Fried brain

brain7

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.

brain1 brain2

– 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.

brain3  brain4

– 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.

brain5

Serve with lemon wedges. Dip in salsa if desired.

brain6

Enjoy

brain8

Eggplant Fattouche (Syrian Eggplant Salad)

Try this colourful salad made with citrus dressing and crispy bread. Original recipe calls for frying the pita,however  I baked it for a lighter version.

Serve chilled or at a moderate temperature

fetouch1En

Ingredients

3 large eggplants,peeled and cubed
1 large red onion diced
2 to 3 cups chopped parsley
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 small pita breads
Oil for frying

Dressing

Juice of 1 large lemon, white vinegar (about 1 tablespoon), 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons sumac, pinch of black pepper, salt to taste

Directions

– Sprinkle eggplant with salt, let sit in colander till all liquid is released. Rinse with cold water and dry. Use kitchen towel to make sure eggplant is completely dry.

– In a large skillet, pour enough oil to cover the eggplant. Heat the oil until it begins to smoke lightly. Fry eggplant in hot oil till golden brown, place on cookie sheet layered with kitchen paper to drain excess oil.

fetouch3En

– Prepare vegetables and place in a large bowl with eggplant, set aside.

fetouch4En

– Tear pita by hand into small pieces, distribute on one layer on a cookie sheet. Bake in 350 preheated oven till crispy.

– Stir vegetables to combine, mix dressing ingredients and add to vegetables.

fetouch5En fetouch6En

– Add baked pita to salad, mix well. Add more dressing if needed.

fetouch7En

– Serve … Enjoy!

fetouch2En

 

Ancient Flour Krachel – Moroccan Brioche

krachel4

Treat yourself this week end to those delicious rolls, scented with anise and orange flower water. The recipe is adopted from Krachel Recipe by 

I substituted a mixture of  einkorn and spelt flour for regular flour, more oil is needed while kneading the dough,as einkorn is a little bit sticky.

I also used a food processor to knead the dough, then kneaded it by hand for 5 more minutes. Using a food processor makes it easier to obtain fluffy rolls in a snap!

Enjoy krachel with butter and your favourite fruit jam, accompanied by Moroccan mint tea. Yummy!

krachel3

To make Ancient Flour Krachel you’ll need:

2 1/2 cups einkorn flour
2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons anise seeds
2 free range large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup warm milk
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4  cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange flower water
zest of 2 limes
————————————————
1 egg beaten for glaze
Sesame seeds for sprinkling on rolls

Directions
– Dissolve yeast and 1 tsp sugar in milk , set aside and and let prove till bubbly.
– Mix eggs with orange flower water and lime zest.
– Put the flours, salt , sugar and aniseeds into the bowl of the food processor.Pulse few times to mix.
– Turn on the machine and pour in melted butter,oil and egg mixture. Process until the dough forms a rotating very soft ball.
– You may need to add more flour (about 1/4 cup) if dough is too sticky to handle.
– Place dough in an extra  large oiled bowl, knead with oiled hands for about five minutes, until very smooth.
– Cover bowl with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
– Punch down dough and form into balls.
– Place balls two inches apart in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper,cover with towel and allow to rise for 25 minutes.

– Brush balls with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

krachel1  krachel2

– Bake in 350 F preheated oven for 25 minutes.
– Let the krachel cool on a wire rack.

krachel5

(Mhalabiya ) Caramel Vanilla Pudding

DSCN8840 copy

This is a famous, easy to prepare middle eastern pudding, usually it is flavoured with orange blossom water . I skipped the blossom water and used regular vanilla extract as it does not go well with the caramel flavour.

Kushta Cream is used in preparing Mhalabiya, you can substitute same amount of regular thick cream if not available. You Can find kushta cream in middle eastern markets.

