Jul 13 2011

Taking a break :)

Hey dear friends,
I will be taking a break from blogging for a while, I”m kicking my job search into high gear, the process as you might know is frustrating now , but I’m trying to stay focused. Please wish me luck, I’ll be in touch soon blogging about some fabulous LC food.


Jun 30 2011

Parsley and Onion Ijjeh with Cumin

Ijjeh is a Middle Eastern omelet dish often created with vegetables and various herbs.  This one is very basic yet has bold cumin flavor and is very satisfying.  Though this is considered a breakfast dish, it can be consumed for any meal.  It is a dinner favorite of mine.

Parsley and Onion Ijjeh with Cumin
Inspired from “Ashkain’s Saudi Cooking ” by Ashkain’s Skipwith

8 large eggs
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 bunch parsley, stems removed, washed and finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

In a mixing bowl break eggs and mix well together.  Add chopped parsley, cumin, chili, salt, pepper and mix well.  In a large saute pan add 2 Tb olive oil and diced onions and saute until lightly browned.  Add egg and parsley mixture and mix well.  Cover and cook 7-10 minutes on medium heat.  Flip on the other side to finish cooking.  Allow to rest briefly then cut into sections and serve.  I usually love eating this with a little mayo and some sliced cucumbers.


Jun 29 2011

Chermoula Oven Roasted Green beans with Cumin Kissed Fish

 

Chermoula is a Moroccan sauce and marinade that is quite versatile and mainly used for fish.  But I decided to play with it and see how it would work on vegetables.  I had about 1/3 cup of it left over from last week which I had sitting in the fridge.  The results were simply amazing.  This is by far my favorite way of fixing oven roasted green beans which are a staple in my LC diet.

Chermoula Sauce and Marinade
Inspired from “The New book of Middle Eastern Food” By Claudia Roden

1.5 cups firmly packed parsley, stems removed and washed
8 cloves garlic, whole
2 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp paprika
1/2-1 tsp chili powder
2 lemons, juiced
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt to taste

In a food processor add the above ingredients and puree into a smooth paste.  Set aside 1/3 cup for the green beans and refrigerate the rest.  The sauce keeps really well for at least a week.

 

Chermoula Oven roasted Green beans
2 lbs frozen green beans
1/3 cup Chermoula Sauce
salt and pepper to taste

heat oven to 350 degrees
In a large roasting pan, add the above ingredients and mix well together.  Roast uncovered in the oven for 45-55 minutes tossing occasionally until beans are browned.  Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.  Transfer to a serving plate.

Cumin Kissed Fish
6 fillets tilapia, cat fish or any firm white fish you have (about 2 lbs)
1 Tb ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for brushing and frying

Pat dry you fillets then brush them lightly with olive oil.  In a bowl mix coriander and cumin and season the fish to your liking.  I love the flavor and aroma of coriander and cumin, so I used the whole rub.  Add salt and pepper to taste then pan fry on medium high heat.  My fillets took about 3 minutes on each side, they were nicely browned and done.  Transfer to a serving plate and serve with Chermoula oven roasted green beans.


Jun 27 2011

Khaliji Burgers, Avocado Roasted Pepper Dip & Herb Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing

Khaliji Spice Mix (Arab Gulf Spice Mix)
From: Classic Vegetarian Cooking by Habeeb Salloum

4 Tb ground Cumin
4 Tb black pepper
4 Tb ground coriander
1 Tb cinnamon
1 TB ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground mace

In a bowl mix together the above ingredients and store in a spice jar.  I used the same spice mix  a while ago to make chicken burgers and they turned out great.  This mix works really well for beef burgers as well.

Khaliji Burgers
2 lbs ground beef (I used 1 lb ground chuck with 1 lb ground sirloin)
1 small tomato, finely grated
1/2 small onion, finely grated
2 TB Khaliji spice mix
Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil for frying

In a bowl, mix the above ingredients except olive oil together and let it sit in the fridge for 1/2 an hour.  When ready form the mixture into balls, 5-6 oz each and flatten into a round patty.  In a large frying pan, heat  2 TB olive oil on Medium high heat, add the burger patties and cook for a few minutes on each side.  Mine took 3 minutes and were nicely browned and done.  Transfer to a serving plate.

Avocado Roasted Pepper Dip or Spread
2 avocados, peeled and seed removed
1 red bell pepper, cut in half, core and stem removed
1 bulb garlic, cut in half crosswise
1/4 cup loosely packed parsley, washed and stems removed
2 TB tahini, well stirred
6-8 Tb Lemon juice to taste
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees
In a small roasting pan lined with aluminum foil, add bell pepper and garlic, add 2 TB olive oil, salt and cover with aluminum foil.  Roast in the oven for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes then remove the foil.  Remove the skin of the roasted bell pepper and transfer the flesh to a food processor.  Take 1/2 of the roasted garlic and add the roasted cloves to the food processor.  Add avocados, parsley, tahini and lemon juice and puree lightly in the food processor.  Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Herb Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing
5 bunches parsley, stems removed, washed and finely chopped
1 English cucumber, small dice
2 bell pepper, 1 orange and 1 yellow, finely diced
1/2 small onion, finely diced
salt and pepper to taste

Roasted Garlic Dressing
1/2 bulb roasted garlic (left over from the roasted garlic for the avocado dip)
3-4 TB olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a small mixer add the dressing ingredients together and puree.  In a salad bowl, add parsley, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and roasted garlic dressing.  Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sometimes I prefer to eat my burger patties with a side salad and its a satisfying meal.  If you want to make a burger, use any LC bread or oopsie roll, spread with avocado dip, add burger and serve with the herb salad.


