Saturday, December 29, 2007

Saj Bread Recipe - خبز الصاج- And Pita Bread Making

ثلاثة أكواب و نص دقيق. ملعقتين صغار خميره فوريه. واحد و ربع كوب ماء فاتر. ملعقه صغيره سكر. نصف ملعقه صغيره ملح. زيت لدهن العجينة. 
تخلط المواد مع بعض. مع أخذ الحذر بإضافة الماء بالتدريج. تترك العجينة لتخمر ساعه من الزمن. تقطع و ترق و باستعمال المخده الخاصه بخبز الصاج يتم تشكيلها و خبزنا على الصاج الساخن. صحتين. 

Saj bread is a flat round bread baked on an upside down iron wok hot surface. this is an easy recipe for Saj bread:
• 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 1/4 cups warm water (about 110 to 115°)
• 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Oil for coating the dough
Put yeast in 1/4 cup of the water; add sugar and let stand for 10 minutes. Sift 2 1/2 cups of flour and the salt into a warm bowl. Form a well in the center; pour in yeast mixture and remaining warm water.
Begin to mix with hand, wooden spoon, or dough hook, adding remaining flour as needed. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and no longer sticky.
Oil a large bowl; place dough in bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and put in a warm place free of drafts for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Dough should be doubled in bulk. Knead for a few minutes then divide into balls about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll balls into circles on a lightly floured surface with floured rolling pin, or flatten into circles with hand. Flip the flattened dough on a curved hot surface (similar to an upside down wok). Bake for less than a minute on one side and then flip to cook the other side. Sometimes you only cook on one side, depends on your preference. Pile your bread sheets and cover to keep soft and warm or serve immediately. You may use these sheets of bread as a wrap for anything you like such as cheese, meats or veggies.
For the video with the music I originally used, check this out:

Thursday, December 27, 2007

French Toast - فرنش توست

This is a very easy recipe for this delicious breakfast food that is liked by everyone.

-4 pieces of French toast
-2 eggs
-2 tablespoons milk
-1 tablespoon cooking oil

- Cut the crust if you like
- Mix the eggs in a bowl
- Add milk to the eggs and mix well
- Dip the toast in the egg mix . make sure it is well coated on both sides
- Heat up the oil
- Fry your toast on both sides until golden in color
- Add maple syrup to it and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Okra Stew- يخنة الباميه مع الارز

One pound frozen or fresh Okra
Cooking oil
One diced onion
Minced garlic
2-3 diced fresh or canned tomatoes
Tomato paste or sauce
Salt and black pepper to taste

-Sauté onions in oil
-Add garlic and sauté some more until garlic turns golden color
-Add the okra. Sauté until it is soft, this takes few minutes if the okra is frozen and may take longer if it is fresh. Some people deep fry the fresh okra before cooking it.
- Add fresh tomatoes and stir around for few minutes
- Add tomato sauce/paste and add water if needed
- Add salt and black pepper
- boil at first then lower the heat and let simmer until the tomatoes and the okra are cooked. This might take around 35-45 minutes
Serve hot with rice on the side

Okra Stew on Foodista

Sunday, December 23, 2007

مسقعة الباذنجان - Musakaa

Mussaka is a popular dish in the Mediterranean countries. I have listed a basic vegetarian version of this recipe here although there are different variations such as adding cooked ground beef or lamb, or mix cooked chickpeas, add green peppers, garlic or hot spicy peppers, depending on what you like in your dish. Ingredients:- 2 big eggplants sliced into ½ inch thickness- I do not peel mine, I leave them with the skin on.-Canola oil for frying -1 to 2 medium diced onion- 4 medium size fresh or canned diced tomatoes- Small can of tomato paste- Salt and black pepper to taste-1/2 to 1 cup waterDirections:-Slice eggplants into 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick slices

-Sprinkle the eggplants slices with salt to draw the moisture out-Deep fry in canola oil until golden brown in color.-Remove from pan, drain from oil over paper towels.
-Sauté the diced onions, I microwave it sometimes until golden brown color- I use a Pyrex baking dish
-Add tomato paste, water, salt and pepper and mix with the onions. This will be your sauce
-Layer the fried eggplants in the baking dish over the sauce
-Top with diced or sliced tomato- Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap, I double the cover
-Microwave the pan for at least 20 minutes
-Broil the top for a desired baked colorif you want to use the conventional way of cooking, you may do this:
In a separate pot, sauté diced onions. Add tomato paste, water, salt and pepper. This will be your sauce that you will add to the layered eggplant in the baking pan. Boil the sauce for about five minutes. It will continue cooking when you bake it with the eggplants.Pour the sauce mixture over the layered eggplants in the baking dish and spread evenly. Top with diced or sliced tomato.Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes in a 350-400 Fahrenheit degree oven (depending on your oven temperature) until the edges are turning brown and the tomato sauce looks and smells cooked!
Remove the foil the last 5-10 minutes to brown the top.Serve hot or at room temperature with white rice on the side.
Musakkaa on Foodista

