Hungarian Chicken Paprikash

This famous Hungarian dish is not typically cooked in the crockpot which is a shame because once you taste a whole chicken made in one their is no going back. The spices and juices marinate beautifully throughout the chicken. Paprika is a well known spice used throughout Europe and is displayed perfectly in this dish. Serve the chicken over noodles with the amazing sauce dolloped on top of it all. If you do not have a crockpot then you cook the chicken in a roasting pan for 1-1/2 hours and basically the rest of the recipe is the same. 1 whole chicken 1/4 butter 1 onion, chopped 2 tablespoons paprika 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 3 tablespoons flour 1 cup sour cream cooked noodles to serve 1. Place butter and onions in bottom of crockpot. Add chicken breast side up. Sprinkle paprika, salt and pepper in top of chicken. Cook on high heat for 6 hours. Half way though baste chicken. 2. Place cooked chicken into a serving platter. Add flour and sour cream into crockpot with juices and whisk continuously. Serve chicken and sauce over noodles. Yields: 4 servings

Placki Ziemniaczane

Placki Ziemniaczane is the Polish version of the ever so popular potato pancakes and my favorite as well. I love having these dainty rounds for a simple lunch or as a side to a beautiful European dinner. The finished batter should look like mush but they fry up as perfect little circles. 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced 2 eggs 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1-1/4 teaspoon salt 2 garlic cloves sunflower oil for frying Sour cream to serve 1. In a food processor add potatoes, eggs, flour, salt and garlic. Blend well until pureed. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat add enough oil to fry pancakes (about 1-14 inch). 2. Drop tablespoonfuls of potato mixture into skillet and spread out to a 3-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. 3. Fry until brown on the bottom (don't turn until the pancake is brown or it will stick), about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the pancake and fry the other side 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Serve with sour cream. Yields: 12

Tangerine Cake

Natural zest is the most flavorful and pure thing you can add to any cake. The beautiful color and the burst of fresh fruit fill your recipe with elegance and taste. You can take any simple cake and make it into something extra special. Adding the tangerines on top of this simple cake make it become something else all together. 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2/3 cup butter, softened 1-3/4 cups sugar 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla 2 eggs 1-1/2 cups butter milk 2 teaspoons tangerine zest 8 tangerine slices 1. Pre-heat oven to 375F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Set aside. In a large bowl add butter and sugar; mix well with a hand mixer. Add salt, sugar, vanilla, zest and eggs. Mix well. Carefully add flour and milk while mixing until well combined. 2. Place in oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes. 3. With a bread knife carefully remove any extra cake to make the tops flat. Brush off any remaining crumbs with a pastry brush. Carefully frost cake top, layer and frost remaining cake top. Decorate top with tangerine slices. Frosting: 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1 tablespoon sugar 1. In a large mixing bowl add whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sugar. Stir to combine. Cover and chill the bowl and wire whisk in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When chilled, beat the mixture until stiff peaks form. Yields: 8 cake servings + 2 cups of frosting

Ground Lamb Borek

Börek (also burek, boereg, and other variants on the name) is a type of baked or fried filled pastry, popular in some countries around the Mediterranean Sea, the Slavic cuisines, throughout the Balkans and the former Ottoman Empire. They are made of a thin flaky dough known as phyllo dough (or yufka dough), and are filled with salty cheese (often feta), minced meat, potatoes or other vegetables. Burek may be prepared in a large pan and cut into portions after baking, or as individual pastries. In Turkish, börek is the name used for pastries made with phyllo dough. 1 packet philo dough
1 pound ground lamb
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced 1 cup chopped mint 1 tablespoon sumac 1/4 cup chopped parsley 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup butter and oil + 1 tablespoon melted butter 1. In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat add 1 tablespoon butter, onion and garlic; cook until tender. Add lamb, sumac, salt and pepper. Cook until lamb is no long pink then add mint, pine nuts and parsley. Sit aside. 2. Brush a round quiche pan with butter. Put a sheet of philo dough and brush with butter and oil. Repeat this procedure until half the philo sheets are used (about 12). 3. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Spread the meat mixture on the pastry and cover remaining philio with a damp cloth. Again brushing each sheet with butter and oil. 4. Cut the borek into squares and bake. When the pastry sheets begin to puff up, drizzle the remaining butter over the pastry and continue to bake until pinkish in color, about 20-10 minutes. Yields: 6-8 servings

