Creamy Chicken Parmigiana

What a festival of flavor you will have going on in your mouth with this Italian classic. When placing the plate in the oven to melt the cheese please note that you should do this quickly so your plate does not get hot enough to break. It only takes about 10 -15 seconds at the most. If you do not have any breadcrumbs on hand then simply throw some old stale bread or toast in the food processor and make your own. 1 small onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tablespoon butter 1 (15 ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon basil, dried 5 chicken breast, boneless and skinless 1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs 3 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning 1 egg, beaten 2 tablespoons milk 3 tablespoons cream 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella/cheddar cheese 1. For sauce, in a medium saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot butter until onion is tender. Carefully stir in the undrained tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a full boil; reduce heat. With a wooden spoon carefully break tomatoes up. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in basil and cream. Reduce to simmer. 2. Meanwhile, with a meat mallet, pound each chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thickness. 3. In a shallow dish stir together bread crumbs, the 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. In another bowl stir together the egg and milk. Dip chicken breast halves in egg mixture, then in crumb mixture to coat. In a 12-inch skillet cook chicken in hot oil over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Transfer chicken to a serving platter. 4. Spoon sauce over chicken. Top with shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Place plate in the oven on broil to melt cheese.

Simple Salad

You can whip this salad up in no time and have a fresh and bright dish on the table. The sumac not only adds a great color but gives a sensational taste. 2 tomatoes, cubed 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced 2 scallions, sliced 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 teaspoon sumac 1. In a medium sized bowl add tomatoes, cucumbers and scallions. Drizzle olive oil on top then sprinkle sumac. Yields: 4 servings

Lamb Kofta Stew

Hawaij is a Yemeni spice blend which you can buy mixed or easily make at home. This aromatic spice goes perfect with lamb. If you have never had ground lamb do not be afraid like many people seem to be. Ground lamb is excellent and taste even better then ground beef. This dish is cram packed of healthy vegetables making it yet another dinner that you can be satisfied to serve your family. 500 grams ground lamb 1 small onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, smashed 2 tablespoons butter 1 (400 gram) can diced tomatoes in juice 4 tablespoons tomato paste 1 carrot, finely diced 1 potato, finely cubed 1/2 cup frozen peas 2 lamb bullion cubes 3 cups water salt and pepper to taste 1-1/2 tablespoon hawaij 1/4 teaspoon ground bay leaves 1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium sized bowl add lamb, salt and pepper, mix well. Shape into small balls the size of marbles. Place balls on a baking sheet and allow to cook for 15 minutes. 2. In a 2-quart saucepan on medium-high heat add butter, carrots, onions and garlic, cook until tender. Add tomatoes including juiced, water, tomato paste, potato, peas, lamb cubes, water, bay leaves and hawaij. Mix well. Carefully add baked lamb into the pan. Bring to a full boil then reduce to low for 45 minutes covered. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Caramel Corn

If you have never had the pleasure of making homemade caramel corn then your in for a real treat. Every Fall I have warm memories of my child hood and all the fun traditions we had during this time. Caramel corn just happens to be one of those. I am sure you all remember Cracker Jacks and how all you ever cared about was the toy? Well, good ole' Cracker Jacks do not have anything on a fresh batch of caramel corn. Make some with your family for Fall memories that will last a life time. 1/2 cup butter 1 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup corn syrup 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 10 cups popped popcorn 1. Preheat oven to 250F. In a 2-quart saucepan on medium-high heat add butter, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup and baking soda, stir until well mixed. Remove from heat add vanilla, mix well. 2. In a 13 x 9 inch baking pan add popcorn. Carefully pour caramel mixture atop then mix well trying to coat all of popcorn. Place in oven checking on corn every 10 minutes and mixing with a wooden spoon to insure all corn is coated. Allow to bake for 1 hour. Yields: 12 servings

Date Cake

This European beauty is light, airy and filled with walnuts and dates. When making the cake you will see that I have put flour in with the nuts and dates. You may think this is silly but its quite essential as this coats the sticky dates allowing them to bake through your cake instead of clumping up. I also prefer to use a removable bottom pan but I always sit it on top of a cookie sheet for extra protection. You can use 1-2/3 cups of milk instead of the cream/milk mixture if you do not happen to have cream on hand. I am also happy to mention that today is Ya Salam Cooking's second year up and running. Over the past two years I have came so far with my cooking, photography and writing. I owe a great deal to this little blog that I started out of boredom of being a stay at home mom. But YSC has brought me great happiness over the years and gave me something to finally call my own and be proud of. We all need something like that don't we? Here is to many more inshAllah. This Cake is for you! 1/2 cup chopped dates 2/3 cup chopped walnuts 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 cup powdered sugar + extra for dusting 3/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 1 cup heavy cream 2/3 cup milk 4 eggs 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon allspice 1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a removable bottom 10 inch cake pan and sit aside. In a medium sized mixing bowl add dates, walnuts and 1/2 cup flour, mix. Sit aside. In a large mixing bowl add 2 cups flour, powdered sugar, brown sugar, butter, cream, milk, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon and allspice, with an electric mixer mix on low mix well. Add eggs and mix well. 2. Carefully pour batter into cake pan and sit on top of a large cookie sheet. Place in oven. Bake 40-45 minutes or until top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool the place cake on cake plate then with a bread knife carefully cut any hard crust around the side, dust with powdered sugar. Yields: 8 servings

