Fullah

Fullah is also known as fried cheese. Fullah is a Saudi dessert served with coffee and taste like a doughnut. I suggest you not place your stove over medium heat so the fullah is not done quickly on the outside yet not finished on the inside. For people not living in the Middle East you can easily find an Arabic version of Kraft cream cheese at your local Arabic store. The outcome will look like fried biscuits. 2 cups Arabic cream cheese (I use Kraft) 3/4 cup all purpose flour 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature 1/2 teaspoon yeast 3 tablespoons milk, warm 2 teaspoons cardamom, ground Pinch of salt Pinch of sugar 1 egg, beaten Sugar syrup click here for the recipe 1. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, cardamom, salt and sugar, mix well. Add cream cheese, butter, egg, yeast and warm milk; quickly mix to form dough. If dough is sticky, add more flour a little at a time to get a nice nonstick consistency. Place dough into bowl cover with towel and place in a warm spot allow to rise an hour. 2. In a sauté pan on medium heat add 1-inch sunflower oil, allow oil to warm up then reduce to low-medium. Roll dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, dough should be 1 cm thick. Place pieces into oil; allow cooking on each side until golden. Dough will puff up in size. 3. Drain fullah on paper towel. In a small bowl add sugar syrup, place fullah 1-2 at a time into bowl and allow soaking. Arrange in prepared plate and serve. Yields: 2 dozen

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

These cookies are perfect for little hands on the go. Cram packed full of gooey chocolate chips and buttery cookie. These easy to make cookies will be a family favorite. 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened 3/4 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 eggs 2 cups (12 ounce) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips 1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, baking soda and salt, mix well. Add butter, eggs, sugar, brown sugar vanilla, chips, and nuts, if using. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased or a baking mat cookie sheet. 2. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Yields: 35 cookies Adapted from Hershey’s

Turkish Breakfast Buns

This Turkish bread is great for anytime of the day but I recommend them for brunch. They went quickly in my house. The taste of the nigella atop the buns gives it a delightful taste that I just love for my breads to have. When biting into this satisfying bread you will hardly believe, it is made with feta and potato. This bread taste remarkable with coffee or tea. 1-1/8 teaspoon yeast 1 cup milk, warm 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup sunflower oil 2/3 cup feta cheese, grated 1 medium sized potato, boiled, peeled, grated 2-1/2 cup flour 1 teaspoon salt Glaze: 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 tablespoon cream or milk Nigella seeds (black sesame seeds) Sesame seeds 1. Mix yeast, sugar and warm milk in a large bowl. Stir well until both dissolve. Add sunflower oil, feta cheese and potato, mix well. Add flour and salt to make soft dough. Knead dough for a few minutes. Place dough in a large oil covered bowl, turning to coat dough with oil lightly. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place. Allow to rise for 2 hours. Dough should double in size. 2. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Using your hands, create 12 small balls with the dough about the size of a bottom of a coffee cup. In a small bowl, add egg and cream beat well. With a pastry brush, generously brush the tops of the buns with egg mixture. Sprinkle sesame seeds mix atop buns. Bake for 25 minutes or until buns are golden. Adapted from The Turkish Cookbook

Homemade Creamy Butter

I can still not believe that I made butter here at my house. I was never aware how easy it was before. It is simply astounding to me that milk=cream=butter. This butter is so smooth, creamy and oh, the taste is just sweet and alluring. This is a pretty swift and straightforward recipe and the outcome is that you have the best butter you will ever taste. Since moving to Saudi Arabia, I found the butter here is not what I want. It is rock hard and bland. From now on, I will just buy my massive box of cream and make my own. I cannot wait to start adding flavors. I have already been imagining honey butter on hot warm bread. Oh and that bread I think I will be making tonight. I have to have fresh bread with my fresh butter, oh the enthusiasm I feel now. 1 cup whipping cream 1/2 teaspoon salt 1. In medium Mason jar pour cream and salt, allow to sit at room temperature about 2 hours. Screw lid on tight and begin shaking constantly. Mine went from cream to what looked like ricotta in about 20 seconds. Continue to shake insanely. You will soon see what looks like butter on top of milk. Drain into a bowl with a strainer. The milk is now buttermilk, save this for later. In addition, the top is butter. You need to rinse butter well, squeeze out any liquid then shape as desired and place into freezer for 1 hour. Yields: 1 cup

