salt, pepper and dry fava beans (optional). Mix and keep stirring for another 3 minutes.
– Add 3 L of water and let it cook until meat and chickpeas are tender enough.

– In a separate bowl, mix flour and water until you get a slightly thick and smooth batter. Leave a side.
– Make sure the meat is cooked through. Add tomato paste to the soup and mix well.

Monday, October 19, 2015

ELBA .. Kuwaiti flan or custard pudding

      Elba  is a traditional dessert from Kuwait .. they used to make  with Colostrums  (also known as first milk ) of cows or goats  because of  its benefits and the amount of protein it has ( poor baby ) but nowadays we’re using regular milk to make it , I prefer the dried kind  and it should be full fat milk otherwise  creme fresh or thick cream ” gaimer ” should be added to the recipe
This is my mom recipe and it so easy ,so affordable and so tasty
    ” some recipe called for caramelized sugar in the bottom of  the pot  ” as Crème caramel ” other called for nigella seed or ” ḥabbat al-barakah”
You can substitute the condensed milk with the same amount of sugar or  stevia

All you need:
6 large eggs
1 cup condensed milk
2 cups of powdered ( dried ) milk
5 cups of water
Ground cardamom & saffron to taste
How to make it
So easy .. preheat the oven to 200-210 c
mix all ingredient
Pour it in ramekin or pyrex or any container  with a lid   then place it in water  bath  ” bain marie” in the oven for hour and half

Let it cool completely in the fridge before serving ( preferably overnight)   :)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

the not ( barefoot) contessa fish pasta

باستا مع سمج
I love fish , I love pasta but never cooks them together… I did serve them side by side but never cooked them together until i make this recipe and O’boy what have I missed all these years
I found this recipe in one of my favorite cooking sites in the web " food52" .. love their recipes and their photos
which something i should learn since my 6 years nephew knows how to take a decent picture more than i do
back to the recipe
i used Hamour filet which is similar to cod-fish but any firm white fish will do .. i add one small chopped onion ,chili flakes ,fresh thyme and can of chopped tomatoes
here’s the recipe
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 small onion , chopped
6-10 oil cured olives, chopped
1 pound white fish,cubed
2 teaspoon salted capers
1 can diced tomato Italian style
2 big and fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 packet linguine or spaghetti , fresh
1/2 cup of pasta water
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped roughly
salt and pepper to taste
chili flakes up to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
heat the oil and saute the garlic and chili flakes .. sprinkle salt and pepper to the fishes
add the fish and stir until golden then add the onion and keep stirring carefully until softened and try not to break it up
add both kinds of tomato and cook it until softened( about 10 min)
in the meantime boil and drained the pasta ( keep 1/2  cup of pasta water )
add parsley , thyme , olives , capers , pasta water to tomato sauce , reduce the heat and let it thickened
add the pasta to the sauce and stir carefully then serve