Top 5 of 2010

Ya Salam Cooking has had a great year in the blogging world I have to admit. This is my third year blogging and I love it so much more now that I know what to do and expect a bit more. This year has been filled with so much culture and food. What more could a foodie ask for? The top 5 recipes filled the slots with a landslide this year. The following top 5 of 2010 are in order of the over all popularity they gained. It defiantly shows that my readers come here for my Arabic dishes over all others. Most of my recipes are Arabic dishes but I have never sold myself to just one theme as I love all of the foods from all over the world equally. After all that is why my slogan is "The world is at your fingertips'. Because you can easily browse recipes from all over the world right here at Ya Salam Cooking. I will be adding many more unique Arabic dishes for you all this upcoming here so stay tuned. 1. Chicken Mandy This recipe has over 3,000 page views in just the last 6 months alone. 2. Lamb Kabsa Lamb Kabsa was closely following the Mandy by only a few hundred less views. 3. Cheese Kunafa This Arabic classic held its own this year. 4. Chicken Kabsa Surprisingly enough this all time favorite got half the views of the lamb kabsa. 5. Cream Kunafa And last but certainly not least in the ever so delicious creme kunafa.

Italian Tomato Sauce

So what do you think about the new look around here? I wanted something a bit more simple and warm and I feel like I really achieved that. The previous image I had of an illustration that was similar to me cost $50 and I got all 3 of these images (header, sidebar icon and footer) for less than $5. I found this awesome new stock site called YAY. You should check it out if your looking for some nice images. And if any of you want your own custom design go on over to So Sweet Designs which is my design business. Yes, I am a graphic designer with a passion for food my friends. Now lets get on to this beautiful red sauce that has brought you here. What better way to use up those extra tomatoes then make an enticing sauce that you can have for more then one meal and recipe. Most cooks will have all of these ingredients on hand. If not they are easy to obtain. I always save all of my glass jars for projects just like this. If you do not you really should start they are so useful. If you leave the one inch space between your sauce and lid you do not have to worry about the glass bursting as the liquid freezes and expands. Just thaw your sauce out when you want to use it. 15 tomatoes, quartered 3/4 cup tomato paste 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 5 garlic gloves, smashed 1 onion, diced 1 tablespoon dried basil 1/2 cup water 1/4 cup olive oil salt and pepper to taste 1. In a 6-quart pan on medium add olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste, sugar, oregano, thyme, basil and water, mix well. Carefully add tomatoes. Raise heat to boil, cover and reduce to simmer. Cook for 3 hours. 2. Stick a hand blender into pot and mix until sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper. Pour sauce into glass jars leaving a one inch space at least between sauce and lid. Close lid tightly. Continue filling jars until all of sauce has finished. Place jars aside until cool. 3. Place jars into freezer unless you plan to use the sauce quickly. If so place jars into refrigerator. Yields: 4-6 jars

Crockpot Chicken

This chicken falls apart like melted butter to the touch. Juicy, full of flavor all the things a good chicken should be. The chicken will make its own liquid and cook in it leaving every bite bursting with real flavor. Pair this dish up with some chicken gravy which you can make with the leftover stock. Add a bit more flour until you get the consistency you want for your gravy. I served this meal with some rice. 1 medium whole chicken 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon thyme 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1 onion, diced 1. Place onions on bottom of crockpot. Add chicken breast side up. Sprinkle salt, paprika, thyme, pepper and garlic on top of chicken. Cover with lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Spice Cake

This delicious, moist, sweet cake is one of the finest culinary showcases I've encountered for the unique and wonderful flavors of these spices.This cake is a traditional European recipe no doubt inspired by the merchandise brought back to Europe by the Dutch East Indian company. The beauty of this cake is the all in one streusel topping, the moist bottom and the indulging flavors. If nutmeg is a spice that you choose not to use a great substitute is ground cinnamon, ginger, mace, allspice or cloves, starting with half the amount specified. 2 cups all purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups lightly packed brown sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1/2 cup butter 1 egg 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg 1 cup milk 1 tablespoon sunflower oil 1. Preheat oven to 350F. In an 8 inch cake pan add sunflower oil. With a pastry brush brush all all over insides and bottom of pan, set aside. 2. In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and coriander, then rub the butter into mixture until it resembles course cornbread crumbs. Spoon half of this mixture into cake pan. 3. Add egg, milk and nutmeg into remaining batter. With a hand mixer blend well. Pour the batter over the crumbs in the cake pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes then allow to cool on a wire rack. Yields: 1 cake Adapted from The Spice and Herb Bible