Banana Bread

Move over nuts bananas are making their grand appearance this time solo. If you have some over ripe bananas, lying around this is the recipe for you. I personally just cannot waste food. With Bananas and yogurt, this bread will most defiantly be the moistest recipe you will ever try. This is a simple, no problem bread right here even you non-bakers can get this one perfect. As I was whipping it up in the bowl, the aroma of a banana pudding filled my kitchen; it sure made me want one. Moreover, the aroma of it baking well I will let you find that one out for yourself. 2 cups all purpose flour 1-1/4 teaspoon baking soda Dash of salt 2 eggs, beaten 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup sugar 4 over ripe bananas, mashed 1/2 cup plain yogurt 2 teaspoons vanilla 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl add flour, baking soda, sugar and salt, mix with spoon. Add eggs, butter, bananas, yogurt and vanilla. Mix well, until blended. 2. Grease a loaf pan well. Pour batter into pan, leveling out. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour. Yields: 1 loaf Banana Bread Recipe on Foodista

Albanian Chicken Noodles

MY best friend is Albanian and she always giving me delicious recipes. This dish is one that her mother in law and her made together. Paprika is Albanians most used spice and gives the food lots of flavor and color. One whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces 1/2 onion, chopped 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/3 cup carrots, chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 package (500 grams) egg noodles 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped 1 teaspoon butter 1 teaspoon Goya chicken seasoning 1. In a sauté pan, sauté chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon butter over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add chopped onion, carrots, salt, paprika and Goya seasoning. Sauté for another 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium/low and add enough water to completely cover the chicken, boil for 40 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through. 2. Preheat oven to 500 F and add egg noodles onto a large oven pan. Heat noodles in the oven for 5 minutes. Add chicken broth from the chicken into pan and add tomatoes. Cook until noodles are thoroughly cooked. Remove from oven, arrange chicken in the middle and serve! Yields: 8 servings

Dulce de Leche

I have never tried dulce de leche to my knowledge but I was getting great reviews about it from my friends so I thought I had to try this sweet golden cream. It was extremely easy to make and I have some tasty recipes planned for it tomorrow. So hands off my dulce de leche. You can use whatever size cans that will work for you. I chose two smaller cans that were 90 grams a piece. I have an update! I just went to open a can to take a picture and decided to eat it straight from the can. WOW, this stuff is amazing. I peeled an apple and what a snack. They work great together. I can happily say I glad everyone is bed because I did not have to share this ‘evil grin’. 1. In a large saucepan place unwrapped cans of sweetened condensed milk into pan, cover with water and allow an inch from the pan top to be uncovered. 2. Bring water to boil then reduce heat to simmer or lowest setting, add lid slightly not closing all the way. Allow to cook 2-1/2 hours. Check water from time to time to make sure water is over cans, it could explode if not.

Kholengan

Surprisingly I have had several emails about a spice I use called ‘Kholengan’. Now this is a new one to me as well but one I have passionately fell in love with to say the least. My mother in law (a Saudi) introduced this spice to me and was nice enough to even give me a large supply. This most defiantly is something that I never saw once in the states and we moved around a lot. This foreign spice looks like a piece of ginger made of wood. I have researched and researched and never found anything until I happened to look into a old Saudi cookbook that I have and the author not only calls the spice ‘kholengan’ but also its original name which is ‘galanqa’ bing we hit the jack pot! After finding that name I was able to research and find the below information. When I smell the spice, it reminds me of a very strong clove smell, almost menthol if you will. The taste well I can not pinpoint it to be able to tell you what to substitute it with as it is so exotic but it gives the food an astonishing taste. If you do not have it do not worry your dish will be fine without it.

