Cows in a Blanket


One of my favorite party foods has always been cows in a blanket. Back home we have a big bowl on our table for every holiday or party and they always go fast. Last weekend I threw my son a graduation party with all of our family and I made a batch of these. I like to have mine plain but you could add cheese to the dough if you would like and also set up little bowls of various dips if you would like.

1 package of beef cocktail weenies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons cold butter
3/8 cup buttermilk (I used laban)

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. In a large bowl add flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Cut in cold butter until mixture is coarse. Add a small amount of buttermilk at a time until a dough like consistency has formed. Allow dough to rest for a few minutes.

3. Tear off a piece of dough and wrap around cocktail weenie until all has finished. Place on a non-stick baking mat and cook for 13 minutes.

Yields: 30



I am always asking my mother in law for old traditional recipes so that I can make at home and share here on Ya Salam Cooking with you all. As she was going through everything I had them all and she jokingly laughed and told me that I know more Saudi recipes then she does. She then remembered Daghabees and I was intrigued with the recipe and story about it. Daghabees is a traditional recipe from Southern Saudi. The recipes in the Southern region are nothing like the recipes here in central Saudi where you have dishes full or meat and rice. They actually do not eat a lot of rice in the south and the dishes are much more basic.

Dagabees is a three part meal and is served the same way. A bowl is filled with the broth then on another plate you have the dough (kind of like dumplings to use in the West) and on a another plate is the meat. The three are then set in the middle and everyone just kind of digs in. Many homes also make the dish without the meat and use black lentils in its place since not everyone was able to afford meat. I am personally not a big fan of black lentils since they stay kind of crisp and not soft like red lentils.

My mother in law told me that when she was a little girl she would have to stay up late making tons of the dough rounds for this dish for her large family and that her mom would tell her that if she did not get it all taken care of she would not be allowed to go to school the next day. Could you even imagine telling that to a kid today? They sure are spoiled!

Traditionally lamb pieces with the bones still on (for flavor) are used for this dish but I am aware that lamb is not easily available to all of you so replace it with beef. You can also just use brown flour instead of Dubai brown (which my mother in law insisted was the best for this recipe). She also uses only chicken bullion cubes even in meat dishes because she says the meat cubes do not taste good so I just go with her on that one with my dishes as well because her food is amazing and she knows what she is doing. I also chopped my tomatoes, garlic and onion in my food processor because I hate big chunks of stuff in my food plus it really brings the flavor out.

Lamb pieces with bones (I used 8 big pieces)
1 large white onion, diced
7 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
6 green cardamom pods, bruised
2 tomatoes, diced
1 clove of garlic, diced
2-1/2 chicken bullion cubes (Maggi)
3 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups brown flour (Dubai brown)

1. In a stock pot add oil, cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper and cardamoms. All lamb and brown on all sides then add tomatoes, saute and cover water. Add lid half way propped open on top and allow to cook for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make dough. In a a large mixing bowl add flour and a little bit of water until a dough consistency has formed. Make fluffy rounds the size of a tea saucer. When stock has cooked carefully drop dough rounds into the pan. Cover and allow to cook for 15 minutes carefully flipping dough every 5 minutes. Then remove from heat.

3. To serve add broth in one bowl, dough on one plate and meat on another plate.

Yields: 3-4 servings

Hibachi Steak and Chicken


My husband had to fly to Dubai last weekend for business so Talal and I had the house to ourselves. I tend to always crave things more when I know that I can not have them and I was really wanting Japanese Hibachi. I thought I would give it a go on my own for our dinner and it turned out pretty good. I made my version much more healthy as you can see. If you have ever had Hibachi in America then you already know about the mayo sauce that comes with it. Us Americans go crazy for that sauce and I have not found it anywhere else but this recipe is pretty accurate and goes along perfect with the meal.

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cubed
2 steaks, cubed (I used filet Mignon)
1 small white onion
2 small zucchinis, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds

1. In a large saute pan on medium heat add two tablespoons of oil. Add chicken, salt and pepper. Cook until thoroughly done then sit aside. When finished cook steaks then add chicken back into pan. Add onions, butter and soy sauce. Sprinkle seeds on top, mix then remove from heat.

2. In another small skillet on medium heat add remaining oil, zucchinis, salt and pepper. Cover and allow to cook for about 6 minutes or until soft.

Mayonnaise Sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 dash cayenne pepper

1. In a bowl whisk add all of the ingredients together until the sauce is creamy. Add a small amount of water at a time until you get the consistency you want. Refrigerate over night for best results.