Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

Oct 25 2010

Jajeek – recipe

Now, many of you may have heard of Tzatziki. It’s a delicious thick yogurty sauce usually containing cucumber and a combination of other ingredients. Jajeek is it’s more fluid counterpart.

Jajeek is fairly easy to make, what I find makes or breaks it is good yogurt. Please try to find one that is nice and creamy. It doesn’t have to be a thick Greek yogurt, just not a clumpy one.

And, what can you do with jajeek besides dipping your lamb in it or eating it straight from the container?? Well, it goes great mixed with rice, spread on bread, on gyros, with grilled meats, on a burger, with falaffel or meatballs …I could go one and one. It’s very versatile, and you can add as many other ingredients as you like such as bell pepper, mint, lemon juice, etc. The best part is that my children love it so very much. The baby shakes with excitement when he sees it, and I once watched my older son climb over the table, grab the bowl, and drink it all before we even sat down to eat. What can I say, it’s yummy!

You can find the original recipe here. Continue Reading »

No responses yet

Oct 22 2010

Cardamom Rice – recipe

I am so excited to share with you that I have made it to Round 6 in the Project Foodblog competition! I’m so thrilled that I think I may just blog the whole night long! Thank you all for your votes!

In challenge 3 we had to hold a luxurious dinner party, and, as I promised in that post, I would post all the recipes from that evening. Well, somewhere along the way a few weeks ago I left you at the main course. Now, it’s time to pick-up with the rest of the main course with the Cardamom Rice.

I searched for quite a while before I found this recipe, but when I found it, I knew it would be great. And, it was fantastic. Prior to this dish I had never used cardamom, and I was pleasantry surprised that it has a delicious, yet mild aroma. So many spices that I well loved in the middle east are quite intense and can be overwhelming to the unfamiliar palate. Cardamom is not one of these spices.

The dish is quite easy to prepare, and involves little prep work for such a fragrant dish. I goes well with lamb, but I imagine it would even go well with beef or pork roasts.

Just a word of warning! The grains in bastmati rice and very lose and it takes some practice with presentation.

The original recipe can be found here. Continue Reading »

One response so far

Oct 07 2010

lamb with roasted fig, cardamom rice, and jajeek – lamb recipe

Today we are moving onto the main course of my Iraqi dinner party. I will be breaking the dish up over three days so that each piece of the dish can have it’s time in the lime-light.

This post is all about the lamb – succulent, melt off the bone, is there more? lamb. The key to making such deliciously soft lamb is patience and cooking them in a rack. When you cook them individually, as I often enjoy doing, they come out a bit tougher – although still very flavorful.

When all my guests asked if they could use their hands to finish the little pieces of lamb left on the bone, I knew it was a hit. One of my friends commented on how it would be such a shame to let even the smallest piece go to waste, and I have to agree.

The daylight pictures are from the day after, and as you can see it looks a bit drier. And, while it was still soft ans delicious, it was no comparison to the night before. My husband was really able to pull this dish off perfectly. This, for your information, is the only dish that he actually cooked in the entire evening. The other dishes I had pre-prepared prior to the meals and he tastefully arranged them on our plates and served them to us. Oh, it was such a lovely evening – I wish you all could have been there.

Ok, back to the lamb. Bellow is the recipe, courtesy of bon apétit. To change the flavor up slightly, I left out the garlic and let the rack of lamb marinate for 2 days instead of just overnight: Continue Reading »

6 responses so far

Oct 06 2010

Pomegranate Soup – Shorbat Rumman – recipe

In the spirit of trying new foods for my Iraqi dinner party that I held last weekend, I made shorbat rumman (pomegranate soup).

This was the only course that left people saving the word “interesting” too many times to have it seem enjoyable. To be honest, I was quite disappointed by this soup. It ended up being over spiced, but not flavorful enough. I would definitely make some changes to this soup to have it fit my flavor palate.