Lemon-Cilantro Kofta

The mix of lemon and spices make this kofta taste like none you have ever tried. This mixture is a mouthwatering blend and the color of the lemons adds a beautiful burst of spring to your plate. I served this dish with rice and a crisp Greek Salad which I made out of feta cheese that I allowed to marinade for a few weeks in za'tar and olive oil, the result was blissful. 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 onion, diced 3 garlic cloves, smashed 1 red chili, seeded and sliced 2 teaspoons turmeric, ground 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped Juice of 1 lemon 1 lemon, cut into 4 slices 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped 1-1/4 cups water Kofta: 1 pound ground beef 1/2 onion, finely diced 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground 1 teaspoon cumin 1teaspoon coriander 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup oats 1 egg 1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl add beef, onion, parsley, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, pepper, egg and oats. With hands mix well. Form into walnut size balls, place on plate and place in refrigerator until needed. 2. In an 8 inch by 8-inch glass pan, add olive oil, butter, onion, garlic, chili, turmeric, cilantro, lemon juice, lemon slices and mint. Mix well and place into oven for 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven add water and mix well. Add meatballs into sauce. Return to oven cook 15 minutes, rotating kofta half way through with a spoon. Serve kofta with sauce. Yields: 4 servings

Chicken Tikka Masala

This is a time consuming dish if you do it all in one day but make it easy on yourself and let this marinade over night, then you can just do the rest and have a meal that no one will believe you made. If you do not have all the spices do not worry, leave it out and it will still be great. Serve this dish with rice and naan. 6 chicken breast, boneless and skinless cut into small cubes Marinade: 1 cup plain yogurt 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 2 teaspoons black pepper 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon amchur 1/2 teaspoon cardamom 1 teaspoon salt 1 piece minced ginger (1 "inch" long) Sauce: 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 chili, stem removed and spilt up chili 3 teaspoons ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon paprika 2 teaspoons garam masala 1 teaspoon salt 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce 1-1/2 cups whipping cream 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1. Marinade: In an 8 inch by 8 inch pan add yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, chili powder, pepper, cinnamon, amchur, cardamom, salt and ginger, mix well. Add chicken cubes, coating chicken well. Cover with plastic wrap and place into fridge at least an hour. 2. In a sauté pan on medium heat, add butter. Add garlic, chili, coriander, cumin, paprika, garam masala and salt. Mix well, allowing heat to open spices. About 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and cream, mixing well. Reduce heat to simmer. 3. Turn oven broiler on high. Line a cookie sheet with foil and add chicken from marinade, discard marinade. Place chicken under broiler allowing cooking 5-10 minutes, watch non stop so chicken does not burn, it should turn a light golden. Take chicken from pan and add to sauce in pan, cook on low about 15-20 minutes. Place into serving dish and add cilantro on top. Yields: 6 servings

Naan

I cook so much Indian food you all must think I am Indian, lol. Well sorry to say but I am not. I just love the food and all the delightful flavors. I have tried making naan a few times and never had any luck. But today must have been my day because this recipe is the the key to good naan. The only thing I was sad about was that I did not make more. 3 cups flour 1/2 cup buttermilk 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup warm water Nigella (optional) Sesame seeds (optional) Sunflower oil Melted butter for brushing tops 1. Take all racks out from the oven but one and place it on the lowest rail, this will make it easier to work with the bread later. Pre-heat oven to 500 F. 2. Add some oil (about 3 tablespoons) to a large plate, sit aside. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt, blend. Add buttermilk, and mix persistently. You will still see quite a bit of dryness. Add water a little at a time, adding more until you get a sticky dough. Knead with your hands about 2 minutes, do not be tempted to add more flour although you can add some to your hands to make it easier to work with. Divide dough into 4 even balls; shape into about the same size as a hamburger bun. Place into oiled plate and wrap with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, place a baking stone, unglazed tile or cookie sheet in the oven to get hot before use. With hands, evenly make dough into round shape about 7 inches by 7 inches. Sprinkle seeds onto bread at this time, carefully pressing into dough with fingers. Open oven and carefully place bread onto hot stone/sheet. You will see bubbles arising, this is the correct method. Naan will take about 10 minutes to fully cook; you will see top starting to get golden when finished. Brush butter atop naan when finished then cover with a towel to keep warm. Yields: 4 servings

