Thursday, April 28, 2011

Muhammara (Walnut & Pomegranate Dip)

This Syrian specialty relish can be served spread on bread or served as a garnish over fish and
chicken dishes.

Yield:1 1/2 c
1 1/2 c walnuts, shelled
1 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 slice whole wheat bread, cut into pieces
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. pomegranate syrup
1/2 tsp. ground red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch of salt

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process till it turns into a paste.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Moroccan Chicken Couscous (Couscous Dajaj)

Re-create the authentic flavors of Morocco in your kitchen. Requiring no exotic ingredients just an extra amount of time, this classic Moroccan chicken dish is sure to please your family and is perfect for when your looking for that something special to add to your culinary repertoire.

Yield:4 Servings
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into small pieces
1 tsp. ground ginger
pinch of saffron
1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 large onion, peeled, thickly sliced
2 c chicken stock
3 1/2 oz. raisins, soaked in a little water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tomato, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled, thinly sliced
1 package plain couscous

1. In a small bowl, mix the ginger, saffron, and 2 Tbsp. of the extra-virgin olive oil. Pour marinade into a plastic bag and add the chicken pieces.Place in refrigerator.

2.Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock to a simmer.

3.In a separate large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 the sliced onions, sprinkle with the sugar and brown.

4. Add about 8 Tbsp. of the chicken stock to the onion mixture and mix thoroughly. Cook for about 15 minutes.

5. Add the drained raisins to the onion mixture and continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes.Remove the skillet from the heat and place it in a separate bowl.

6. Return the skillet to the stove top.Add the chicken pieces, tomatoes,remaining onions and garlic to the skillet. Add the remaining chicken stock and cook for an additional 30 minutes stirring often.Remove from heat.

7.Prepare couscous according to directions on box.

8. In a large serving dish, add the couscous followed by the chicken and topped with the onion mixture.Serve immediately.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Herb and Onion Omelet (Eggah bi Basal)

Yield :
2 Servings


3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 large onion, thinly chopped

4 large eggs, beaten

2 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. mint, finely chopped

salt and pepper , to taste

1. Heat a medium pan and add the olive oil.Add the onions and saute for about 2 minutes.

2. Add the beaten eggs to the pan.Add the parsley, cilantro and mint on top.Once the bottom
begins to set, turn over carefully and cook the other side for about one minute.

3.Remove omelet from the pan and place in serving dish.Can be served either warm or cold as an appetizer.
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Friday, April 15, 2011

Yemeni Fish (Samak al-Yamani)

Craving a bit of Yemeni home cooking but there isn't a Yemeni restaurant within a 5 mile radius??.This fish recipe is easy and quick to put together and is ready in under 30 minutes.Hamour fish is the best for this recipe but any firm fish like cod, halibut, or tuna will do.
Yield:4 Servings


2 lbs. cod, halibut, sole, or tuna fillets

1 1/2 Tbsp. Hawayij

1 Tbsp. salt

1 Tbsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. turmeric

1/8 tsp. black pepper

Vegetable oil for frying

1. Heat the oil in large pan on medium-high heat.

2.Rinse the fish fillets and pat dry.In a medium bowl.combine the hawaji, salt, cumin,turmeric and black pepper.

3.Dip the fish fillets in the spice mixture,lightly coating both sides.

4. Place the fish fillets in the pan and cook over medium heat, turning over every few minutes till they begins to flake.Remove from heat and serve immediately.
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Iraqi Cucumber and Garlic Salad (Salata Kyhiar wa Toum)

I came across this salad in an Iraqi-Jewish cookbook and was intrigued by it because I've never seen a salad which included raw garlic cloves as an ingredient.I was skeptical at first because of the amount of garlic used but after marinating it for the allotted time, which mellows the garlicky taste and tweaking some of the ingredients, the salad has a very cooling and refreshing taste and similar to the other salads of the Middle East.

8 Servings


8 large cucumbers, peeled and diced

10 small to medium sized garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 c fresh cilantro, thinly chopped

1/2 c fresh mint, thinly chopped

juice of 3 large lemons

3 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. dill

3/4 tsp. sea salt

1. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl, mix together till evenly combined, and chill for about 1 hour.
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Zuchinni & Olive Couscous (Koussa wa Zeitun Couscous)

4 Servings

1 box packaged plain couscous

2 small zucchinis,ends trimmed, julienned

16 black kalmata olives, pitted and halved

1/4 c almonds, slivered

4 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

pinch of cumin

pinch of cayenne pepper

1.Prepare couscous according to package directions.Set aside.

2. Add the zucchinis, olives, and slivered almonds to couscous and mix together.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro, parsley, cumin and cayenne pepper.Stir into the couscous and toss gently to combine.Transfer to a serving dish and serve.
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Monday, April 4, 2011

Moroccan Chickpea & Carrot Soup (Shorbat Jazzar wa hummus min Maghreb)

I've been meaning to make this soup for a long time but for whatever reason have been finding excuses to put off making it.But I finally got to doing it and regretted not making it sooner as its really easy to put together and is requires about 20 minutes cooking time.If you don't have the Moroccan spice blend, Ras al Hanout on hand, the Saudi spice blend, Baharat is a perfect substitution.

Yield:6 Servings


1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 (14.5oz.)low-sodium canned sliced carrots

5 c low-sodium chicken stock or equal parts chicken stock & water

1(14oz.)can chick-peas, drained and rinsed

salt and pepper

2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until translucent, about 3 minutes.Add the Ras al Hanout and cook for about 1 minute while stirring.

2.Add the carrots and cook for about 3 minutes.Add the chicken stock and the chick-peas and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.Season with salt and pepper.

3. Remove the soup from the heat and transfer in batches to a blender and blend until smooth.

4.Transfer soup to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh cilantro.Serve immediately.
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