Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pickled Garlic (Torshi Toum)

Pickling vegetables is an easy and affordable way of preserving excess produce and enjoying it year round. Pickled dishes usually make up part of the mezze meal or can be enjoyed as an accompaniment to a corresponding dish as is popular in Iraq.All manner of vegetables and fruits can be pickled.I decided start simple by pickling garlic.These can be added to meats or stews as a flavor enhancer.


1 clean(12 oz) glass jar
7 heads of garlic,peeled, separated into cloves
1 1/4 c apple cider vinegar

1. Fill the glass jar with the peeled garlic cloves.Make sure to pack them tightly in the jar.

2. Pour the apple cider in the jar until it completely covers the rim of the jar.Put the lid on the jar and
     close tightly.

3. Store jar in warm spot,preferably in a sunny place like the kitchen window sill and let it sit for 3-4

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Moroccan Saffron Chicken Tagine

Chicken cooked with lots of onions, saffron and other Moroccan spices is easy to make and the savory foundation to a number of delicious Moroccan dishes such as Chicken Bastilla and Chicken Briouats.

You'll be tempted to eat this tender, flavorful chicken right from the pot, but it's best served on a bed of Moroccan Rice Pilaf or in Seffa Medfouna.

Yield :4 Servings
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces and skin removed
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. white pepper
2 sticks cinammon
1 tsp.saffron threads,crumbled
1 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 to 2 tsp. salt
1/4 c butter
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro

1.Mix all ingredients in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot. Cover, and cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, or until the chicken is very tender and pulls easily off the bone. Do not add water, and be careful not to burn the chicken.

2.Reduce the liquids until they are mostly oils. Discard the cinnamon sticks, and taste for seasoning. (The sauce should be a bit salty and peppery.)

3.Serve the chicken and sauce on a bed of rice or hidden within a mound of steamed broken vermicelli or couscous (Seffa Medfouna).

Recipe & Image courtesy of Christine Belafquih,Moroccan Food Guide

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Tunisian Vegetable Salad (Salatat Khodra al Tunis)

Yield: 4 Servings

3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped into thin slices
1/2 large yellow onion,peeled, sliced and separated into "petals"
2 large tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 medium red bell pepper, ends trimmed, sliced into strips, seeded
1medium yellow bell pepper, ends trimmed, sliced into strips, seeded
1 tsp. coriander seeds
pinch of saffron
dash of salt & pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.Add the garlic and onion and lightly fry 7-10 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes and bell peppers to the pan and cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

3. Add the coriander seeds,saffron, salt and pepper and stir. for another 10 minutes.

4.Remove vegetables from heat.Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Bulger Salad with Mushrooms (Burghul bi Futr)

Mushrooms aren't a very common ingredient in Middle Easter cuisine.A better substitute for this recipe would have been to use kamaa, saudi truffles but since they're not widely available,mushrooms will have to do.Baharat rounds out the flavor of this simple grain dish.

Yield:4 Servings
4 Tbsp. olive oil plus more
1 small white onion, peeled, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Baharat
1/2 lb. button mushrooms, sliced
2c water
1c bulgur

1. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until lightly translucent(about 5 minutes).Add the salt and baharat and continue sauteing for an additional minute.

2. Add the mushrooms to the pan and continue sauteing until they begin to brown.Add more olive oil if the vegetables begin to dry out. Remove from the heat when mushrooms are completely browned.

3. Meanwhile, fill a saucepan with 2 cups of water and add the bulger.Bring to a boil.Cover.Then bring heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes or all the water is absorbed.

 4.Remove bulger from heat and add the mushroom/onion mixture.Mix together until evenly combined.

 5.Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Persian Pomegranate Chicken Stew (Khoresh-e Fesenjan)

One of the most well-known of the most well-known of the Persian fesenjans,Khoresh-e Fesenjanprovides the perfect marriage of taste with the slightly mellow taste of walnuts perfectly balancing the sweet and sour taste of the pomegranate syrup,robb-e anar. Khoresh-e fesenjan is usually made with duck but chicken is a perfect substitute.This dish is delicious eaten right after it has been prepared but like most stews, tastes exquisite the next day after the flavors have had time to concentrate.

Yield:4 Servings


4 Tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts , cut into bite-size pieces

1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced

8oz. shelled walnuts, finely ground

1 tsp. salt

1/2 c pomegranate syrup diluted in 2c water

1/4 tsp. saffron

1c pomegranate seeds, for garnish

1/2 c shelled walnuts,for garnish

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.Add the chicken pieces and onion and stir often for about 15 minutes.

2.In a food processor, add the walnuts, diluted pomegranate syrup and saffron and mix well till you have a thick paste.Adjust seasonings if necessary.

3.Add the pomegranate sauce to the pan with the chicken and cover and simmer for an additional 45 minutes, stirring often.

4. After the 45 minutes, taste the sauce.If it is too sour , add a pinch of sugar to sweeten it.If it is too sweet, add a little pomegranate syrup to sour it.

5. Remove khoresh from heat and transfer to a serving dish.Garnish with pomegranate seeds and shelled walnut and serve with rice.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bulgur with Tomatoes (Burghul bi Tomatim)



1/2 large onion, finely chopped

4 Tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 c bulgur

1/2 lbs. tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 tsp. tomato paste (opt.)

1 tsp. sugar

salt & pepper

1/2 tsp. baharat

1 c water

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat.Add the onion and keep stirring till they turn opaque.

2. Add the remaining ingredients slowly one by one and keep stirring till they are evenly

combined throughout the bulgur.

3. Cook until all the water has evaporated.Remove from heat and serve immediately.
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Friday, February 3, 2012

Stovetop Chicken Kebab

Don't have a grill? Looking for an easy, quick way to prepare chicken kebab.This recipe can be
put together and be on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Yield:4 Servings

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts , cut into chunks
4-5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. turmeric powder
salt & pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
2. Add the chicken breast chunks and cook, stirring every few minutes.After 5 minutes , add the
remaining ingredients.
3. Continue cooking chicken for an additional 15-20 minutes until chicken begins to brown.
4.Remove from heat and serve immediately with basmati rice.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Middle Eastern Cucumber & Mint Salad (Salata Khiar bi Na'na)

Yield:4 Servings

2 large cucumbers, cut into small cubes
1 handful fresh mint leaves, thinly chopped

For the dressing:
4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. orange-blossom water
dash of salt & pepper

1. To make the salad, place both the cucumber and the mint in a serving bowl..Toss till evenly
2. To make the dressing, place all dressing ingredients a blender and blend for 1 minute.
3. Add the salad dressing to the salad just before serving .Toss and serve.

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Fattoush (Middle Eastern Bread Salad)

Photo courtesy of Islamic Iftar

Yield:6 Servings


1 1/2 Arab (pita ) bread , cut into small pieces

1 medium head of lettuce, shredded

3 medium tomatoes, cut into small cubes

3 cucumbers, cut into small cubes

1 1/2 green onions, thinly sliced

handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


5 Tbsp.extra-virgin olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Tbsp. ground sumac

salt & pepper, to taste

1. To make the salad, place all the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl and toss till evenly


2. For the dressing, place all the ingredients together in a blender and blend for 1 minute.Adjust

seasonings if necessary.

3. Add the salad dressing to the salad, toss again just before serving.

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