Fried brain

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Have you tried brain? Brain is very popular in Egypt, sold fried as fast food in local restaurants. Brain needs to be well soaked in water and lemon or vinegar before cleaned then immersed in boiled water for few minutes as it is very fragile and cooks quickly. Usually sold in Middle Eastern butchers, or in Meat section of Middle Eastern grocery stores.

To Make Fried brain you’ll need

To soak the brain: Water , vinegar (2 table spoons) ,juice of one large lemon

2 whole lamb brains
Bread crumbs – about 2 cups
(2 – 3) large eggs
Cumin (about 2 teaspoons)
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying ( I use sun flower oil)

 

Directions

– Soak the brains in water so that the water cover the brain

– Add vinegar , juice of one lemon, leave   lemon halves in water

– Keep in fridge for couple of hours

– Drain the brain, gently pull the covering membrane . Make sure not to press hard.

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– In a large pot boil enough water to cover the brain. Once boiled, add to pot. Add one teaspoon cumin

– Boil for 5 minutes , remove with large slotted spoon. Place in a colander to drain.

– Let rest till cool enough to handle

– Using a large chef knife,cut up brain into large cubes

– In a shallow dish, whisk egg with 2 tbsp (lemon juice) water. Add half teaspoon cumin, season with salt and pepper to taste.

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– In a separate shallow dish, combine bread crumbs with half a teaspoon cumin, add salt and pepper to taste.

– Dip brain cubes into egg mixture to coat all over. Dip into bread crumbs to coat evenly.

– In large non-stick skillet, heat 1 cup oil over medium heat; fry brain until crispy, about 4 minutes. Remove to platter lined with kitchen paper to soak up excess oil and keep warm.

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Serve with lemon wedges. Dip in salsa if desired.

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Enjoy

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Veal Piccata and Veggies

This delicious dish is made with sliced veal cutlets that are dipped in flour, then browned and simmered with onions,garlic and tomatoes. Adding veggies makes it a complete meal with pasta or rice.

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To make Veal Piccata and Veggies you’ll need:

2 Ibs veal cutlets
one large onion julienned
4 cloves minced garlic
1 C flour
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt & pepper to taste
1 C water
2 sliced tomatoes
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 bag frozen vegetables (I used President’s Choice Summer Blend)

Directions

– Season the veal with salt and pepper. In shallow dish, whisk together flour, salt, pepper and oregano.

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– Dredge veal into flour mixture to coat both sides, shaking off excess. Discard excess flour.
– In large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Sauté each side until no longer pink inside, about 4 minutes.
– In a separate small skillet add 1 tablespoon olive oil and fry onion. Add onions to veal mixture, de-glaze with 1 cup water. Stir in tomato slices.
– In same small skillet, add one more tablespoon olive oil, fry garlic cloves with dried coriander. Add to veal mixture, simmer on medium heat till veal almost done

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– In a same small skillet, add one more tablespoon olive oil, fry frozen vegetables,till cooked. Add to veal mixture, let come to a boil then remove from heat.

– Serve warm with spaghetti or rice. Drizzle sauce over veal cutlets and vegetables.

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Quesadillas Stuffed With Msakhan

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Msakhan is a famous Palestinian dish, it is basically cooked chicken seasoned with lots of onions, olive oil and  sumac. Msakhan is usually served over speacial bread called Markook. I served it in gluten free tortillas as a kind of Quesadillas !

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So enjoy this yummy dish and give your stomach a break from wheat for a change . Bon Appetit!

To make Quesadillas Stuffed With Msakhan You’ll need:

For the chicken

1 (3 Ib) whole chicken
2 large onions, halved

3 cardmom pods

1 tsp black pepper corns

2 bay leaves

1 large tomato quartered

salt to taste

For the Msakhan

3 large red onions
1/4 C extra version olive oil
2 tsp sumac
1 tsp each lemon salt,salt ,ground black pepper

More olive oil and sumac for tortillas.

Directions

For the chicken
– Fill a large soup pot with enough water to cover chicken. Bring a to boil.
– Add chicken (skim off foam). Add onions, tomatoes and spices.
– Reduce heat and simmer semi-covered for about one hour or until chicken meat falls off of the bones.
– Remove chicken from pot, set aside. Strain broth, keep for other use. It freezes very well.

To make the msakhan

– Cut chicken breasts and thighs into cubes.

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– Heat half amount of olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat,stir in onion rings, season with half amount of spices. Cook onions till translucent.

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– Add remaining olive oil. Stir in chicken. Toss with remaining spices.

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– Heat on low heat for few minutes.

– Brush tortillas from one side with olive oil and sumac , turn tortillas and spread with chicken mixture.

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– Cover with another tortilla. brush top of tortillas with more olive oil and sumac.

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– Bake in preheated 350 F oven for 5 minutes.
– Cut into wedges and serve.

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I served it with Green Split Pea Soup, great winter meal. Enjoy !

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Moroccan Meatballs & Poached Eggs Tajine

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This Moroccan dish is a delicious way to enjoy meatballs. I did not have a tajine ,so I cooked it in a cast iron skillet.
You can make extra batch of the meat balls in sauce, simply reheat and crack the eggs over just before serving.

To make Meatballs & Poached  Eggs Tajine you’ll need

For the meatballs:

1 Ib ground beef
1/2 bunch chopped parsley
1/2 bunch chopped coriander
1 large onion minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp each ; cumin,ginger,paprika.

For the sauce:


1 (14 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 large onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic , minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp each ; cumin,ginger,paprika.
1/2 C chopped parsley
1/2 C chopped coriander
4 large eggs
2 Tbsp olive oil

Directions

– To make the meatballs: in a large bowl, combine ground beef with onions,parsley and coriander. Add spices and mix.
– Form into balls , the size of a walnut, set aside
– To make the sauce: blend tomatoes in a blender, set aside

– Heat the olive oil in a large Moroccan tajine or a large skillet, add onions and garlic,fry till yellowish.

– Stir in tomatoes, parsley ,coriander and spices.
– Bring to a boil. Add meatballs and simmer on low heat till meatballs are done.
–  Make space for the eggs. Crack an egg into each hole. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
– Serve with Moroccan bread.

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