Monthly Archives: January 2009

Mamoul, Date Filled

Mamoul is a popular Middle Eastern cookie. They come filled with everything from dates, nuts, toffee, coconut and much more. I played with many different recipes and this was by far the best one, I hope you all enjoy it as well. Do not let the massive directions get you down its rather easy to throw together before bed and then when you have time the next day just fill and bake, simple.

1 cup dates
2 teaspoon sesame seeds
3 teaspoons oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 cup milk
1 cup butter
2 cup semolina flour
1 cup flour
1/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons orange blossom water
Powdered sugar for dusting

1. In a food processor, add dates, pulse until a paste is formed. Add sesame seeds and oil, mix with spoon.

2. In a 2-quart saucepan on low heat add butter and milk, allow butter to melt. In a large mixing bowl add semolina, flour and sugar. Add milk, butter mixture and mix well. Allow to cool. Add orange blossom water and fold into dough. Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow sitting overnight (at least 8 hours, this is a must the dough will not work before this).

3. Make dough into small balls, about the size of a hazelnut (or if you have, a mamoul press make sure the ball could easily be placed into it). Flatten each ball as thin as you can get without tearing dough. Place filling in the middle and fold into taco shape, roll gently back into ball being careful not to displace filling.

4. Press cookie into mold or use a fork to make designs on top (cookie should not be flattened but have a dome). Place on non-stick baking sheet in 350 F pre-heated oven. Bake 25-35 minutes or until tops become golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Yields: 2 dozen

Fried Chicken

Southerners have a love going on with fried chicken, fried fish, and fried potatoes. Ok, you get it we just like fried foods. This is the best fried chicken and yes, this is my Momma’s recipe. The reason this chicken is different from others is a few secret tips that I applied to a tried and true recipe. I can hear the swat of a screen door now.

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
2 teaspoons sage
1 cup milk
1 cup vegetable oil

1. In a large bowl add chicken, pour milk over and refrigerate for one hour.

2. In a large plastic bag with seal, add flour, salt, pepper and sage, mix by shaking. Add chicken coating evenly. Place in refrigerator until needed (can be left overnight or at least an hour, this is truly the secret to a crispy chicken).

3. In a large sauté pan on medium heat pour oil, allow to get hot. Carefully add chicken pieces being careful not to tear into chicken, cover pan. Allow chicken to cook on each side until brown and finished, approximately 10 minutes on each side.

Yields: 3 servings


200 grams semolina flour
100 grams all-purpose flour
200 milliliter lukewarm water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon yeast

1/2 cup cheese, shredded
1/2 cup za’tar

1. In a large mixing bowl add flour, salt, yeast and add water (spoon by spoon) until dough like consistency. Knead dough until smooth, roughly 10 minutes. Coat dough with oil and sit back into bowl, covered in a warm area for 20 minutes.

2. On a non-stick baking mat lay dough, divide into five even balls. With a rolling pin, gently roll dough into a thin layer. With a pastry brush paint butter all over dough. At this time, you can place fillings of your choice inside the dough (cheese, meat, za’tar or leave plain). Fold dough into square.

3. In an 8-inch skillet, add remaining butter, cook each side until lightly brown and dough has fully cooked.

Yields: 5

Recipe Adapted from Do it The Moroccan Way

Oh my, its a Southern Chocolate Pie

Growing up in Tennessee I was lucky enough to get to try all kinds of dishes from all the women in town. I have all of their recipes to this day saved up just waiting on me to make them. This recipe comes from Ms. May. Ms. May is no longer with us she passed away several years ago and was in her nineties, she was my pre-school teacher. She used to always bring this chocolate pie to any function. I made two of these pies one for us and one for my in-laws. Of course, I worked harder on the one for my in laws trying to make it as eye pleasing as possible and I wanted to take pictures of that one for you all. However, guess what? I completely forgot to take pictures and gave it to my husband to take to them before I realized what I had done, ahh I wanted to cry after spending the entire day in the kitchen baking and even making the crust from scratch. Sorry but my not so pretty picture will have to do ‘sigh’.

Of course you all do not have to make your own pie crust but here in Saudi I have never saw any frozen ones like we have back in the states. In addition, it is easy to make your own crust, just time consuming. If you have some extra time one day just make some and freeze them for later.

Pate Brisee:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4-1/2 cup ice water
1 egg yolk, beaten

1. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt and sugar. With a hand mixer, mix well. Add the pieces of butter and process approximately 10 seconds or until it resembles “coarse meal.”

2. Add ice water drop-by-drop while mixing with hand mixer, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky.

3. Divide dough in half, with a rolling pin roll each piece into a thin circle. Chill in refrigerator at least an hour. After chilling gently, add dough into pie pan. Prick all over with fork. Brush egg yolk all over crust. Place pie weights ( I pour uncooked rice over mine) into pie and bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes, until golden.

Yields: 2 pie crust

Chocolate Pie:
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks, beaten (save egg whites)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 strawberries, sliced (optional)
Dream Whip

1. In a medium bowl mix cocoa, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Add egg yolks and milk, mixing well. In a large saucepan on medium heat, add mixture, stirring continuously until thick with pudding like consistency. Remove from heat add butter and vanilla, mix well.

2. Allow mixture to cook then pour into baked pie shell. Apply Dream Whip or meringue to the top of the pie, arrange sliced strawberries if using, refrigerate.

Yields: 1 nine inch pie

Meringue Topping:
3 egg whites
1/3 cup sugar

1. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer beat egg whites until soft peaks form, add sugar, beat.