Smoky Eggplant Dip (Mutabbal) and Pita Bread

img_5853img_5867img_5882It’s been a long time that I’ve wanted to share a special gift with you. Last year, I received a very kind and exciting message from the Chef and Author Joudie Kalla, telling me that she was writing a cookbook – Palestine on a Plate – and wanted to add my Kaak with Sesame recipe into her book. What a surprise, and of course I replied yes!

Time flew, and in September I received a copy of the book. I was happy to see my own recipe published in a book, but was so keen to discover so many new ones! The book is a beautiful homage to Palestinian food and features many great recipes from her mom, aunts, and grandma, reminding me a lot of my family culture.

Today, I’ve prepared a delicious smoky eggplant dip (mutabbal) served with pita bread. Simple yet so delicious, both of these recipes are adapted from the book Palestine on a Platewhich I highly recommend!!

Time to go to Fiesta Friday #154

For the Mutabbal:

Serves: 4/6

Ingredients:

  • 2 large aubergines
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons of tahini
  • 60ml Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Start roasting the aubergines over a gas flame.
  2. Turn the aubergines (from time to time).
  3. When they are completely roasted, remove them from the flame and set them aside on a plate for a few minutes.
  4. Remove the skin carefully.
  5. Open the skin and remove the flesh.
  6. Chop into very small pieces the aubergines.
  7. In a large hollow plate, place the chopped aubergines, the tahini, the Greek yogurt, the salt, the chopped garlic and the lemon juice.
  8. Mix all the ingredients together.
  9. Drizzle the top with some extra virgin oil.
  10. Sprinkle some pomegranate seeds and refrigerate before serving.

For the Pita Bread:

Serves: 4/6

Ingredients:

  • 400g plain flour/all purpose flour
  • 4g fresh yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 240ml of lukewarm water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer add the flour and the sugar.
  2. Crumble the fresh yeast in the middle and add the salt on the side.
  3. Slowly pour the lukewarm water into the mixing bowl.
  4. Start to mix all the ingredients with the hook of your stand mixer on a low speed.
  5. Pour the olive oil.
  6. Gradually, mix on a high speed until the dough becomes elastic and detaches from the bowl.
  7. Transfer the dough into a greasy bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen cloth, and let the dough rise for 1 hour.
  8. After 1 hour, transfer the dough onto a clean floured surface, punch it down gently to release the air.
  9. Preheat the oven to 240C degrees.
  10. Divide the dough into 4 equals balls (for me, you could do more or less depending on the size you want them).
  11. Line a wax paper on a large tray.
  12. With a rolling pin, flatten each ball into a round shape and put them on the large tray.
  13. Let them rise for 1o minutes.
  14. Bake for 15 minutes (more or less depending on the oven or until they puffed up).
  15. Remove from the oven and serve with the Mutabbal.

Bonne dégustation!

Happy New Year and Shakoy (Twisted Fried Donuts)

img_5834img_5844img_5839Happy New Year to all my fellow bloggers all around the world. I wish you, your families and your friends a wonderful 2017!

After a long break on the blog, I’m back! I’ve been traveling; visiting exhibitions and museums, and mostly enjoying different kinds of delicious foods.

I can’t start the year without saying hello and attending Fiesta Friday #153  🙂 For today’s party, I’ve prepared twisted fried donuts called Shakoy, a golden, fluffy and sweet treat that is very popular in the Philippines. The recipe comes from my friend and fellow blogger Jhuls from The Not So Creative Cook. She is a very popular lady of Fiesta Friday, with delectable recipes, and a huge sense of humor. The recipe is so good, yet made with just a few ingredients!

Many thanks to Angie and to our co-host for this week Quinn @ Dad What’s 4 Dinner and Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 15g fresh yeast
  • 225ml lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 400g all purpose flour/plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Caster sugar (for coating)
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon powder (optional)
  • Sunflower oil (for frying)

Method:

  1. Line a wax paper on a large tray and set aside.
  2. In the mixing bowl of the stand mixer add the flour and the sugar.
  3. Crumble the fresh yeast in the middle and add the salt on the side.
  4. Slowly pour the lukewarm water into the mixing bowl.
  5. Start to mix all the ingredients with the hook of your stand mixer on a low speed.
  6. Gradually, mix on a high speed until the dough becomes elastic and detaches from the bowl.
  7. Transfer the dough into a greasy bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen cloth, and let the dough rise for 1 hour (for me).
  8. After 1 hour transfer the dough on a clean floured surface, punch it down gently to release the air.
  9. Divide the dough into 8 equals balls (for me, you could do more or less depending on the size you want them).
  10. Shape each ball into a long log, then twist it and pinch the end.
  11. Transfer the Shakoy on the tray.
  12. Proceed the same way for the rest of the dough.
  13. In a deep pan add the sunflower oil on a medium heat.
  14. When the oil is hot, slowly add the Shakoy.
  15. Remove when they are golden brown and transfer them into a colander.
  16. Finally, roll them into the sugar and cinnamon.
  17. Enjoy, they are best when they are savored immediately.