Jun 22 2011

Chermoula Marinated fish with Roasted Cauliflower Parsley Salad

Chermoula is a Moroccan sauce and marinade that is very versatile, not to mention very yummy.  I used it before to flavor grilled chicken livers and it was amazingly flavorful.  I wanted to try it with fish and it didn’t disappoint.  The parsley salad was inspired by the flavors of the chermoula sauce, but worked with what ever vegetables I had on hand and the salad is another winner.

Chermoula Marinated Fish
Inspired from “The New book of Middle Eastern Food” By Claudia Roden

4 Lbs Swai fish fillets or any firm white fish
1.5 cups firmly packed parsley, stems removed and washed
8 cloves garlic, whole
2 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp paprika
1/2-1 tsp chili powder
2 lemons, juiced
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt to taste

In a food processor add all the ingredients except the fish and process until a smooth paste is created.  In a large bowl add the fish, salt and the marinade and let sit for 2 hours in the fridge.  When ready, heat your grill and cook the fish for a few minutes on each side.  Mine took about 4 minutes on each side to crisp up.  Transfer to a serving dish.  If you have any of the marinade left over, I had about 1/3 cup remaining, transfer to a frying pan and cook lightly until garlic is browned then pour over the fish.  You can Also keep the marinade in the fridge and use in a couple of days to flavor your seafood.

I’m on a parsley salad kick lately.  I’ve been creating all sorts of different salad recipes and have been pleasantly surprised at how versatile and delicious parsley can be with different vegetable combinations.  Hope you like this one.

Roasted Cauliflower Parsley Salad
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
4 large bunches parsley, stems removed, washed and finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 lemons, juiced
2 garlic cloves, grated
6 Tb olive oil, divided
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a roasting pan mix together cauliflower florets, 2 TB olive oil, Salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 1 hour tossing occasionally.  When done, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before adding it to the salad.
In a salad bowl add chopped parsley, roasted cauliflower, tomatoes, onion, lemon juice, garlic, 4 TB olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper and mix well.  Give it a taste and add more salt or lemon juice to suit your taste.  Serve with Chermoula marinated Fish.

 

 

 

 

 


Jun 15 2011

Curried cauliflower chicken burgers with Parsley cucumber salad

Curried Cauliflower Chicken Burgers
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 head cauliflower, finely chopped
3 TB olive oil
1/2 cup water
3 tsp curry powder, divided
2.5 lbs ground chicken
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a saute pan, heat 3 TB olive oil and saute chopped onions until they start to caramelize.  Add cauliflower and 1/2 cup water and cook covered for 10-15 minutes until cauliflower softens.  Remove cover, add 2 tsp of the curry powder and allow mixture to caramelize for  2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  In a mixing bowl add the ground chicken, remaining 1 tsp of curry powder, nutmeg, cloves, salt, pepper and curried cauliflower mixture.  Mix very well together and allow the flavors to set while you prepare the salad.
To cook your burger, form into 4-6 oz balls then flatten.  If the mixture is sticky, add olive oil to your hands and work with the ground chicken mixture.  Heat frying pan on medium high heat, add olive oil and cook your burger for 3-4 minutes on each side depending on the thickness.  Remove and set on a serving plate.

Parsley Cucumber Salad
5 bunches parsley, stems removed, washed and finely chopped
2 English cucumbers, finely diced
3 scallions, finely chopped
1-2 avocados, chopped
3 lemons, juiced
3 sprigs mint (optional)
3 TB olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a salad bowl mix the above ingredients together and serve immediately with Curried Cauliflower chicken burger.


Jun 12 2011

Roasted Eggplant and Chicken in spiced Tomato Sauce

Roasted Eggplant
2 Large Eggplants, about 2.5 lbs
olive oil for roasting
Salt to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees
Peel eggplants and cut them lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices.  On the bottom of a roasting pan add 1/4 cup olive oil and brush it evenly to coat the pan.  Line the eggplant slices and brush with some more olive oil. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes until nicely browned.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt.  Allow to rest until you’re ready to build your dish.

 

Tomato Sauce
Inspired from “Vegetarian Dishes from across the ME” by Arto der Haroutunian
3 (14.5) cans of diced tomato, pureed
8 large garlic cloves, slivered
2 TB olive oil
Salt to taste

Spice Mix
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 nutmeg
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 to 1 tsp chili powder

In a zip lock bag, mix the above ingredients together and reserve 1.5 tsp of it to use on the Tomato sauce.  Store the rest in a jar. 
To make the sauce, heat olive oil in a large sauce pot and brown garlic slightly.  Add pureed tomatoes and 1.5 tsp of spice mix and mix well.  Cover and let it simmer for 20 minutes.  Add salt to taste. 

 

Ground Chicken
2.5 lbs ground chicken
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, pressed
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
pinch nutmeg
Salt to taste
2 Tb olive oil

In a large saute pan, heat 2 Tb olive oil on medium high heat and saute onions and garlic until they start to brown.  Add the chicken and spices and mix very well.  Allow the chicken to cook, mixing frequently for 15-20 minutes.  The liquid will start to cook down and the chicken mixture will brown.  Remove from heat and mix in the tomato sauce

To build your dish
In a large casserole, line the bottom with eggplant slices, then add the ground chicken mixture, then repeat the layers.  You can add feta cheese on top if you can have dairy and bake in the oven uncovered for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts if desired.  This dish is very yummy the next day when all the flavors have married, so if you can wait, prepare it a day in advance.