Shrimp Biryani

Shrimp biryani is such a special dish that often marks a special day in most Indian homes. While it may take some time to put together it is well worth the wait. This dish pairs perfect with raita or even a divine rose laban on the side. 2 tablespoons sunflower oil 1/2 cup pine nuts 6 cardamom pods, smashed 4 bay leaves 1 cinnamon stick 1 teaspoon cumin 1 onion, peeled and chopped 2 tablespoons garlic, smashed 1-1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled & de-veined 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup plain yogurt 2 cups basmati rice, cooked 1 teaspoon saffron threads 1. In a saute pan on medium heat add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add onions, garlic, cardamoms, cinnamon, bay leaves, chili, turmeric, salt and pepper. Cook until onion is tender. 2. Add remaining oil and shrimp. Cool until shrimp is pink 1-2 minutes. Add yogurt cook for 7 minutes. Remove bay leaves and cardamom. In a small pan on medium heat toast pine nuts until golden. 3. Pre-heat oven to 350F. In a buttered 3 1/2-quart baking dish, spread rice and shrimp mixture. Layer until everything has finished. Rice layer should be on top. Sprinkle nuts and saffron on top then tightly cover top with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Yields: 8 servings

Paprika Salmon

My family loves salmon so its a dish that we have quite often. I am always looking for new ways to make our favorite fish so that the taste does not get boring. Paprika is a beautiful spice that really livens up meat especially seafood. Paprika looks like chili and has the same great flavors without the heat. It also provides great color and all of these reasons is why it is one of the most popular spices around the world. 1/4 cup orange juice 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided 2 teaspoons thyme Leaves, divided 2 pound salmon fillet 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon paprika salt to taste 1. Mix orange juice, 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1 teaspoon of the thyme in small bowl. Place salmon in glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat. Cover. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor. 2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix brown sugar, paprika, remaining 1 teaspoon thyme and salt in small bowl. Remove salmon from marinade. Place in greased foil-lined baking pan. Discard any remaining marinade. 3. Rub top of salmon evenly with smoked paprika mixture. Roast 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Yields: 4 servings

Gingerbread Men

Growing up making gingerbread men was always tradition in my house. Now that I am older I make these special cookies for my family as well. I love the subtle flavors of the spices in this recipe and I love the various decorating techniques you can use on your own little men. I always make cookie icing which I have gave you the recipe below and I apply it with a toothpick. I have found that its much easier then piping it. I use various candy toppings and mini m&m's as well. Have fun with your men and try not to eat them all. Hey they may take awhile but gingerbread men are known for being labor of love. These cookies just pair perfect with coffee or hot chocolate. 5 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar 4 teaspoons ground ginger 1 teaspoon nutmeg 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground cloves 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 eggs 1 cup molasses 1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside. 2. Put butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1-1/2 hours. 3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut with cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with a non-stick baking mat.
4. Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Decorate with icing or candies. Cookie Icing 1 tablespoon milk 1 cup sifted powdered sugar 1. Mix together in a small bowl.

Snicker Happy Cookie

This was my first recipe I posted over at Saudilife the new place you will catch me writing at as well. You have to be a registered member to see The Saudi Kitchen which is all me. I hope you all check it out as I will be posting weekly and trying my best to make the recipes outstanding. But today I can not help myself to go ahead and give you this recipe. In the winter months I am cookie obsessed as I think all us Americans are. THE earliest cookie-style cakes are thought to date back to 7th century Persia (now Iran). According to historians, sugar originated either in the lowlands of Bengal or elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Sugar spread to Persia and then to the Eastern Mediterranean. With the Muslim invasion of Spain, then the Crusades and the developing spice trade, the cooking techniques and ingredients of Arabia spread into Northern Europe. By the end of the 14th century, one could buy little filled wafers on the streets of Paris. Renaissance cookbooks were rich in cookie recipes. In the late 16th century, the English, Scotch, and Dutch immigrants originally brought the first cookies to the United States. So as you can see cookies have a long history throughout the world. One thing I have always personally loved about cookies were the ability they had to change a moment. For a moment a cookie can take us away to a magical place and bring smiles on faces young to old. These delicious 'Snicker Happy Cookies' will do just that for your loved ones and yourself. Made with snickers, walnuts and peanut butter these fabulous little sweets will be hard to get away from. These are perfect for holidays, get together or by just letting your family know how special they are to you. Go ahead make a batch today even new bakers can follow this easy step by step recipe. 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup white granulated sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon hot water 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup chopped Snickers candy bars 2/3 cup chopped walnuts 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter 1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 Celsius). In a large mixing bowl add butter, white sugar, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda, salt, peanut butter and hot water. With a hand mixer beat until combined. 2. Carefully add flour into bowl mixing until combined with the hand mixer. Add walnuts and Snickers and with a spoon combine well into the mixture. 3. On a cookie sheet drop or shape by hand 1 tablespoon of cookie dough 1-inch apart from one another. Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are golden. Yields: 60 cookies

