Illustrated Recipes



Aren’t these illustrated Iraqi Recipes gorgeous? They were created by Nadia AlKhafagi a very talented artist based in Dubai. You can check out her blog arttray to learn more about her. Also try these delicious recipes of hers why your at it.

The Best Onion Rings Ever


I am really weird about onions. I like to mince or pulse them to use in my recipes because I like the flavor they give but I do not like to eat them any other way like on my burger or in a salad. My grandparents eat onions like an apple, wowsers. I have always been in this neutral zone when it comes to onion rings. I kind of like them and I kind of do not. What I really do not like is if they are soggy are having a huge piece of onion in them. A few weeks ago I saw a picture of a blooming onion from Outback Steakhouse and thought how good it looked. However, it seemed like a lot of work, I did not have a sweet onion and I think they are too thick for my liking.

That is when this major craving took over and I decided to try to make my own onion ring recipe, one that I would actually eat. I used white onions because that is what I always have and they are typically used for onion rings, I made sure to make the rings really thin, doubled battered with buttermilk (a Southern rule when we fry) and I still used the Outback dipping sauce. Oh man these are good and let me tell you I have since made them again. They are so worth the time (and mess) and once you try them with the dipping sauce you will never want ketchup again.

1 medium white onion, sliced thin
1 egg, beaten
2 cups buttermilk (I used laban)
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Sunflower oil

Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons ketchup
2 teaspoons creamed horseradish
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1 dash black pepper
1 dash cayenne

1. In a bowl add mayonnaise and ketchup, mix well. Add horseradish, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, oregano, dash of black pepper and cayenne. Mix well, cover and place in refrigerator until needed.

2. In a saute pan on medium heat add oil (it should be 1 inch). Allow for the oil to reach about 350F.

3. In a medium sized bowl add beaten egg and buttermilk, mix. In another medium sized bowl add flour, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder, mix well.

4. Working with a handful of onion slices at a time dip in buttermilk, then flour, buttermilk and flour again for double battering. Then carefully place into the hot oil. Cook until golden (as much as you like it. Carefully flip and continue doing so until finished.

5. Place on a serving platter lined with paper towels and serve.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Koussa Bil Khal


I love all of these ingredients but I was not sure how I would feel about them combined. Once I took a bite though it instantly became one of my favorite ways to have zucchini. I guess I should have known better the Lebanese always know what to do with vegetables (and every other food pretty much). The original recipe says that you can leave the garlic raw but I prefer it lightly cooked in olive oil.

5 large zucchini (2 pounds), sliced 1/3 thick
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons dried, crushed mint
2 garlic cloves, diced and cooked

1. On a baking sheet lined with foil add zucchini and brush with olive oil then lightly salt.

2. Cook under a preheated broiler until lightly browned then flip, brush with oil and return to broiler to brown other side.

3. Mix vinegar, mint and garlic in a small bowl and mix with cooked zucchini slices.

Yields: 6 servings

Adapted from Arabesque

Zucchini Pancakes



We’re getting some really beautiful zucchini right now in Saudi and I love to buy them in abundance to make some of my favorite Spring dishes such as this one. These little vegetable pancakes are the perfect light snack or side dish for dinner. You could even do an assorted platter with various vegetables. Sour cream is not always easy to find here and when you do its not like the normal one so I usually substitute that with plain yogurt which I always have on hand.

1 cup shredded zucchini
1 small white onion, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil, for frying
Yogurt and olive oil for serving

1. In a saute pan on medium heat add olive oil.

2. In a mixing bowl add zucchini, onion, parsley, salt, pepper and onion, mix well and incorporate egg. Make into small patties and fry until brown about 4 minutes on each side.

3. Place on a plate and serve with a small bowl of yogurt with olive oil drizzled on top.

Yields: 4 servings