Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fried rice for my SIL Naglaa

Yes, I know... not Egyptian... or Arab food but I promised to pass on my fried rice secrets to her and this way it is on the net any time she may need it.

3 cups cooked basmati rice cooled in the refrigerator ( very important that the rice is cold )
1 cup frozen diced carrot green pea mix
1 yellow onion
3 spoons full of vegetable or corn oil
1 maggy chicken cube dissolved in a few spoons of hot water
Soy sauce to taste
Garlic to taste

First dice the onion to medium pieces and fry in oil until they are light brown. Put the stove on medium heat  and add the rice to the pan and let it sit, don't sir it right away, push it down a bit and wait 2 minutes.
with a large spoon turn the rice over in the pan and let it set again 2 min, do this a few more times until your rice is starting to brown just a tiny bit.
Next add the carrots and pea mix, the maggy chicken cube, garlic and  the soy sauce.
mix everything up and cover the pan, turn the stove to low and let it cook 3-4 min or until the peas and carrots have warmed.

Perfect fried rice!

A little bit more then Egyptian....

So some of my Egyptian family, who I was lucky enough to see during my recent visit to Egypt for Ramadan want some of my recipes  and they obviously don't need the Arab foods, so I am going to add some of my American, Asian and Mexican recipes and branch out a tad. Hope you all enjoy!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


A classic Egyptian desert....
 1 package shredded fillo dough
3/4 a pound real butter
1 package cream cheese ( softened)
1 small container ricotta cheese
1 cup simple syrup
Additional fillings to taste. ( raspberry jam,lemon curd, Chocolate chips, nuts or it can just be the classic cheese)

preheat oven to 350f
In a food processor chop up the fillo dough until aprox 1/2 and inch in length while running pour in 3/4 of the butter ( melt it first) keep mixing until the butter is fully worked into the fillo dough.

butter a 9 inch round cake pan ( I use a 9 inch round casserole dish ) take a little over half the fillo dough and press into the bottom of the pan making sure it is well packed.

Mix the 2 cheese together and spread over top of the layer of fillo dough, on top of the cheese you can put a light layer of other fillings.

Next take remaining fillo dough and firmly pack over top the fillings taking care not to squish the fillings up the side of the pan.  You may not be able to get all of the fillo dough on top, sometimes i have a 1/2 cup or so left over, no biggie as long as there is at least a light layer you are fine.

Bake for 30 min or until the top browns once you remove from the over pour half of the syrup on top and run a knife around the sides. Allow to cool and set the place a plate on top the dish and flip.

Pour the remaining syrup over top if it is still steaming let it set a bit longer before you try to cut it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Butter cookies/ the best damn shortbread EVER

  1. 1 pound soft sweet cream butter
  2. 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  3. 1 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder.
    • Preheat oven to 350F
    • Cream together sugar vanilla salt and butter
    • Work flour into the mix 1 cup at a time.
    • Once dough is formed it can be rolled into a ball, make a depression in the middle fill with fruit preserves/jam, poppy seed pastry filling or rolled and cut into cookie bars and shapes.Bake until edges brown 10-12 min.  if the dough is to soft refrigerate until firmer. can be made ahead and frozen.

      I use this all the time for my holiday cookies, In Eid everyone wants them!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cashew Chicken

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups peanut oil for frying
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion for topping
  • 2 cups cashew halves

  1. Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch pieces. In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch. In another dish or bowl beat the eggs. Dip chicken pieces into flour mixture, then eggs, then flour mixture again. Heat peanut oil in a large skillet and deep fry coated chicken in hot oil for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  2. Meanwhile (while frying chicken), heat broth to boiling in a medium saucepan. Add oyster sauce, sugar, soy sauce and white pepper. Mix remaining 4 tablespoons cornstarch with a small amount of cold water in a cup. Stir cornstarch mixture slowly into broth mixture to thicken, then cook for another 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
  3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C). Heat cashew nuts and chopped green onions in preheated oven for about 5 minutes. Pour sauce over fried chicken and top with cashews and green onion. Serve with soy sauce to taste over a bed of fried rice, if desired.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

No alcohol Halal Tiramisu

Okay so I'm Muslim and we don't drink alcohol among other things and so we have to find work arounds for the yummy things we love.

If you can't find mascarpone cheese then you can use ricotta with 1/2 a cup whipping cream added to it.
I have done it both ways and it's amazing either way.

4 egg whites ( if you dont want to use raw egg then add 1 cup extra whipping cream)
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp instant coffee
2 cups mascarpone cheese
 1 1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup strong coffee, If you have an espresso maker use fresh espresso
a pinch of halal vanilla powder. If you can't find this then use a vanilla bean steeped in a 1/4 cup hot milk.
1 package lady fingers, you can also use Angel food cake, Chocolate cake, pound cake, what ever.

Make your coffee or espresso first as it will need to be warm to dissolve the sugar  in a bowl add 1/4 cup sugar to the hot coffee stir until dissolved and set aside.

