Monthly Archives: December 2008

Cardamom Custard and Green Tea

\I have been itching to use these custard cups ever since my mom sent them to me, and I was impressed. This custard combines a few of my favorite spices so it was a sure hit from the start. In Indian, custard is served at weddings and other special events. It is rather easy to make and worth every effort.

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cardamom, ground
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons slivered almonds or golden raisins, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vegetable cooking spray
2 eggs, lightly beaten

1. In a medium sized saucepan add milk and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium, stirring to prevent scorching. Stir while boiling about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Remove pan from heat and add sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla and almonds or raisins. Allow mixture to cool at room temperature, about 20 minutes.

3. While milk is cooling pre-heat oven to 350 F. Bring a teakettle of water to a boil. Lightly spray 4 custard cups with oil. When milk has cooled whisk in eggs mixture (make sure the milk is cool are eggs will scramble). At the bottom of each custard cup sprinkle saffron. Evenly pour custard filling into cups. In a large cake pan, gently add boiling water from teakettle, enough to reach half of the custard cups once setting inside. Add cups into the water, not allowing any water to spill into them. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure the custard is done, the custard should move like jello. Serve at room temperature.

Yields: 4 custard cups

Cardamom Green Tea
4 green teabags
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick

1. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil; add green tea, saffron, cardamom and cinnamon. Allow to steep for 5 minutes. With a tea strainer, strain the spices. Serve sugar cubes on the side.

Note: I usually always prefer loose tea but I prefer black tea so green tea does not get used as much in my home so I opt for teabags when it comes to green tea. A good brand I like here in KSA is Rabea but Lipton green clear is also good. I serve sugar cubes with my tea because my father in law has diabetes so this way he can sugar to taste. In addition, as you see in the picture I buy cute shaped cubes, which are just more pleasing to the guest.

Yields: 4 regular teacups or 10 Arabic teacups

Cinnamon/Date Rolls

I love cinnamon rolls so much and I have always wanted to make some fresh ones but I was always scared after looking at the recipe so I always ended up just buying some in a can from Wal-mart. Well, their definitely is no Wal-mart here in KSA and no canned cinnamon rolls either so I was forced to make some homemade ones. Hey, I needed something to kick me into gear anyway. I made two batches with different fillings. I froze one for later and we had one that day. If you want to freeze a batch just store it in a freezer bag or any other sealed container. To re-heat simply wrap the rolls in foil and bake for about 20 minutes, they will taste as fresh as when you made them.

1/4 ounce package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/3 cup butter or shortening
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
3 1/2 – 4 cups flour

1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for the pan
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins, dates, or pecans (optional)

4 tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-6 tablespoons of hot water

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs. Add two cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5-10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl and let rise until doubled, usually 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

2. When doubled, punch down dough. Roll out on flour surface into a 15×9 inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at 15 inch side role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12-15 slices. Coat bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until nicely browned.

3. Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

Yields: 12-15 rolls

Adapted from Paula Deen

Curried Eggs

4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 can (28 ounces) chopped tomatoes with juice
2 small green chilies, chopped
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
5 eggs

1. Heat oil in a 9-inch skillet over medium heat; add the shallot, garlic and ginger; cook 5-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice, and the chilies, turmeric, cumin and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft and the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes.

2. One at a time gently slide an egg into the skillet over the mixture, arrange all over the tops. Cover and cook until eggs are done, about 5-10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper an, chilies and cilantro. Gently slide onto a plate.

Yields: 4 servings

Adapted from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook, The New Classics

Powdered Sugar

I love making things at home from scratch rather than buying them, I love it because I know what goes into it and because it is fresh. What can beat that, right? I love to bake so I am always in need of powdered sugar and this recipe is so fast and easy.

1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch

1. In a blender (a blender is necessary) combine sugar and cornstarch, blend.

Yields: 1 cup