Saturday, November 18, 2017

1141. Chocolate Courgette Sheet Cake


There must be something in the air demanding chocolate cake! Come to think about it, isn't there always something in the air demanding chocolate cake? In any case, I am a late comer to the trend-turned-classic courgette chocolate cake. I'm not sure if this is an American thing, or they simply popularized it, but oh my this is moist to a crazy level.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

1140. Harissa Roast Chicken


The Moroccan harissa is not to be confused with the Iraqi or Arabian Gulf harissa. The Moroccan harissa is a spicy paste made of dried chilis and combined with a medley of spices and flavorings. It is spicy (obviously), abut also slightly tangy and oh so fragrant. Note that the heat of the spice varies from one manufacturer to another, ranging from mild to light-your-head-on-fire hot.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

1139. Roast Sujuk and Vegetables


I cannot give justice to this tray bake on how much I loved it. I loved it so much that I hated having to share it. A dish chock-full of vegetables, roasted alongside medallions of spicy sujuk sausage, to a golden perfection, and has minimal hands-on? Count me in.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

1138. Sweet Potato Peanut Brownies


Food that appears to be what it isn't is all the fad right now, if you've noticed. Cauliflower masquerading as rice, cashew as cheese, and chia seeds replace eggs. A particular favorite food to meddle with is brownies. I have seen black bean brownies and pumpkin brownies, but I had a hanker for peanut butter and decided to go with this sweet potato brownie recipe.

Friday, November 3, 2017

1137. Beetroot Hummus


Hummus being the ultimate and original dip, countless variations have popped up over the course of years as serious contenders. One of my unabashed favorites is the pea-mint dip of a while ago. Mama ganouche is not to be confused with beetroot hummus; the former's bulk comes only from beets, whereas the latter's comes from chickpeas and beets.

Monday, October 30, 2017

1136. Steak on Beans and Mushrooms


Quick meals need not compromise health nor flavor. This is a steak lunch healthified. Instead of the loved yet heavy side of fried potato, the steaks are served on a bed of nutritious bean and mushroom saute, further enriched by a reduced stock sauce.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

1135. Isfahan Loaf Cake


Isfahan is the dessert combination of rose, raspberry and litchi, resulting in an amazingly fragrant and sophisticated dish coveted by master patissieres around the globe. This here is an almond pound cake flavored with these aforementioned ingredients and glazed in a rose-white chocolate concoction perfect for any ladies' gathering.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

1134. Special Roast Turkey


While a whole stuffed and roasted lamb on a bed of jeweled rice is quite the feast, a whole roast turkey is also festive and perfect of an intimate gathering between family over Eid, or graduation, or engagement parties. This roast turkey is no ordinary turkey though. It takes a full 24 hours of brining, and another 24 hours drying, before the ultimate 3.5 hours of cooking and 30 minutes of resting to achieve this unbelievably succulent, tender, and juicy turkey.

Friday, October 20, 2017

1133. Chestnut Dressed Rice


This is a very festive rice that can be the bed for a roast turkey or roast leg of lamb alike. In the West, they serve this rice for their thanksgiving or christmas dinners, but only because chestnuts are winter fruits. When you find them conveniently peeled, boiled, and frozen, there is absolutely no reason to not make it for any festive occasion throughout the year.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

1132. Superfood Breakfast Bars


The previous "regular" muesli bars version here easily replace packaged granola bars in my opinion. Totally customizable, and just as moreish, they are definitely one of my favorites. This version is Nigella's "healthified" breakfast bars, which are chockful of all things good for your body. Healthy does not necessarily mean food good for losing weight, and eating too much from these will not aid your weight loss journey, but they do promise to be a healthy breakfast or snack.

Monday, October 9, 2017

1131. Kale Sauce Spaghetti


It all started with the classic basil pesto coating a dish of pasta. This eventually morphed into a short-lived avocado sauce pasta. Now it's all about the kale. This pasta is coated in an intense kale-y sauce, giving the dish a vibrant green color.

Friday, October 6, 2017

1130. Fried Egg and Dukka Bagel


There are two types of dukka: the Palestinian and the Egyptian. I have previously shared the Egyptian one on MCW; it consists of a hazelnut base with a predominance of coriander and cumin seeds. Now the Palestinian dukka, usually a product of Gaza, uses toasted wheatberries as the base, combined with spices similar to those found in zaatar which include sumac and sesame.

