Food

Maamoul Recipe

Maamoul cookies are the famous middle eastern shortbread pastries filled with dates or nuts. They are traditional at religious holidays in the Levantine region. And are made by hand or using special wooden molds to create different shapes – round like a ball, crescent form, shaped as a dome or flattened as a disc.

 

Ingredients
  • 3 cups farina (milled wheat flour/ can be found at middle eastern stores)
  • ½ cup All Purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup ghee, clarified butter (regular butter works too)
  • ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ½ cup lukewarm water
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
Filling
  • 3 cups dates, pitted
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil (other vegetable oils work)

 

 

Instructions
Filing
  1. Blend dates together in a food processor with spices and 1 tablespoon oil until smooth. Add orange blossom water. Roll 1 tablespoon dates into 24 small balls.
Dough
  1. In a small bowl, mix yeast in water and allow to stand for 3 minutes.
  2. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix together farina, AP flour, salt, sugar and butter.
  3. Add the yeast and water and milk to the bowl and mix until dough forms.
  4. Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Using mold, press dough into the center, place date ball in the center of the dough. Place a second smaller piece of dough over the top of the date, cover the filling.
  7. Tap the mold until the dough releases.
  8. Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. Enjoy
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Makrout Recipe

Makrout:

Makrout is a traditional North African semolina pastry. Also spelled Maqrout, Makroudh, Maqrut, Mqaret, Imqaret or Makroud. The word makrout in Arabic means “diamond shaped”, as are these small delights.

 

Ingredients
Makes: 3 to 4 dozen

  • 750g semolina (medium grain)
  • 120ml oil
  • 110g butter, melted
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • 100ml warm water, or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
  • oil, for frying
  • sesame seeds, to garnish (optional)

Filling

  • 500g ground almonds
  • 250g granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • 1 dash almond extract

Syrup

  • 500g honey
  • 3 tablespoons orange blossom water

 

Method
Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Extra time:8hr  ›  Ready in:9hr45min

  1. Mix the semolina, oil, butter and salt in a large bowl. Rub the grains of semolina between your fingers, so that all the grains are well coated. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside. Let it rest like this for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight. The mixture should be like wet, oily sand in the morning.
  2. The next morning, combine the warm water and orange blossom water. Slowly add to the semolina mixture along with the flour and vanilla sugar. Add just enough liquid till you have obtained a soft and homogeneous dough. Don’t overwork the dough, just enough to have a smooth and flexible dough that forms into a ball easily. Set aside.
  3. Make the filling by combining the almonds, sugar, vanilla sugar, cinnamon and almond extract. Form into 2 long logs. Set aside.
  4. Divide the semolina dough into 2 balls, then flatten to form a rectangle, about 3 times the width of your filling logs. Press down in the centre to form an indentation, then lay the filling log. Fold the semolina dough over the filling, pressing the edges together to seal. Roll the log out gently, shaping it around the filling and smoothing into a uniform shape. (Cut the logs in half if it is more manageable.)
  5. Cut each log into diagonal pieces, creating diamond-like shapes. Reshape the cut ends to have a nice uniform look. Repeat the steps until you have used all the dough.
  6. Set the makrout aside to rest, as you heat up a deep, heavy saucepan with oil – about three fingers deep. And in another pan, heat up the syrup ingredients to just below simmering, and keep warm.
  7. Once the oil is hot enough, fry the makroud in small batches till golden on all sides. Remove and drain on kitchen paper and continue frying till all makroud are cooked.
  8. After frying, dip the makrout in the hot honey syrup, keeping them in the syrup for about a minute. Remove and drain on wire racks. Repeat the process, adding each makroud to the syrup for a second soak. Remove and drain on wire racks, and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES RECIPE

Sometimes all you need is little sweetness in your life….

This is what I made last weekend, as it was raining with intervals and I was craving for something sweet.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (8 oz/226g) butter
  •  cups (7 1/2oz/212g) light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (6oz/170g) white granulated/caster sugar
  •  cups (12 1/2oz/354g) all-purpose flour/plain flour
  •  teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs*
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract , optional
  • 2 cups (12oz/340g) bittersweet chocolate chunks

 

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES RECIPE

 

  1. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl melt the butter. Add in both white and brown sugars and whisk vigorously for about 1 minute.
  3. Whisk in one egg to the sugar-butter mixture, stirring until it’s fully mixed in. Scrape the sides of the bowl with your spatula.
  4. Whisk in the second egg and the vanilla and scrape the sides of bowl again.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with the spatula to fully combine. Make sure you’ve scraped the bottom of the bowl and there are no streaks of dry ingredients left. Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough will be soft but DON’T add more flour. It needs to be chilled now to firm up.
  6. IMPORTANT NOTE: Chill the dough for a minimum of 1 hour. This will make it easier to scoop and you cookies will keep their shape better while baking. (This dough can be made and kept in the fridge for 7 days. The dough also freezes really well)
  7. Scoop 14 balls of cookie dough (1/4 cup/100g each) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave some space between the cookies as they spread out during baking.
  8. Bake the cookies at 375°F (190°C) for 12 minutes, or until the edges are set and the cookie is beginning to turn golden brown throughout, but still dough in the middle. It is really important you don’t over bake these cookies otherwise the won’t be soft in the middle.