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Home Made Pizza Dough- عجينة بيتزا



- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 ¼ cup Water (more or less)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat the dough
Dough preparation:
-Mix flour with salt
-Mix the yeast with lukewarm water and leave on the side until it bubbles up
-Add the yeast to the flour mix. Mix gently with hand or fork for few minutes. Add water little at a time if needed. You want your dough to be soft.
-Set the dough aside in a warm place and cover with a towel. Let it rise for couple of hours.

To prepare your pizza:
-Spread dough evenly in a greased baking pan.
-Spread tomato paste on top of the dough. I do not cook it, I use it straight -out of the carton.
-Sprinkle some dry oregano and basil on top of it, you may also sprinkle garlic powder
-Add any kind of toppings you like such as vegetables or meats and top with mozzarella cheese
-Leave the pizza pan out on the counter for at least half an hour before baking, this allows the dough to rise some more and you will end up with fluffy dough.
-Bake in a 450 degree Fahrenheit oven for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the top looks done.
Serve hot and enjoy!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Poor Man’s Dish, Mujaddara! المجدره -المدردره

Mujaddara has always been considered poor man’s dish throughout the ages in the Middle East but currently it is considered a very healthy dish that provides a balanced healthy meal , with healthy fat, protein and carbohydrates. This dish is a very flavorful dish.
This dish goes by many names, In Palestine, Jordan and Syria it is called Mujaddara, and in Lebanon it is called Mudardara, while in Egypt it is called Kushari, a very similar recipe with addition of pasta and hot sauce to the dish. No matter what you name it, it is a very tasty recipe served hot or cold with small cut salad consist of tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.

Mujaddara ingredients:
- 2 cups already cooked Rice
-1 cup brown Lentils
-Two to four onions, diced or cut into slices
- Oil for frying the onions
- 2 tablespoons Cumin
-Salt, Black pepper to taste

- Wash and boil brown lentils until they are tender. Drain.
- Caramelize the onions by simmering them with cooking oil on medium heat. They will take a while to turn into that desired golden brown color. They burn easy if you turn your head away from it, so keep an eye on them!! You may increase the amount of the caramelized onions to garnish your dish with.
-Add the lentils to the onion and oil mix stir around for couple of minutes then add the rice.
-My personal recipe consists of using already cooked rice, or leftover rice. From my own experience, I found out that the rice and lentils both will keep their shape avoiding having lumps in the dish or having it to be too wet.
Top with the previously reserved caramelized onions.
Plate the Mujaddara and top with caramelized onions if desired. Serve hot next to simple peasant salad which includes small cut tomatoes and cucumber dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. You may serve it next to plain yogurt too.

An update for the recipe, how to turn it into a Kushari dish, cook the rice and lentils as the above directions. Set aside. For the sauce and the pasta you need to do the following:
-1 cup uncooked pasta (small shells or elbow macaroni is best)
-2 large onions

-diced 4 clov
es garlic, minced
-2 tablespoons
-1 can chopped tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
-1/4 teaspoon crushed
red chili pepper flakes (or more to taste)

- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
salt and black pepper

- A can of chickpeas 
- A cup of cooked lentils to be served on the side
-Cook the macaroni in a separate pot
-Rinse and strain when done.
-Meanwhile, fry the onions and garlic in the oil until golden.
-Add the tomatoes, chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste and let it bubble for 10-20 minutes or until thickened and sauce like. Add the white vinegar. 
-You can now smooth out the sauce in a food processor until smooth or just leave as is.
-Plate your Mujaddara and add the macaroni on top .
-Top with tomato sauce.
-Sprinkle with more hot chili powder or salt and pepper, if desired. You may garnish with chickpeas and fried onions on top.