Monday, October 2, 2017

1129. Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake


It took me months of on and off contemplation before actually pulling the trigger and trying out this mayonnaise cake. While the idea of mayonnaise in a cake might seem off putting, it might help to remember what mayonnaise is made of: eggs and oil. Not-so-strange ingredients in a cake, eh? The result is a fluffy and moist cake that few will believe did not come from a box.

Friday, September 29, 2017

1128. Carrot Curry with Kale and Paneer


This curry breaks the mold for every generic curry. It was so strange to us, but so strangely good too. For me, this has become a new favorite indeed. A flavorsome base including pureed carrots and sultanas is bulked up with coconut milk and roughly shredded kale. The seared paneer cubes are totally optional, but totally worth the extra effort.

Monday, September 25, 2017

1127. Chocolate Berry Cups


Barely a recipe, these impressive dessert cups are simply a realization of assembly. Got chocolate, dulce de leche, and fresh berries? Then you're set. Silicone cups make life easier in making the chocolate cups, but lacking these, just use cupcake liners.

Friday, September 22, 2017

1126. Russian Potato and Mushroom Saute


Discovered through an impromptu conversation about food, someone told be about the Russian potato dish that is basically a comfort food closely associated with many if not all homes of the region who are blessed with mini woods and forests. They would go every fall mushroom picking, and besides pickling their natural harvest (mushrooms just pop up, they are not planted), they would make this saute.

Friday, September 15, 2017

1125. Applesauce Cake


Every once in a while, I like to buy at least twenty golden delicious apples and make a couple jars of compote with them. I enjoy my compote for breakfast or even a light snack. Sometimes, I have a surplus, and this cake makes wonderful use of that. Combining oats, yogurt, and applesauce, I am almost tempted to call this a healthy cake, were it not for the bits of flour and sugar rendering it a healthy-ish cake.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

1124. Grilled Mushroom Toasts


A hearty vegetarian meal done right will make you forget all about meat. It does help that sauteed mushrooms are somewhat meaty in and of themselves, but piling them up high over some rustic crusty toast with wads upon wads of cheese doesn't hurt either.

Friday, September 8, 2017

1123. Oat Pie


Chewy oat cookies are some of my favorites. I have a couple of reciepes here on MCW, and honestly cannot pinpoint my favorite. There is the one with raisins, another with M&M's... and now this giant oat cookie, served as a pie, swerved with a thick layer of butter frosting.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Eid Al Adha 1438


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

Saturday, August 26, 2017

1121. Chicken Fritters


"It smells like Mc Donald's, and that's a good thing." That was the first thing I was told as I was making these fritters. I think it may be the seared cheese seeping from the chicken patties into the hot pan and grilling up its magic. I had to try this recipe to believe how tender and juicy the chicken breast turns out in the cooked fritter.

Friday, August 18, 2017

1120. Quick Vanilla Cookies


I needed a quick cookie recipe that is oat-less, does not require refrigeration, nor any special tools like cutters, pressers, or the sort. Sweet, short, simple, and most of all, appealing to the kiddies. This soft-yet-sturdy cookie fit the bill on every level.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

1119. Bolognese Sauce


One would think a bolognese sauce recipe would be one of the easiest things to come across, but in fact it is one of those things that is so much of a classic that it just had to be messed with. So with all those variant recipes floating around, I believe I have finally found and adapted my personal favorite version of spaghetti bolognese.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

1118. Iraqi Honeyed Dates


Being blessed with abundant date fruit, us Arabs cannot have enough different ways to get creative in their consumption. These Iraqi honeyed dates (التمر المعسل)are actually an ancient technique driven from a necessity to preserve dates while keeping them moist and chewey, as dried dates can sometimes get a bit tough.