Now, I’m not a big fan of cilantro (coriander), but I wanted to try the recipe in it’s entirety…although I had to leave the mint out because mint will dry up your milk if you are breast feeding. So, I left it as it was – the recipe called for 2 cups of chopped cilantro. It just sends chills down my spine to think of eating so much cilantro in one dish. Next time, I will just leave it out completely. If you are a cilantro-lover – like my mom – just leave it in and you will be happy. Also, in the second round of adding liquid – at the very end when the pomegranate juice comes into play, the original recipe calls for adding another 8 cups of water. I think this really ruined my soup’s flavor and made it taste so watery that I couldn’t save it by adding my of anything else. I would also add more salt to the meatballs.

Here is the original recipe. Has anyone ever made this or had it somewhere? What is it supposed to taste like? Continue Reading »

One response so far

Sep 24 2010

The Classics – Icelandic Fish Soup – Project Food Blog Challenge #2

When Foodbuzz asked us to pick a cuisine that was from another culture – and outside of our comfort zone – I had to think really hard.  First I had to think of where I have never traveled to- I have traveled to quite a few countries -  AND then also take out all the cuisines of countries I regularly “travel to” in my kitchen (Chinese, North African, Japanese, etc).  Picking something outside of my comfort zone is also pretty hard since I generally enjoy all foods.  BUT, everyone has something they’re just not so keen on.

Two foods that I am generally less comfortable eating are anything with curry and fish.  Fish is generally eaten everywhere in the world, but there are places in the world that eat more fish than others.  So, I pulled out my map (I’m a geographer and always have  a map handy) and started looking for someplace I’d never been, never had cuisine from that region, and predominantly ate fish.  Soon my finger was circling around Iceland.

I’ve never been to Iceland, but have always wanted to go.  It just seems so beautiful there with it’s majestic mountains and fjords.  And, they eat fish – lots of fish.  Dry fish, salted fish, cooked fish, smoked fish, baked fish…fish, fish, fish – and sheep heads (and other body parts).  This was it – I was already starting to feel nervous – I would have to not only make a fish dish, but most of the recipes looked through either had disgusting looking food in their pictures, or no picture at all.  I opted for a recipe with no picture so that I wouldn’t have any bias as to what it would look like, and tried to keep calm.

I decided on a recipe for fish soup since I’d never had fish in a soup before and I’m all about trying new things.  I read through many many recipes, and settled on one that had many interesting ingredients, but was quick to prepare.

And, to my utter surprise – it was good.  It had a wonderfully mild flavor, and I promptly found myself at the end of my second bowl.  My husband was not so thrilled – he doesn’t like anything that has to do with fish.  Luckily, my older son is head over heals for fish and was able to share in the delight with me.  I also went ahead and packaged some up for a friend of mine who always brings me different soups to try, and she called my in the evening to get the recipe.

This soup is good.

Continue Reading »

20 responses so far

Sep 24 2010

Taco Salad with Jalapeño Poppers – Cheesy Refried Beans – recipes – Taste&Create

I have been craving spicy food for the past few weeks like crazy. What I wouldn’t give for some really Jamaican jerk chicken that leaves your mouth burning with happiness. But, I don’t have any plans to travel to the Caribbean right now, so when I was paired with Denise from Eat Laugh Love for this month’s Taste&Create, I was excited to see her recipe for Jalapeño Poppers!

Now, I have eaten quite a few jalapeño poppers over the past few years, but I have never eaten any filled with refried beans. I was really surprised how easy these were to make. I never could quite figure out how they could easily be de-seeded, but the trick is in the few minutes you microwave them to soften them! Oh, and if you leave a few too many seeds inside it will be very spicy.

I love making taco salads, so I thought this would be a nice change to my typical taco salad toppings. I also made a fabulous roasted tomato and tomatillo salsa that my brother-in-law taught me – but more about that next week. Continue Reading »

One response so far

Sep 09 2010

Steamy Kitchen’s Chinese Boiled Pork Dumplings – recipe – review

I have been dying to try to make Chinese dumpling (in any form) for quite some time now. And, when I stumbled across Jaden’s really easy-looking recipe I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and time to start cooking!