طبق المجدرة من المأكولات الشهية و الشعبيه, ويفضلها الكثير عن الأطباق الدسمة والمتعبه. وربما كانت في الماضي من ألأكلات المفضله للفقراء لقلة تكلفتها و لكنها اصبحت أكله مفضله للأغنياء ايضا لقيمتها الغذائيه الكبيره و الغنيه بالبروبينات و المعادن. وصفة المجدره في فلسطين, ألأردن , سوريه تسمى بأسم المجدره بينما في بعض المناطق بلبنان تمسى بألمدردره و في مصر هي ألأكله ألأكثر شعبيه بعد الفول المدمس و تسمى الكشري. هناك طرق عديده لتحضير هذه الوصفه و يعتمد ذلك على المنطقه, المواد المستعمله فيها و البهارات المضافه,بألأضافه الى ألرز, في بلاد الشام تُحضّر بالعدس و البرغل مما يزيد من قيمتها الغذائيه العاليه لكن لايهم بأي طريقه ستحضّر هذه الوصفه, النتائج النهائيه تكون بأنها طبق لذيذ و مفيد خصوصا اذا قدمت مع السلطه الخضراء الناعمه أو اللبن الرايب.
وفيما يلي وصف كامل للمقادير وطريقة التحضير:

كأس كبيرة من العدس الأسود غير المطحون
كأسين اثنين كبيرتين من الأرز المصري أو ألبرغل, حسب الرغبه
مقدار فنجان قهوة من زيت الذرة اوزيت دوّار الشمس
بصلة واحدة مفرومه
ملح الطعام حسب الذوق
ملعقه كبيره كمون
يسلق العدس حتى ينضج
بالوصفه العاديه لتفلفل الأرز يطبخ الأرز
يخلط العدس والأرز معاً مع التحريك البسيط
تقلي البصلة بزيت الذرة ويضاف الزيت فوق الأرز والعدس وهما ساخنان
تخلط جميع المقادير بخفة للمحافظة على شكل الأرز والعدس
تسكب المجدرة بالصحن مع وضع البصلة المقليه فوقها
يتم تقديم هذا الطبق ساخناً مع سلطة الطماطم والخضار
وكذلك اللبن الزبادي

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Chocolate Covered Almonds

1 pound milk chocolate
1 pound raw almonds with the skins
Fill a small pot a 1/3 way with hot tap water and bring to a boil over high heat. Break the chocolate into chunks and melt over low heat in the top of a double boiler, stirring frequently, slowly and constantly. When the chocolate melts, add the almonds and stir to cover . Line a tray with plastic wrap; you may use Parchment paper for better results. Spoon your chocolate and almond pieces on it. Freeze for 15 minutes then store them in the fridge for another 30. Peel off the paper and place in a platter or a box. Do not put on top of each other.

Monday, December 3, 2007

ملفوف محشي بالرز و اللحمه المفرومه- Stuffed Cabbage , Malfouf

This Malfouf recipe is dedicated to beverly555 .

-1 Medium Cabbage
-1 ½ cups ground beef or ground lamb
-1 medium diced onion
- 1 cup short grain rice
- Garlic, you need few whole garlic cloves peeled and some minced. But using garlic is always ptional, you may use whole head of garlic with the peel in between the layers
- 2 to 3 teaspoons of the following spices: Cumin, Caraway, Coriander, Cinnamon, Salt and Black Pepper. You may use all the above spices or omit whichever you do not like.
-Cooking oil
-1 cup Lemon juice
-1 cup water or as needed


-Wash and drain rice
-Mix up the ground meat, diced onions and rice; add cooking oil and the spices (Cumin, Caraway, Coriander, Salt and Black Pepper) set aside.
-Prepare your cabbage leaves by separating the leaves from the cabbage head. Cut away stems, save them and use them at the bottom of the pot.
-Boil the leaves a few at a time in boiling salted water until they are soft enough to roll.
-Prepare stuffing of meat, rice, salt, pepper and the above spices
-Cut the leaves to form a cigar size roll. Place stuffing on each leaf, fold sides toward center and roll up from bottom into a cigar shape (similar with stuffed vine leaves). Do not over stuff; make sure that you have space for the rice to expand inside the cabbage rolls.
-Press together firmly. Place layer of the saved stems
-Place the whole garlic heads in between the rolled Malfouf.
-Sprinkle with salt, caraway and cumin in between layers. Add water, boil then simmer for an hour to an hour and a half. Half way through the cooking time add crushed garlic on top. Let simmer. Simmer gently until rice is tender in barely enough water to cover. Invert your pot in a platter
-You may serve this dish hot or at room temperature, depends on your personal taste.

Malfouf- Stuffed Cabbage