Bonne dégustation!

Thanks Jhuls for this amazing recipe!

Hazelnut Cake

IMG_5759IMG_5760IMG_5776IMG_5797Time flies so fast, I cannot believe it we are in August plus I missed a couple of Fiesta Friday but I’m back with a light, simple and delicious Hazelnut Cake. It reminds me a meringue and also crunchy with the addition of roasted hazelnut.

This cake is from the Aquitaine region (southwestern France), and the original recipe is made with nuts, not butter and is gluten free. I opted to use roasted hazelnuts, and adapted the recipe from the book Gâteaux from Christophe Felder and Camille Lesecq, which I think I’m becoming addicted to!

Now it’s time to go to Fiesta Friday #131A huge thanks to Angie and to our co-host ladies for this week Su @ Su’s Healthy Living and Laura @ Feast Wisely

Serves: 8/10 Slices

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 160g of caster sugar
  • 45g of Maizena/Corn Starch
  • 3 eggs white
  • 100g of chopped roasted hazelnut (for me)
  • Cocoa powder

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C degrees.
  2. Grease a cake pan with a movable bottom (23 centimeters for me).
  3. In a large bowl, beat energetically the egg yolk, 1 egg and 80g of caster sugar until you obtain a light and creamy texture.
  4. Add the maizena/corn starch and continue to beat.
  5. In another bowl add the 3 eggs white and the rest of the caster sugar (80g), with an electric mixer, whisk until soft peaks form.
  6. Pour this mixture to the first one, and add the chopped roasted hazelnuts.
  7. Mix gently with a spatula.
  8. Pour the mixture into the cake pan and bake for 25 minutes (more or less depending the oven).
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  10. Transfer the cake onto a serving plate.
  11. Sprinkle some cocoa powder on the top, and decorate with some chocolate sauce.
  12. Serve with a good hot coffee.

Bonne Dégustation!

PS: Maizena is a brand name for a popular cornstarch!

For the chocolate sauce frosting, I used some pieces of 70% of dark chocolate. Add the dark chocolate in a pan with 1 tablespoon of milk. Cook on a medium heat and stir until the chocolate melts with the milk together. Remove from the heat, and place the melting chocolate in a pastry bag, or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off, and  cover the cake.

 

Macarons of Nancy

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Everyone knows macarons, the little round cookies.They come in pastel colors filled with a ganache or jam in the middle and on sale everywhere.

There is another version of macarons, more rustic, golden brown color. This version is made with almond powder, egg white and icing sugar. These macarons are from Nancy, the capital of the north-eastern French. They were created 200 hundreds years ago by two nones, Marguerite and Marie-Élisabeth to help funding their monastery. Now, these macarons are popular and became the reputation of the city of Nancy.

They are delicious, crunchy, sticky and smells almond. I love to serve them with a coffee.

This recipe is adapted from the book Gâteaux from Christophe Felder and Camille Lesecq!

Serves: 16

Ingredients:

  • 190g of almond powder
  • 255g of icing sugar
  • 100g of egg white
  • 20g of acacia honey
  • A few drops of Almond extract for me

Procedure:

  1. In a large bowl add the almond powder, the icing sugar, the egg white, the honey and finally the almond extract.
  2. Mix very well all the ingredients together with a spatula.
  3. Cover with a plastic wrap paper and refrigerate for 3 hours (more is better).
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let the dough rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180C degrees.
  6. Line a wax paper on a large tray and set aside.
  7. With a teaspoon take a little piece of the dough and drop it on the tray.
  8. Repeat the same way with the remaining dough (don’t forget to late space between them).
  9. Flatten the macarons with a wet teaspoon to try to have a nice circle (6 centimeters).
  10. Bake for 2o minutes (more or less depending the oven).
  11. Remove form the oven when they are golden brown and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  12. Serve with a hot strong coffee.

Bonne Dégustation!

PS: If you want to have perfect macarons use a piping bag.

 

Poğaça

IMG_5658IMG_5660IMG_5663I’m a lover of Turkish food, especially as it always reminds me of my first trip to Turkey a few years ago. On Instagram, I follow a page filled with delicious Turkish recipes called @TurkishRecipes. I’ve tried many up till date, always with great success. It has been a while that I wanted to try this recipe of Poğaça, a delicious savoury, on sale everywhere in the streets of Istanbul that I knew I had to try. They are delicious and filled with feta cheese and parsley, perfect for a breakfast or for a lunch served hot with an aromatic tea!