Friday, August 4, 2017

1117. Grilled Chicken over Minted Quinoa


A well-rounded, healthy, and satisfying meal is a bare 30 minutes away from your reality. Grilled chicken breast is far from my favorite, usually being stringy, dry, and tough, but this defies all past experiences in its tang, tenderness, and taste. The quinoa, although a purportedly ancient South American grain, is basking in popularity lately, and for good reason, as it has a very high protein factor and doesn't weigh you down like rice would.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

1116. Chocolate Cornflakes Clusters


If you haven't tried chocolate cornflakes clusters, you're missing out. Top famous chocolatiers sell them behind shiny glass vitrines for easily 90 euros per kilo. Which frankly, is rather unnecessary, as you can see, even a toddler can make them.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

1115. Kale Panzanella Salad


This salad skyrocketed to the top of our favorite salads list from the first bite. I have been having a kale moment for a while now, and while I do enjoy it cooked in stews, I also thoroughly enjoy it raw and finely shredded in a salad. It's just so hearty and substantial. Paired with toasted garlic croutons made from my go-to artisan bread (no-knead, overnight), the lemony dressing made this an almost daily treat for the last couple of months.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

1114. Yemeni Marag


I realized the term marag has different connotations between the Iraqi and the Arabian Gulf. You see, a marag to the Iraqi is a hearty stew. The consistency of the liquid is just bearely thinner than a soup, and usually has a vegetable and some meat or chicken. To other Arabs of the Gulf, a marag is a broth, which is essentially meat-flavored water used as a base for stews or soups. Now for the Yemeni, marag is a dish in its own right.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Time and Again, Part 5


The fifth installment of the Time & Again series holds a veritable mishmash of favorite dishes, spanning the realms of Iraq (of course), India, Turkey, Sweden, Qatar, Palestine, Portugal, South America, France, and beyond.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

1112. Arelettes


Arelettes are a genius French cookie, very, very similar to the palmier cookie, yet very, very different in method and structure. Similarities are that only puff pastry and sugar are used. Differences are in the out-of-this world caramelization and crisp of the cookie.

Monday, July 17, 2017

1111. Sundae Bar


Setting up a sundae bar for dessert is a very fun and easy way to end a meal, requires no cooking, and is interactive where everyone builds their own sundae. All you need is a good tub of ice cream and arrange all the various fixings and toppings.

Friday, July 14, 2017

1110. Qatari Chicken Machboos


We've seen how fragrant and delicious Qatari desserts can be (remember sago and ageeli?), now it's time to try their equally fragrant, perfumy, and delicious chicken. The medley of spices almost seems random, until you give it a taste and see for yourself the magnificent outcome. Onion and garlic do form the base, but the heaps of dry lemon, saffron, ginger, turmeric, and others make the chicken sing.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

1109. Mini Fustuqia


For such a simple dessert, the result was fantastic both in presentation and flavor. I would almost consider it a cheat's fustuqia, because compared to my (also amazing) pistachio mafrooka of  five years ago (!), the pistachio crust consists of three ingredients versus the classic eight. The "secret ingredient"? Powdered tea biscuits.

Monday, July 10, 2017

1108. Aubergine Kishk Dip


Baba ghanouche comes of as a very tame relative to this pungent and ferocious aubergine dip. Slowly caramelized onions merge with fragrant seeped saffron, which melds with sauteed garlic and plenty of dried mint, all to combine with silky roasted aubergine flesh. But that's not all.

Friday, July 7, 2017

1107. Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake


I think this cake should be renamed to Brown Sugar Cake, but that is no where near as attractive as chocolate cake. I got two reasonably-sized loaves of cake from this recipe, all of which contains a grand total of only 100 grams of dark chocolate. Therefore, what really gives it that special texture and taste is the ratio of brown sugar and butter.

Monday, July 3, 2017

1106. Frozen Yogurt Bark with Berries


While the overly-healthy concept is enough to throw most people off, this dessert must be given a fair chance. I for one, had to google how to eat yogurt bark. Making it was less of a problem than eating it. Sure enough, the gone-in-three-bites serving size is recommended to avoid messy fingers and face.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

1105. Quick Oat Bread


This is a near instant oat bread that barely requires kneading, and absolutely no rising time is involved. Baking powder is the leaving agent, and to add on to how easy the bread is, it is also a very forgiving dough. Too dry, add milk or yogurt. Too wet, add oats or flour.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

1104. Date Rahash Tart


Eid al Fitr 1438 mubarak to all my Muslim family everywhere, especially the blessed muhajireen and mujahideen. May Allah bless our Umma and unite us under His name.

