Saturday, February 13, 2010

Baba Ghannouj (Eggplant Dip)

Recipe adapted from "Aramco World" magazine March - April 1988

2 large eggplant (aubergine) I used 3 Japanese eggplants

2 or 3 cloves of garlic

60 milliliters (3 oz., 4 Tbs.) tahina

60 milliliters (2 oz., 4 Tbs.) lemon juice
1/2 t ground cumin

salt, red pepper

olive oil

chopped parsley

slices of red bell pepper or parsley to garnish

Cook the eggplant in a hot oven or on a fork over the flame of a gas stove. When it is well cooked through and the skin is blackened, douse with cold water, peel and chop into small pieces. Mash two or three cloves of garlic to a paste with about the same volume of salt. Add eggplant, mash to a smooth consistency and blend the tahina, cumin and lemon juice to make the Arab version of this dish; omit the tahina for the Turkish version. Serve in a bowl with little olive oil on top and garnish with chopped parsley, red pepper slices and a dusting of red pepper. Serves five.


From “The New Book of Middle Eastern Food” by Claudia Roden

Y: 4

4 boned and skinned chicken quarters or breast

4 T extra virgin olive oil

2-4 clove garlic crushed

Juice of ½ lemon (I used chopped preserved lemons)

S&P to taste

Optional Garnishes

4 T chopped flat leaf parsley

1 lemon quartered

1 medium red onions finely sliced

2 t sumac

Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces.
Mix oil, garlic, lemon juice, S&P and marinate chicken for ½ hour or longer.
Thread onto skewers and grill or broil until lightly browned, turning skewers over once and brushing with the marinade.
Serve on bed of parsley w/ lemon wedges and sliced onions. Sprinkle with sumac.


Turkish Shish Taouk = puree following ingredients as marinade
1 onion, 4 T olive oil, 1 t cinnamon and S&P.

Moroccan= ¼ t ginger, 1 t paprika, a good pinch of ground chili pepper, salt mixed w/ 4 T olive oil. Served with chopped cilantro.

Iranian= 4 T melted butter mixed w/ ¼ t saffron , juice of ½ lemon and salt.

Matcha Glazed Butter Cookies

1 C sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter
3 ½ C flour
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
¼ t salt
¼ C milk**
½ T vinegar**
2 large eggs

**You may use buttermilk, omit the vinegar
Green Tea Glaze Ingredients:

You may adjust the measurements if you want a thicker glaze.

1 C Powdered Sugar
1 T Green Tea Powder (Matcha tea)
2 T Milk

1. Cream butter and sugar
2. Add eggs one at a time
3. Add buttermilk or milk and vinegar mix
4. Add the rest of the ingredients.
5. Mix until dough is well mixed and smooth.
6. Roll dough; use a heart cookie cutter or any shape you want.*
7. Place cookies on ungreased baking sheets.
7. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F until they start to brown on the bottom.
8. Let the cookies cool then start putting the green tea glaze.

*I made little heart indentions in the middle of the cut out cookies to make it us my guide for the glaze.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chinese Peanut Cookies

1 lb unsalted roasted peanuts **
1 cup powdered sugar
3 1/2 cup self rising flour
1 tsp. salt
2 cups canoloa oil

1. Grind the roasted peanuts until fine.
2. In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt then add in the peanuts. At this point, mix everything by hands.
3. Start adding the oil little by little until the mixture will turn into a smooth dough.
4. Start forming small balls about 1 1/2 in diameter. I used a melon baller to achieve a uniform size. Line them on a baking sheet, and use a straw to make indentions on each cookies. Brush each cookies with eggwash.
5. Bake in the  preheated oven at 375 F for 15 minutes or until brown.

***Since i used raw peanuts w/ skin, i had to do extra steps before i started grinding the peanuts.
1. I roasted the peanuts, stirring occasionally to avoid the peanuts to burn.
2. Let it cool and put the roasted peanuts in batches on a towel, then start rubbing to loosen the skins.

*** I recommend the store bought unsalted roasted peanuts to save you some time=;)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I was lucky to get a hold of this special cast iron pan a couple of years ago. I actually was on a hunt for this kind of pan for a long time, so i can make takoyaki w/c i have made, click HERE for the recipe. I bought this pan from the Asian store.

Little did i know that this pan could also be used for something else aside from the Japanese Takoyaki. Thanks to  "AS SEEN ON TV" and QVC..i saw this pan used for Aebleskiver . What a bargain!!! i bought mine for $8 as opposed to $25 and $40.

Since then i've been using this pan for both, but more for the aebleskiver. I have two kinds of recipe for my aebleskiver, both from scratch, literally made the pancake batter from scratch and the other one, i scratch a box of buttermilk pancake mix box ha!ha!ha! I tend to do the box lately especially when i'm busy and i have the cravings fixed fast!

If you decide to use the pre-mix just follow the box instructions to make the batter and continue to step 3. 4, 5, 6.

Here's my recipe from scratch:

Aebleskiver Pancakes balls:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking.

1. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, and set aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, vanilla and butter. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Combine the yolk mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until well blended. The batter will be a little lumpy. Gently fold in the egg whites in two additions.

3. Heat your aebleskiver pan over medium heat and brush each well with melted butter. Pour batter enough to cover and fill well to the top. Add ½ teaspoon of dulce de leche or peanut butter.

4. Cook for at least 2 minutes or until the edges of each “balls” begin to brown and pull away from the sides.

5. Lightly run a skewer around the edge of each ball to loosen, and then gingerly and quickly flip each balls over making sure all the batter gets in to the holes and you’ll end up w/ a pancake ball. Continue cooking until golden brown,

6. Remove the aebleskiver to a plate, I like mine drizzled with maple syrup or chocolate syrup. You can also dust them w/ powdered sugar.

Dulce de leche, oozing..drizzled with maple syrup.

Dusted with powdered sugar

Drizzled with chocolate syrup