  9. Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Store them at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Creamy Shrimp Pasta Recipe

Today was the day off from the office so I decided to try Creamy Shrimp Pasta Recipe, bought some ingredients from the market and this is what I end up with…..
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 500gm shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 250gm spaghetti or linguine, cooked and drained
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, shredded parmesan, and lemon wedges

 

Instructions
  1. In a medium sized skillet add the olive oil. Add the shrimp and garlic and cook over medium high heat until it is almost pink but not cooked completely.
  2. Add the heavy cream, chicken broth, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese and stir with shrimp until smooth. Let simmer for about 3-5 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the pasta and stir until the pasta is coated.
  3. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, shredded parmesan, and lemon wedges

Chocolate Tart Recipe

After a very long time I tried something sweet in the kitchen, thanks to my new job I hardly get any time to try something new or read any new book.
Ingredients
For the Crust
  • 2 cups Marie biscuits crumbs short bread, chocolate or any kind of cookie
  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
For Chocolate Filling
  • 14 ounces dark chocolate, cut into chunks – plus a handful for garnish I used 70% cocoa chips
  • 10 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 5 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Chocolate Tart
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 11′  tart pan with non stick spray.

  2. Crush biscuits into a fine consistency. You can used a food processor but I put them in a ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin.

  3. Combine crumbs with 7 tablespoons melted butter and 1/3 cup sugar. Press into tart pan.

  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Completely cool.

  5. Add chocolate chunks to large mixing bowl and top with 5 tablespoons cubed butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

  6. Heat the 10 ounces of heavy cream in microwave safe container for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.  (I just use my measuring cup).

  7. Pour over the chocolate and butter. Do not stir. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes.

  8. Using a wire whisk, mix until smooth.

  9. Pour into cooled biscuit crust and spread evenly with spatula.

  10. Cool for two hours in refrigerator or overnight.

  11. Brush top with 1 teaspoon1 vegetable oil for a shiny appearance if desired. Top with additional chopped chocolate, caramel sauce if desired.

Sicilian Pizza Recipe

I was bit bored with eating the usual shaped pizza, so last night I tried ‘Sicilian Pizza’. It came out quite delicious. Sharing the recipe which is enough for 8 people and it was ready in 45mins.
Sicilian Pizza

Sicilian Pizza in the oven

Ingredients
  • 2 packages (4-1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • ½ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 40-45 pepperonis
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
sicilian pizza slice
Method
  1. Coat an 18×13-inch sheet pan with ¼ cup olive oil and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast and sugar with the warm water. Allow to proof about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the flour and garlic salt and mix on low speed for a few minutes before slowly adding the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil. Mix until a smooth ball starts to form, about 5 minutes.
  4. Press dough evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°F. Once dough has risen to almost double in height, flatten the bottom and press the dough up the sides of the pan with your hands..
  6. Spread pizza sauce evenly over dough. Sprinkle sauce evenly with half the cheese and then all the pepperoni. Sprinkle pepperoni evenly with remaining cheese and then sprinkle the whole pizza.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust starts to brown and the cheese starts to bubble. Let set 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

 

deep dish pizza recipe

Deep Dish Pizza Recipe

It’s Eid al-Adha which means we have lots of meat, instead of doing BBQ on day 1 of Eid I decided to made Deep Dish Pizza cos Deep Dish Pizza at Sobremesa was total disappointment.

deep dish pizza

Pizza Crust

Crust

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2  tablespoons active dry yeast

3 tablespoons cornmeal

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons Butter

1 cup water

Sauce

2 tablespoons Butter

1 small (1/2 cup) onion, chopped

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic

1  can diced tomatoes, drained

1  can tomato sauce

1  can tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Toppings

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

500 grams Italian sausage, cooked, cooled, crumbled

18 to 24 slices pepperoni

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

deep dish pizza recipe

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 170ºF. Turn off oven.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, yeast, cornmeal, sugar and salt in bowl. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in saucepan. Add water; cook until mixture comes to 120-130ºF. Add to flour mixture; mix until just moistened. Add remaining 2 cups flour to form stiff dough.
  3. Knead dough on lightly floured surface 5-7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Spray inside of bowl with no-stick cooking spray. Place dough into bowl; turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap; place in oven. Let rise 30 minutes or until double in size.
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in saucepan over medium-low heat just until sizzling. Add onions; cook 4-5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; cook 1-2 minutes. Add all remaining sauce ingredients; cook until bubbles begun to form at surface. Remove from heat; set aside.
  5. Remove dough from oven. Heat oven to 450ºF.
  6. Punch down dough; divide in half. Roll each half into 11 inch circle on floured surface. Spray 2 (9-inch) spring form pans with no-stick cooking spray. Press dough into bottom and up sides of pans. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese over bottom of each pan. Layer each with half of sauce (about 1 1/4 cups); 9 to 12 pepperoni slices and half of Italian sausage. Top each with 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  7. Cover pans with aluminum foil; bake 30-40 minutes or until crust is browned. Uncover; bake 5-7 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Remove from oven; let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting. Remove sides of pans; cut each pizza into 8 slices.