I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did at home (I’ve already made it twice this week)!

I’m ready for Fiesta Friday #128, with a big thanks to our host Angie!

PS: I’ve made some changes from the original recipe.

Serves: 10 Poğaça

Ingredients: (for the dough)

  • 500g of all purpose flour/plain flour
  • 7g of baking powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 80ml of Greek yogurt
  • 125ml of sunflower oil
  • 100g of melted butter

Ingredients: (for the filling)

  • 200g of feta cheese
  • 1 bouquet of chopped coriander

Ingredients: (for the topping)

  • 1 egg yolk
  • Roasted sesame seeds
  • Nigelle seeds

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C degrees.
  2. Line a wax paper on a large tray and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add the flour, the baking powder and the salt.
  4. Swift with your fingers the three ingredients.
  5. Make a hole in the middle and pour the yogurt, the oil and finally the melted butter.
  6. Mix all the ingredients an knead until the dough becomes smooth and soft.
  7. Cover with a kitchen cloth and set aside for 30 minutes.
  8. In a medium bowl, crumble the feta cheese with the chopped coriander.
  9. Divide the dough into 10 equals balls.
  10. Roll each ball onto a clean and floured surface.
  11. Flatten as a round shape and add in the middle 1 tablespoon of the filling (not too much).
  12. Fold the dough to cover completely the filling.
  13. Flatten the dough with your hands and pinch the end of each Poğaça.
  14. Proceed the same way for the rest of the dough.
  15. Brush the top with an egg yolk, and also sprinkle with a mix of roasted sesame and nigelle seeds.
  16. Bake for 30 minutes (more or less depending the oven) or until they are golden brown.
  17. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

It’s best when served hot, and accompanied with an aromatic tea.

Bonne Dégustation!

 

Sweet Eid

IMG_5631IMG_5635IMG_5641IMG_5640IMG_5638Last Wednesday marked the celebration of Eid El Fitr, signifying the end of Ramadan. To mark this occasion, I prepared some Algerian treats for my family and friends. It was nice to finally smell the aroma of coffee around the house in the morning again. The warm honey on top of the Makrout (filled with dates), the meting Mechmech (stuffed with nuts, génoise and apricot jam), the flavored Tcharek, the softness of the Mchakak and the last one (and a first for me) is the Aarayech (stuffed with almonds, and covered with a lemon glazed).

I have no recipe today, I just wanted to share a part of my family’s traditions with you and with Fiesta Friday #127 . Thanks to our fantastic Lady, Angie and also to our co-hosts for this week, Suzanne and Jess.

PS: Here are my recipes for previous Algerian treats I’ve served during Eïd. The recipe of the Aarayech will come soon on the blog (Aarayech in Arabic means Starfish) !

 

Ghribia, Montecaos

IMG_5537IMG_5552IMG_5546Time flies so fast! Ramadan is almost done, and Eïd is just around the corner, meaning these next few days will be very busy. I made these yummy Ghribia (also called Montecaos). They are round, buttery and have cracks all over them. The origin of these cookies are Spanish, from the city of Andalusia. Algerian cuisine was heavily enriched by the presence of the Spanish, as seen in this delicatessen. These sweets/patisserie are also popular across North Africa, and called Ghribia in Algeria. They are made with a few ingredients and varies from city to city, served with a café au lait or a mint tea on the side.

We always prepared Ghribia at my grandmother’s house, and the smell was always great. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did at home!

See you at Fiesta Friday #126   and a big thanks to  Angie !

Serves: 20

Ingredients:

  • 400g plain flour/all purpose flour
  • 200g of almond powder
  • 180ml of sunflower oil
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar
  • Ground pistachios

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C degrees.
  2. Line a wax paper on a large tray and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl add the flour, the almond powder, the vanilla sugar and the caster sugar.
  4. Mix with your fingers the four ingredients.
  5. Slowly pour the sunflower oil and mix just enough to moisten the dough.
  6. The dough should be crumbly, sticky and very soft.
  7. Take a small portion in your hand (the size of a small egg) and shape it to form a round shape.
  8. Place the Ghribia on the tray.
  9. Repeat the same way with the remaining dough.
  10. Bake for 30minutes (more or less depending the oven) or until the bottom is golden brown.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  12. Sprinkle the top of each Ghribia with some ground pistachios and enjoy with a good café au lait.

When you hold the Ghribia between your fingers the texture is sticky and powdery, and crunchy when you bite into it. A delicious and tasty treat!

Bonne dégustation!

PS: Here are a few recipes of popular Algerian desserts served during Eïd!