This date rahash dates is a masterpiece. It combines the two favorite Arabian flavors of dates and sesame halva in a tart, held together by the softest and kindest pie crust you can come across. Add some crunch in the form of pecans and almonds, and you've got a tart fit for Eid.

Friday, June 23, 2017

1103. Matar Paneer Curry


I may have mentioned before that curries are numerous and vast in nature, soaring beyond the borders of India, merging with many cultures, each lending their own flavor to the dish. The Thai green curry is so vastly different from the Indian coconut curry, which in turn bears little resemblance to the Iraqi chicken curry. This vegetarian curry features the Indian cheese paneer, and green peas.

Monday, June 19, 2017

1102. Courgette and Lebne Tart


This tart has all the components I love together. A flaky butter crust, topped with a tangy herby luscious lebne, and a gorgeous array of slightly overlapping courgette circles, grilled to perfection. To make it even better, there is not a tart tin in sight.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

1101. Ageeli Baked Donuts


We wanted some saffron-infused ageeli cakes this Ramadan, but in a new bite-sized form. Que the mini baked donut tin. This Qatari cake is perfume to your tastebuds; the luxurious combination of saffron, rosewater, and cardamom will have you feeling like you are feasting in Aladdin's tent.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

1100. Home Made Yogurt


I am a strong believer that every one of us is responsible to support local produce and buy seasonal produce. This is not just a lesson in community values, but it is also better for your health (less chemicals and GM go into seasonal fruits) and better for your tastebuds (the reason why tomatoes smell and taste so much better in the Summer). So for this MENA Club entry, I am highlighting Qatari local produce.

Monday, June 12, 2017

1099. Oat Bar Cookies


Unofficially, Ramadan in the Arabian Gulf involves almost as much quick cooking oats as it does Vimto. Ranging in everything from soups, puddings, cookies, cakes, overnight suhoors, and more, it is one of the pantry staples we stock up on all throughout the year.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Time and Again, Part 4


Welcome to the fourth installment of the favorite Time and Again series, where old gems are made new again from the MCW archives.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

1097. Palestinian Tomato Beef Fry


Stews and a side of rice are the ultimate comfort food for me. Thoroughly Iraqi, bamia and ccourgette stews are two that I can never say no to, no matter what else is on the menu. However, stews can easily demand several hours of, well, stewing, to really get there. This quick, nourishing, and accidentally healthy saute is the Palestinian relative of the Iraqi chill-fry, which I have yet to post on MCW.

Monday, May 29, 2017

1096. Indian Chickpea Aloo Salad


Aloo bhujia is the most incredible Indian snack I have only recently come to discover. It is sold in the chips aisle of the supermarket, and is cheaper than your average packet of Lays chips. It is a legume and potato mixture, mixed with various magical spices, formed into vermicelli and fried. Chaat masala is an Indian spice mix, of which the prime ingredients is dried mango. Mix these up in a chickpea salad and you've got yourself an exotic spicy and very moreish dish.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

1095. Rahash Dessert Balls


Alhamdu lillah to He who has blessed us with another Ramadan, month of good, repentance, forgiveness, the holy Quraan, and jihad. May Allah grant victory in the struggle against our own nafs and against the enemies of Islam, allowing us to emerge with faces of noor, showered with His rida on those who seek it. Ramadan Mubarak.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

1094. Haloomi Tacos


I was so reluctant to try this dish as I had a nagging feeling that it would be boring and bland, but oh my am I happy I gave it a go (and took the pictures for a maybe-posting!). While it is the delicious squeaky and firm haloomi that is supposed to be the star of the show, it was the charred corn that really made it for me.

Monday, May 22, 2017

1093. Salmon En Croute


This salmon baked in a crusty pastry is a fancy way of serving something so simple. I used a giant one kilo fillet to serve 6 to 8 people, but it is just as easy to replicate to made individually sized portions. A simple spinach sauce of sorts is slathered over the fillet before being wrapped like a gift with the pastry and sent off to the oven.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

1092. Grilled Courgette, Mint, and Feta Salad


To me, this salad screams Summer, slow days, and gatherings over the grill for delicious light meals. The actual ingredients can be counted on one hand: courgettes, chilli, mint, and feta cheese. The dressing is a splash of olive oil and a squirt of lemon juice: the perfect sauce for any salad.