Jeweled Rice

The secret to perfect rice is to always make sure you have a tight fitting lid that you do not ever take off during the cooking process. A glass lid is the best option, as you know when your rice has finished when you see holes all over the top. This rice taste ridiculously good with my creamed chicken curry. 1 cup basmati rice, cleaned and soaked for 15 minutes 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon cumin 5 green cardamom pods 1 bay leaf, ground 2 cinnamon sticks 1 small red onion, diced 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 cup water 1. In a 2-quart saucepan on medium heat add butter and onions; allow onions to cook until golden. Add cumin, cardamom pods, bay leaf, cinnamon and saffron, mix well cooking for 20 seconds. Add rice and saffron, mix carefully. Add 1 cup water bring mix to full boil place tight lid then reduce heat to simmer. Allow to cook about 10 minutes. Yields: 4 servings My husband brought me home this dessert last week. I have no idea what the name is but it is from Kuwait and that seems to be the only place you can find it. His boss had brought it back from there. It tasted just like cardboard to me. So I am not sure what the big deal was, lol.

Cardamom Kissed Chicken

A beautiful mixture of amazing spices makes this chicken all it can be. Some may think the chili’s I incorporate in my meals make it spicy, but it does not. When cooking with chili's cut the top of then make a slit up the center. The chili will give your dish some heat but not make it to spicy, only slicing and dicing it can do that. 2 tablespoons ginger paste 2 tablespoons garlic paste 2 teaspoons cardamom, ground 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, ground 4-5 chicken breasts 2 tablespoons sunflower oil 1 small onion, diced 2 bay leaves 2 cinnamon sticks 1 large potato, peeled and sliced 1/2 cup peas 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped 1 green chili 1 cup water 1. In a medium bowl, add ginger paste, garlic paste, cardamom, red pepper, salt and turmeric, mix well. Smear mixture all over chicken breast. Allow to marinate at least one hour. 2. In a sauté pan on medium heat, add oil. Add chicken breast, chili, onions, bay leaves, potatoes and cinnamon. Allow chickens skin to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Pour 1 cup water; reduce heat to medium-low add peas and cover. Cook about 30 minutes. Raise heat to high and allow a full boil, to thicken juices. Remove cinnamon and bay leaves, add cilantro. Yields: 4 servings

Chicken Soup

This is the soup you need when you feel a cold coming on. Cram packed with chicken, ginger and lemon you should start feeling a bit better instantly. 4 chicken breast, boneless and skinless 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1 tablespoon ginger, finely diced 1 bay leaf Juice of 1 lemon Handful of spaghetti noodles, broke in half (about 20) 1/2 cup peas 6 cups water 2 chicken bouillon cubes 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1 egg, beaten 1. In a 4-quart saucepan on medium-high add chicken, cover with water and allow chicken to full cook, about 10 minutes. Drain water, shred chicken. 2. In a a 4-quart pan add water, chicken cubes, chicken, salt, pepper, ginger, bay leaf, lemon juice, peas and cumin. Bring to boil reduce heat to low, cover allow to cook 30 minutes. During the last 10 minutes, add noodles. The last one minute carefully pour beaten egg into pan, stirring with a wooden spoon handle to make streams. Yields: 8 servings

Peach Pastries

I love making homemade pastries. They are so easy to make thanks to canned fruit and already made puff pastry. You can get so creative with a recipe like this by making an assortment of shapes and fillings. I like to reserve my peach liquid and freeze it for later usage. It makes marvelous syrup for a number of desserts no matter if it may be poaching fruit or drizzling over sweets. I also love to take some extra puff pastry and cut fun shapes into them and bake them, it makes a beautiful addition to a bowl of fruit as you see in the picture below. 1 (15 ounce) can of peaches 12 (4 inch by 4 inch) puff pastry squares 1 tablespoon butter Sugar for dusting 1. In a 2-quart saucepan on medium heat, add peaches with juice and butter, cook until warm. Preheat oven to 350 F. Drain peaches but reserve juice. Carefully cut peaches into bite size pieces. 2. Lay squares out onto work surface and carefully places peaces in middle of pastry. You can get creative at this point making about any shape you would like. I have made three in the pictures you see. A. by bringing all corners together at top and sealing. B. by folding into triangle and sealing. And C. By rolling one side then the other and sealing. 3. Place pastries onto baking sheet lined butter. Sprinkle the tops with sugar and bake until golden, approximately 15 minutes. Yields: 12