Next take the egg whites, mascarpone cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar and beat together using a hand mixer until well blended, Do this in a large bowl because you will be adding the whipped cream to it.

Beat the whipped cream and instant coffee together until you have whipped cream, make sure you do not over beat it, we dont want coffee flavored butter.

Start to fold the whipped cream and cheese mixture together, take care not to be rough.

In a cake pan make a layer of lady fingers, dip them in the coffee and then place on the bottom of the pan, cover with a layer of the cheese and Whipped cream mixture and repeat. You should have enough for 1 or 2 more layers depending on the size of the pan.

You can use a spring form pan to make the classic looking Tiramisu,  just line the edges of the pan with lady fingers and then layer them with cream the same as you would in a normal pan, either way it tastes the same.
You can top it with dutch coco powder and chocolate shavings.
Refrigerate 8-12 hrs before serving.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A month with out high fructose corn syrup

2 days ago I watched the documentary "King Corn". It was very eye opening and disturbing all at the same time. I knew a lot about corn syrup, Monsanto and corn before hand but I didn't know how it was made. If you haven't seen King Corn, i highly recommend it. Netflix has it on it's "instant que".

So after thinking about it I have decided to go an entire month HFCS free, While recording the effects, struggles and outcome right here on my cooking blog. fitting right?
April 1st will be day 1, I took a look threw the frig and found a lot of items with HFCS that I don't want to jjust toss out and be wasteful, after all starving children in the world....

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Better than a Barista's iced coffee.

I have an expensive addiction to coffee. Recently I began playing around with making iced coffee, lattes and all kinds of caffeine laced goodies. The fallowing is way better than most iced coffee I have spent 6.00+ on.  You can play around with the syrups and coffee amounts according to how strong you want it.  I am using Nescafe because I like super strong coffee

4 tsp Nescafe or 1 cup strong chilled coffee.
2.5 tsp sugar
3stp flavored syrup ( in the coffee isle of most stores )
1/4 cup half and half.

Mix everything together until the Nescafe is dissolved and pour in an ice packed cup, top with milk and stir.

I don't recommend using the flavored creamers in the iced coffee, I use it in my hot coffee but for some reason it has a "cold fatty" taste to it in iced coffee. Stick to the syrups! There are lots of flavors to play with too, I got a coconut from Sam's and I love it! It docent have that over powered fake coconut taste, it's just right.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blue cheese and garlic steak butter.

3/4 cup unsalted sweet cream butter
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbled up.
1/4 cup of fresh chopped up garlic.
1 tsp rosemary.
1 chopped up bunch of fresh parsley.
Fresh ground black pepper.

It docent take a rocket scientist to make. Mashed everything into the room temperature butter until it is well mixed, it will never get smooth. Once everything has been incorporated it can be spooned over a nice warm steak. mmmm mmm good.  Left overs can be dolloped onto parchment paper and placed in the freeze until hard then transferred to a zip lock bag and kept in the freezer until the next time you make steaks. Will keep frozen for 6 months.

** Tip, Ice cube trays make perfect portion sizes for leftovers.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Basic hummus

You need a good food processor for hummus. I have tried with a crappy processor and it just didn't work right,.

What you will need.

2 cans of garbanzo beans (chick peas) ***or if you can find them dry 1 and a half cups soaked in water overnight.***
between 1 and 3 tbs Tahina or tahinni 
the juice of 1 fresh lemon
plain white vinegar to taste 
1/8 cup of water.
Salt to taste
1/4 cup of a really good extra virgin olive oil***

Okay after you have everything together ground the chick peas into submission! When you think "OH NO! I think I ground it up too much!" do it some more. Once you think they wont pulverize any further its time to move on.
If you haven't worked with tahina before you may be a bit freaked out when you open the car or jar and find a wretched looking oil floating on what seems to be a sesame seed brick.... trust me it's normal and will be like that every time you open it. Take a strong metal spoon and mix just one side of the can. There is no reason to fight the whole can when we only need a few table spoons. Once you have a light brown paste spoon out 3 tablespoons into the food processor. add in the lemon juice, olive oil and 1/8 of a cup of vinegar and blend again until its all mixed well.
Add the salt a few pinches at a time until you get it to the point you like it. Water can be added to think it up if it's to thick and extra vinegar or lemon juice can be add for more tang.

Hummus~~ An opening.

I LOVE hummus and it is a staple in out diets. Before my Egyptian hubby came along I didn't care for it much. Don't get me wrong it was okay but..... the store bought stuff just wasn't amazing. We eat it on turkey sandwiches in place of mayo, with kofta and sometimes with a spoon because with good hummus you don't need anything more than that =P

I can still remember my first bite of real hummus, fresh off the plane in Alexandria. Starving for anything that wasn't microwaved. We went to Hosny's just up the road from our flat in Muntaza. Once the appetizers were spread out on our table and warm fresh pita bread was dropped off I dove in and never came back!

I have many hummus recipes but I will start basic and work from there.