She has a really great step-by-step tutorial on how to fold them – and it is really fool-proof! I did have some issues in making the dumplings, but this problem started at my local grocer. Where the heck do I find dumpling wrappers in my small town?? No Where. But, I never let that stop me – I was determined to make these babies. So, I grabbed a pack of wonton wrappers and made my way home. And, yes, wonton wrappers do hold up well, but you will end up with rectangular dumplings. And, I’m not sure if the flavor is any different than that of dumpling wrappers. Oh, and although I have 3 huge bouquets (or bushes) of chives growing in my garden, I somehow came home without any and ended up having to use the green onions.

We really enjoyed the dumpling, despite their rectangular coutures. The pork and cabbage filling is full of flavor and I promptly started dreaming up other dishes that I could use it in. Jaden recommend enjoying the dumpling with some hot chili sauce, but we found that the slippery consistency of the dough wasn’t able to hold much of the flavor of the sauce. Maybe this wouldn’t have been the case had I pan fried them?? On the other hand, the next day my Chinese friend stopped by the a bowl of Congee (she stops by practically twice a week with some sort of new and exciting Asian food for me to try) and we warmed it up with these dumpling inside (did I just commit a mortal sin by doing that??) and they worked wonderfully together.

Here’s the recipe, and you can find Jaden’s step-by-step tutorial on how to fold dumpling here in her Steamy Kitchen. Continue Reading »

6 responses so far

Sep 08 2010

Roasted Taco Salad – recipe

Yesterday I shared my Naturally Ella-inspired roasted spaghetti al pomodoro with you, and today I am going to share with you my favorite take on her recipe!

Originally, I had planned on making her exact recipe – in tostada form, but when I went to start cooking, I realized that my guys had eaten all the tortillas as a snack the day before (the baby starts to wiggle with excitement when he sees a tortilla!). So, I went to emergency plan B and made some rice instead, and decided to turn the meal into a taco salad.

And, wow, we were so blown away by the easy and delicious flavors of this recipe that we have made it 4 times in the last 2 weeks! It just amazes me that something as simple as roasting a tomato – as opposed to frying, grilling, or simply eating raw – can not only the change the flavor of that ingredient, but really transform an entire dish and take it to a whole new level.

This is definitely worth making for friends at dinner parties! Oh, and it re-heats very well in the microwave the next day – so this would make a great left-overs lunch for work! Continue Reading »

One response so far

Sep 03 2010

English Breakfast – recipe

The other day while I was perusing Foodgawker, I came across a fantastic post on an English Breakfast. Now, the closest thing I’ve ever eaten to an English breakfast is an Irish breakfast. And, while they’re not the same, they have some similarities and are both quite tasty.

On the weekends we really like to enjoy a big breakfast, but, to be honest, an English breakfast is just too big for breakfast. However, it does make a great brunch, even better lunch, or dinner. I prefer to enjoy it for lunch since that’s our big meal of the day and we’re going to get up and move around after it. And, as in the case with all meals, with a large meal like this is is prudent to practice moderation to avoid any indigestion. And, a nice green tea after the fact wouldn’t hurt either.

I would change a few things for in this meal to make it a bit more flavorful. I would toss the tomatoes and mushrooms with olive oil and roast them in the oven on a baking sheet (at 220°C) for 30 minutes. This would have brought out the sweet flavors of the tomatoes a bit more. I would have also thrown in an onion or two with it as well. Next time I will also go with a low-sodium bacon that I can get at my local butcher instead of the traditional salt-packed bacon from the grocery store – there is plenty of salt in the bratwurst – no need to add more. Oh, and since we can’t get decent baked beans around here; I beefed them up with about 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce.

So, if you’re looking for something to make for the family tomorrow, this is really quick, easy, and has something for everyone!

Continue Reading »

5 responses so far

Aug 31 2010

Ricotta & Feta Stuffed Zucchini Rolls – recipe

Last week I blogged about the lactose-free ricotta cheese that I made. And, today I’m finally getting around to showing you what I did with it!

I made these zucchini rolls for dinner for us and a friend and they were a big hit. I love making appetizers for dinner some times – especially when it’s really hot outside. They are pretty simple and tasty.

At some point I ran out of ricotta and substituted with feta cheese – but it is way too salty for a dish like this in comparison to the ricotta. Continue Reading »

4 responses so far

« Prev - Next »