Blackened BBQ Chicken Breast

I absolutely love to cook chicken in pans with light or even no oil. The result is succulent blackened chicken with loads of flavor from cooking it is own juices. Make sure you use a non stick pan when trying this however or it will not be pretty. Mexican chili powder gives this BBQ chicken an extra kick which can never be a bad thing. When placing the lid on at the end the steam will fully cook the inside of your chicken while giving it a golden baste. I have placed a picture of what your chicken should look like before adding the sauce and of course one with the sauce. 4 chicken breast, boneless and skinless 1 tablespoon Mexican chili powder 1/2 cup honey BBQ sauce Spray cooking oil 1. Cover chicken breast in Mexican chili powder, sit aside. In a non stick saute pan on medium heat spray with cooking oil. Place chicken into pan and cook 15 minutes on each side, until golden and spices on skin begin to blacken. Spray more oil as needed. After chicken has blackened place a lid on the pan and reduce heat to simmer, allow to cook 10 more minutes. Place chicken aside. 2. In the same pan the chicken was cooked in add BBQ sauce on low heat, mix well and warm. Drizzle sauce on top of chicken breast. Yields: 2-3 servings

Fried Green Tomatoes

Are as we call them in the South fried green maters. Fried Green Tomatoes really became quite popular after the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” who can forget that classic? But this recipe is as old south as it gets. I have saw many recipes over the years that have all kinds of spices included but the real version only has salt and pepper. For a breakfast dish you add some gravy on top of them. This is a tangy taste that people just seem to love. 3 large green tomatoes 1 cup all purpose flour 1/2 cup cornmeal 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper sunflower oil for frying 1. In a saute pan on medium head add enough oil for frying. 2. In a medium sized bowl add flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper, mix well. Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick and rotate in flour mixture, generously covering. Fry tomatoes on each side until golden. Drain on a paper towel. Yields: 4 servings

Sanora Chicken Pasta

Ruby Tuesdays has an excellent pasta called Sanora chicken pasta. This recipe is almost the exact same version if not better. Also you get a great looking dinner with this recipe with blushing tomatoes and Spring green onions. What more could one ask for? The only thing anyone will ask for is more. 4 chicken breast, boneless and skinless 250 grams cellentani pasta, cooked per package directions 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced 2 scallions, sliced top to bottom 1/2 cup cilantro, fresh cheese sauce: 6 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 cup hot water 1 tablespoon chicken stock 1 cup heavy cream salt to taste 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce or harissa 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 1/2 cup salsa 3/4 cup sour cream spicy black beans: 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed 3 tablespoons bbq sauce 1. In a nonstick 9-inch skillet on medium heat spray with cooking oil then add chicken breast. Cook fully on each side until no longer pink. Cut into small long strips and sit aside. In a 2-quart saucepan on medium heat add black beans and bbq sauce, stir and cook for 5 minutes. Sit aside. 2. In a saute pan on medium heat add butter, garlic and onions, cook until tender. Add hot water, chicken stock, salt, sugar, hot pepper, lemon juice, red pepper, Parmesan, mozzarella, salsa and sour cream. Mix well, until blended. Add cream, stir. Quickly add flour and whisk continuously until blended and thick. 3. In a large bowl add pasta and toss with cheese sauce (you may have extra sauce). Add pasta into prepared plates, add black beans atop, chicken strips and then garnish with tomatoes, cilantro and scallions. Yields: 6 servings

Daoud Basha

This is an irresistible meatball filled with spices and cooked in tomatoes. An amazing combination over rice. Daoud Basha is popular all over the Middle East. 2 pounds ground beef 1/2 cup pine nuts 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1/2 tablespoon Arabic Spice mix 1 black lemon 3 tablespoons sunflower oil 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce 1 cup water 1. In a large bowl add meat, pine nuts, tomato paste and Arabic Spice mix. Blend together well with hands. Make meatballs into the size of grapes. 2. In a 4-quart saucepan on medium-high heat add oil and fry onions until tender. Add meatballs and fry until golden. Add tomato sauce, water, black lemon and bay leaf. Allow Raise heat to high allow to come to a full boil then reduce to medium heat for 20 minutes. Serve with white rice. Yields: 4 servings