DSCN8850 copy

To Make (Mhalabiya ) Caramel Vanilla Pudding you’ll need

4 C milk (3% fat)
3 heaped Tbsp tapioca starch
12 Tbsp raw sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 (6 oz) can Kushta Cream – or regular thick cream.
Caramel spread ; commercial or home made (I used Bonne Maman Caramel Spread)
Chopped pistachio for garnish

DSCN8849 copy

Diections

– Put milk in a large sauce pan, add tapioca starch and whisk till starch dissolves completely in milk. Add sugar and vanilla extract.
– Cook mixture on low heat, while whisking continuously until mixture starts to thicken.
– Add Kushta Cream (or regular thick cream), Stir till bubbly.
– Pour pudding  in ramekins or glass containers, let rest until set.
– Heat caramel sauce in microwave until slightly runny (about 30 sec) , gently pour onto pudding.
– Garnish with chopped pistachios.
– Let pudding set completely, chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve cold.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Buckwheat Pancakes

One of my favourite pancake recipes; delicious ,filling and healthy.
Try these pancakes with my Potato And Sweet Pepper Frittata for a perfect breakfast or brunch.

To Make Buckwheat Pancakes you’ll need:

1 C buckwheat flour
1 C spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinamon
2 large free run organic eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 C organic milk (2 %)
1/2 C buttermilk
2 Tbsp butter

Directions

– Mix both types of flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Add milk , buttermilk , eggs , and vanilla extract . Stir to combine.
– Melt butter in a non stick pan, stir into batter . (You may need to add more butter to grease the pan for cooking the pancakes).
– Ladle 1/3 C of batter into pan, cook 1 minute per side. Transfer on kitchen paper to cool.
– Serve with fruits and honey or maple syrup.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Orange Glazed Butternut Squash Muffins

I love this muffins recipe, first because it is wholesome and CLEAN, second; it is the first thing I baked without chocolate that satisfied my little prince. So not only are these muffins  yummy and healthy, but they are also kid-approved. Enjoy it for breakfast or a coffee break treat, in the lunch box or as an after school snack  for kids.

 Butternut Squash Muffins

Orange Glazed Butternut Squash Muffins- wasafaty.wordpress.com

To make butternut squash purée:  cut the butternut squash into quarters lengthwise,scoop out seeds and membranes.Place in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Drizzle butternut squash with vegetable oil and roast for about 45 minutes in a 350F preheated oven. Cool to room temperature then scrap the flesh with a spoon into a glass bowl and mash with a potato masher. I keep batches of 1 C butternut purée in zip lock bags and freeze them for later use. I learned this trick from Jessica Seinfeld’s video Cooking tips from Jessica’s kitchen

To make Orange Glazed Butternut Squash Muffins You’ll need:

1 C Kamut flour

3/4 C quick oats

1 C raw sugar

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp each baking powder and baking soda

1 C butternut squash purée (recipe above)

2 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2/3 C buttermilk

1/4 C vegetable oil

Glaze:

1 C confectioners’ sugar

Juice of 1 large orange

Directions

– Pulse oatmeal in a food processor to reach oat bran texture.

– In a bowl, mix oats with flour,sugar,cinnamon,baking powder,baking soda and salt.

– In a separate bowl, whisk pumpkin with eggs,vanilla,buttermilk and oil.

– Add dry mixture to pumpkin mixture gradually while whisking until combined.

– Spoon 1/4 C batter into lined muffin cups, bake in preheated 350 oven for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

– Cool muffins completely on a wire rack.

– Place wrack over parchment paper, pour glaze over muffins, let set 20 minutes.

– To prepare the glaze: stir confectioners’ sugar with orange juice until smooth.

Butternut Squash muffins

Orange Glazed Butternut Squash Muffins- wasafaty.wordpress.com

Tahini Yoghurt Dip

Regular tahini dip is made with water, I use yoghurt to give it  creamy texture, and add some sourness that goes well with the vinegar. This crowd-pleasing dip is great with veggies or with pita chips.

Tahini Dip

To make Tahini Yoghurt Dip you’ll need:

1/2 C tahini paste
2 Tbsp plain yoghurt
1/4 C water
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt,paprika
1 Tbsp olive oil.

Directions

– Combine tahini paste and yoghurt in a medium bowl, add vinegar and mix.
– Add water little by little while whisking . (you may add more water for thinner consistency)
– Season tahini with spices.
– Drizzle olive oil on top.
– Garnish with fresh parsley.
– Enjoy.