Felt rather tired today but personally I find keeping busy in the kitchen helps the time to pass quicker so I am happy to stay there making a few things.
Today there was Algerian shorba again, vegetarian as it was last time but this time with tiny Orzo pasta (or Tli-tli as the Algerians call it) instead of burghul or vermicelli. There were some leftovers as well as mini pizzas that came out soft as little pillows, vegetable samosas as I made a double batch yesterday and cheese and potato Borek. A tip for the potato borek that I picked up from my dear sister-in-law is to use instant potato! Yes… the powdered stuff in boxes – remember the adverts for Smash in the 1970’s or early 1980’s??! “For mash get Smash!” So, I used about 120g of Tesco instant potato and about 550ml of boiling water, stirred well with a wooden spoon and then added a knob of butter and about 150g grated cheddar. I used this to fill the spring roll pastry and folded into logs. I slightly over-cooked them as you can see in the photo. 🙄
Dessert was Eve’s pudding but made with strawberries and raspberries instead of apples – this was served with rich chocolate ganache. It didn’t turn out quite as planned because I took a shortcut and used a supermarket cake packet mixture which was a bit too runny for this recipe. It was very tasty though with the tart, tanginess of the raspberries and the soft, sweetness of the cake. I didn’t think it really needed the rich chocolate sauce but my 15 yr old and 13 yr old daughters disagreed. Nice to have pleased someone!
Another day, another fast and alhamdu lillah everyone got through the day in one piece! It was a bit of a cooking fest today – I made chicken noodle soup, vegetable samosas and cheese and garlic stuffed chicken breast slices and also cooked up some shop bought tortelloni. In addition of course, there was leftover couscous salad and tuna rolls.
The chicken rolls are very simple and require only a few ingredients.
2 large chicken breasts, thinly sliced
75g medium strength Cheddar cheese
1 cloves minced garlic
1 egg, beaten
The chicken breasts I used made 9 slices, the remaining bits of chicken I used for the chicken noodle soup.
Mix the cheese and garlic together and then divide between the chicken slices and roll. Dip in the egg and then the breadcrumbs and then hallow fry in a little oil until lightly golden. Bake in the oven at 190C until golden and cooked through (about 25-30 mins).
A bit later in the day I had a sudden urge to try making a chocolate sundae, all from scratch. Needless to say, it was a hit. Recipe to follow another day but it consisted of chocolate fudge brownie, raspberries, homemade chocolate mousse, homemade chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Chocolate heaven!
I have to add that making brownies AND mousse when fasting is torturous as you can’t lick the bowl out afterwards! 😯
Day 2 of Ramadan went well alhamdu Lillah with four of my children fasting: 15, 13, 10 and 7 year olds. My 4 year old decided at 11:30 to fast and she held out for two whole hours! I opted for a finger foods theme today. There was shorba already prepared that just needed to be reheated and to accompany, there were shop bought veggie samosas and shop bought onion bhajis (wasn’t able to buy samosa pastry to make my own samosa and borek until this afternoon), tuna rolls and cheese rolls, chicken nuggets and cous cous salad. No dessert today but there is always plenty of ice cream in the freezer for whoever has a sweet tooth!
For the cous cous salad, I cooked 1 cup of cous cous according to the microwave method mentioned here but omiting the final stage of adding ghee or butter. I left to cool and then added a good glug of Hellman’s French salad dressing then added chopped cherry tomatoes, olives, diced cucumber and 1 package of Apetina feta with garlic and green olives. (I normally add chopped sundried tomatoes too but have run out.) I mixed well and refrigerated.
1 cup dry cous cous
2 tbsp salad dressing
2 inches cucumber, diced
1 small tomato, diced or a few cherry tomatoes, quartered
For the little tuna rolls and cheese rolls – I drained 1 can of tuna in brine and set aside; beat 2 eggs with a splash of milk and set aside.
Next I took 10 slices of white bread, removed the crusts and rolled out flat with a rolling pin. I sprinkled the tuna over the bread, rolled up tightly and then dipped in the egg. The egg dipped rolls were then shallow fried in a few spoons of hot oil until crispy and golden. I made a further 4 slices of bread filled with cubed cheddar.
Like the mutabbel in the previous post this hummus was fantastically easy to make and there really is no excuse for buying it ready bought! I followed this recipe as a guide and will certainly make this again and again… and again! It’s delicious with almost anything dipped in it; bread, pizza, carrot sticks or other crudites, even french fries!
1 tin chick peas, drained
1/2 teaspoon or so of minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of salt (to taste)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Juice of half a lemon
Throw all the ingredients into the food processor and WHIZZZ!
I garnished mine with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of sumac.
We like to eat Syrian/Lebanese style food quite often but it’s something we always eat out at restaurants. I was really happy when I found this Syrian food blog recently and challenged myself to make some of the mezze we most enjoy. I chose to make Mutabbel, Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, Waraq Inab, and Fatayir. Apart from the Baba Ghanoush, everything was a roaring success and we actually preferred my mezze to those which we normally eat out.
I’ll start with the mutabbel today which was unbelievably easy and took less than 5 minutes to make. We had a barbeque a couple of days beforehand so I had already prepared the aubergines (eggplant) by grilling them on the barbeque for about 15 minutes and placing in a plastic tub with a lid until cooled and peeling off the blackened skin.
I started by roughly chopping 2 aubergines and then placing into a bowl with the tahina, yogurt, garlic paste and salt which I then mixed together well with a metal spoon. I then used the handheld stick blender to blend the ingredients roughly. The mutabbel should remain a little lumpy and rustic looking, it shouldn’t be smooth like hummus. Taste, and add more tahina, yogurt, garlic or salt as desired – it’s all down to personal taste, we personally don’t like the mutabbel to have too much tahina and we prefer not to drizzle olive oil over the top as is traditional.