Posts filed under ‘Middle Eastern’

Baba Ganoush


1 eggplant
1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch cumin
pinch cayenne

Preheat oven to 400°F

Cut the eggplant in half
sprinkle with salt
roast in hot oven for 20-30 minutes

With a spoon remove the roasted flesh from the skin
put in a food processor
add the rest of the ingredients
pulse until almost smooth
season to taste

January 28, 2018 at 9:40 pm 2 comments

Halvah – A small batch


More adventures in candy making.
My mother’s really going to kill me for this one. She absolutely adores halvah. Good thing it’s a small batch. =)

1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup of tahini paste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
candy thermometer
metal loaf pan, greased and lined with parchment

Pour sugar into a heavy sauce pan
pour the water over the sugar, don’t stir
bring to a boil over high heat
using the thermometer bring to a temperature of 260°F

Pour the tahini and vanilla into a microwave-safe bowl
zap for a minute or so just before the sugar syrup is ready
temperature of the tahini needs should be 100 – 110°F

Add the warmed tahini to the sugar syrup
remove from heat
mix well until incorporated
pour into the prepared loaf pan
even out the mixture quickly with a heatproof utensil before it begins to set up

Allow to rest and cool in the pan for a minumum of 12 hours at room temperature

May 7, 2017 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

Chicken Shawarma – A small batch


2 chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon dry ginger
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon prepared curry powder
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon granulated onion
pinch of red pepper
pinch of cinnamon
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons plain yogurt

Mix all these ingredients together
toss until chicken is well coated
allow to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes

Saute in a very hot and well oiled pan, until well browned

2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons yogurt
salt and pepper

Serve with sauce and assorted veggies in a warmed pita, or on a bed of lettuce

Entire dish, no pita = 6 carbs

June 17, 2016 at 3:25 pm Leave a comment

Falafel – A small batch


1 cup dry chickpeas or garbanzo beans, soaked overnight *
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tahini
oil, for frying

Combine all ingredients listed, except the oil, in a food processor, until a paste is formed

Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour before forming patties
(These are traditionally formed into balls and deep fried. If you follow my blog, you know I don’t deep fry. So, form these into small patties and shallow fry until golden brown.)

Tahini Sauce
1/4 cup tahini
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 – 4 tablespoons water (add 1 at a time, you may not need it all to get the desired consistency)

Combine, mix well, and set aside

Build your sandwich by adding 3 or 4 falafel patties, your favorite assortment of veggies, and the tahini sauce to a freshly baked pita.

*Note: I’ve used canned beans for years with this recipe. But recently, every time I attempted it, the falafel would virtually melt away while frying. After a bit of research, it seems reconstituted dried beans are the answer. I don’t know what’s changed, but there you go.

September 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm Leave a comment

Pita – A small batch


1 1/2 cups flour (plus more for rolling out dough)
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon honey or sugar
pinch salt
3/4 cup warm water

Preheat oven to 500° F

Mix all the ingredients together
dump dough onto well-floured counter
knead for 10 minutes

Divide into six even pieces
roll each piece into flat disk (the dough is sticky, flour as needed)*
place on well-oiled sheet pan or parchment paper
cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 45 minutes

Bake for 10-12 minutes

* Do not over roll the pita breads. You need a very light touch so as to not over work the dough, to insure that the bread puffs, and forms the classic pita pocket.

September 29, 2013 at 10:33 am Leave a comment

Turkish Delights

Aka Lokum, a candy that originated in Turkey in the 1700’s. Many of us were introduced to the candy while reading “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” by C.S Lewis. The White Witch tempts Edmund, with Turkish Delight. I love these and indulge when ever I find them. They are a sophisticated, subtly-flavored gummi treat.

I guess I’d have to call this a cheaters version, not that anything about candy making is easy or simple. This was my third attempt, and I can happily report a success. This recipe uses gelatin, not the traditional use of sugar brought to the firm/hard ball stage, as the solidifier.

3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flavored extract (citrus, rose, or nut are traditional)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
pinch of salt
chopped nuts (optional)
food coloring (optional)

Mix gelatin, sugar and salt in a large heavy pot (I use a larger pot because the sugar/water mixture will expand and can overflow in a smaller sized pan)
add water (do not stir, just let the sugar melt into the water)
bring to a slow boil, and then simmer without stirring for 15 minutes
remove from heat, stir in juice, flavoring, coloring, and/or nuts
pour into an oiled 8-inch square pan

Cover with plastic wrap and chill well, even overnight

Invert onto cutting board, and cut into approximately 1 1/2 inch squares
toss in confectioners’ sugar, coating well
once coated, let the sugar get a little hard or crunchy, before putting them away

Store in an air-tight container

April 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm Leave a comment

Chicken Tagine – A small batch

aka Tajine, a dish from North Africa, that is named after the earthenware pot in which it is traditionally cooked.

oil for sautéing
1 clove garlic, grated
1 chicken breasts, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 carrots, sliced (or any vegetable you like)
6 or so pitted prunes, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup chicken stock, or water
salt and pepper

Spice blend
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
a pinch of cinnamon

All measurements are approximations

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot
season meat with salt and pepper
brown chicken
add onions, carrots, and garlic, cook until somewhat browned
add spice blend, stir and heat through
add stock or water
add prunes and raisins, stir
cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for approximately 10 minutes

Season to taste and serve over a bed of prepared couscous, with a condiment of chutney or harissa.

I’m certain an all-vegetable version would be delicious and well worth the effort. One day I’ll give it a go.

April 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm Leave a comment

Eggplant Salad

aka Eggplant Caviar

1 eggplant
1 clove garlic, grated
3 tablespoons Italian salad dressing
salt and pepper
a squeeze of lemon juice

Cut the top off the eggplant and slice in half, length wise
place cut side down on a baking sheet
roast 40-45 minutes at 400°
when tender, remove from oven, and let cool
when you can handle the eggplant, scrape flesh out with a spoon
pulse in a food processor until desired texture is achieved
mix in lemon juice, garlic, and dressing
salt and pepper to taste

May 28, 2011 at 9:58 am Leave a comment

Moroccan Chicken with Couscous – A small batch


4 chicken thighs, bone in and skinless
2 carrots, quartered and cut into 2 inch lengths (or a generous cup of baby carrots)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, quartered and cut into 2 inch lengths
1 small turnip, peeled and cut into chunks (or a cup of frozen) optional
1 rib celery, sliced, optional
1  14 ounce diced tomatoes
1  8 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or half a large can)
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
chili powder to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Couscous, 2 servings prepared

Prepare the couscous for two servings per the directions and set aside

In a large pot, combine everything but the zucchini and couscous
stir well
bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes
add zucchini and cook for an additional 15 minutes

This recipe can easily be doubled by using 8 thighs, adding 1/2 cup water, and using an entire large can of chickpeas

This recipe was inspired by one done on Martha Stewart’s Everyday Foods TV show. It’s been reduced to a small batch, since the cooked veggies don’t hold up well to freezing and reheating.

January 18, 2011 at 12:48 am Leave a comment

Hummus – a small batch

with tahini
1 eight ounce can of chick peas, drained
3 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
splash of olive oil (optional)

In a blender add chick peas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste

Add water as necessary to loosen up while blending

Can easily be made with 1 fourteen ounce can of chick peas, just increase the tahini to 1/4 cup

without tahini
1 eight ounce can of chick peas, drained
2 cloves garlic
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
1 soup spoon olive oil
1 soup spoon plain yogurt
splash of water

Throw all ingredients into a food processor and whiz away
use more water to thin to desired consistency, if necessary

July 13, 2010 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

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