Potato Soup



This is one of my all time favorite family soup recipes. On a cold day my mom would serve this soup with fresh hot cornbread and we would quickly be satisfied and warmed up. Bacon is an essential part of the flavoring in Potato Soup and should not be skipped. This soup is usually peppered pretty well as that is the soups style but you should do it to your specific likings.

2 pieces of turkey bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 cup chopped celery
6 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup water
3 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a 4-inch skillet on medium heat add butter, onions and turkey bacon. Cook until onions and celery or tender.

2. In a 8-quart saucepan on medium-high heat add water, parsley, milk and bouillons. Carefully add potatoes and onion mixture. Bring soup to a boil, reduce to low and cover. Allow to simmer one hour.

3. Before serving soup add flour, mixing continuously until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yields: 8 servings

Lamb Roast

One thing that has never let me down when cooking lamb has been my crockpot. Actually I have never even made lamb that taste as good as when it is made in the crockpot. Lamb is a meat that needs to be slow cooked for awhile in order to cook right so the crockpot is perfect for a meat like this. This is a family favorite in my house no doubt. The gravy is a must side dish for the lamb as well. You can easily throw this together around lunch time and have a fabulous dinner ready when you need it. I made some rice to go along with this dish and I felt as if I did not really even cook by the time dinner rolled around. 1 boneless leg of lamb 4 tablespoons butter 1/4 cup water 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/4 teaspoon coriander 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley 1 large potato, diced 1 onion, sliced thinly 1 celery stalk, sliced 1. In a small bowl add paprika, salt, cumin, coriander and parsley, mix. Rub half of mixture on top of lamb. Add water and butter into crockpot. Place spice side up lamb into crockpot. Cook on high heat for 3 hours. Flip lamb and sprinkle remaining spices into crockpot. Add potato, onion and celery. Cover and reduce heat to low cooking for 3 more hours. Yields: 4 servings drippings from lamb 2/3 cup flour 1. Add flour into crockpot where lamb drippings remain. Whisk continuously until mixed well.

Chicken Shawarma Sandwich

I got an email from one of my readers Aseel wanting my shawarma recipe so I thought I would go ahead and post it since this was not the first time I have been asked for this one. This is the recipe I always used to make when my family and I were back home in the states. Since living in Saudi I really have no need to make it anymore since its so easily obtainable. I had some chicken laid out so I thought I would whip this together. Be sure to make some homemade garlic sauce to go with it. I love my shawarma filled with chicken, fries, garlic paste and pickles. A great side is fries or chips. 2 pounds 3 ounces chicken breast, skinless and boneless 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/2 cup sunflower oil 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon white pepper 1/4 teaspoon allspice 1/2 teaspoon sumac 1/2 teaspoon oregano 1/8 teaspoon ground mastic (optional) 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped *pita bread, garlic sauce, grilled tomatoes, French fries and pickles to serve. 1. Cut the chicken into long strips. In a medium sized bowl add chicken, lemon juice, oil, cloves, nutmeg, pepper, allspice, sumac, oregano, mastic, garlic and onions. Mix well, cover and refrigerate overnight. 2. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Place the chicken with the marinade in an oven proof dish. Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes until tender. Serve with pita bread, garlic sauce, grilled tomatoes and fries. Yields: 5 servings Adapted from The Middle Eastern Cookbook

Traditional Yemeni

Tonight we had dinner at this traditional Yemeni restaurant tonight and it was amazing. I have to say I liked it a lot more then Najd village. The place was extremely clean and the food was nothing less then amazing. We were even brought our kabobs on grills which is a winner for sure in my book. You can see several Arabian antiques and pictures all over the mud style house. The sink even has pouring dullahs to wash your hands in. Saudi food and Yemeni food are almost alike. Most Saudi food came from Yemen anyway so the two countries eat almost the same. I can not even remember the name of the place but I will add it tomorrow when my husband is awake. This place is a must go when coming to Riyadh.