344. Baked Eggplant Kebabs

Turkish food is vivid in its flavor, color, and presentation.
It can range from the complex list of ingredients and method to the simplest ever, both yielding the most luscious and succulent dishes.
This recipe, which I picked up from the fantastic Turkish blog aptly named My Turkish Kitchen, is one of the most impressive, delicious, and simplest dishes to make. Continue reading “344. Baked Eggplant Kebabs”

343. Iraqi Fish Turn-Over

We have already established that Iraqis like to stuff their foods (vineleaves, cabbage, chicken, lamb), but did you know that layering food is also quite favored?
This fish turn-over mutabbag (سمك مطبق) or maqlooba (مقلوبة) is the perfect example.
Rice, fish fillets, and a sultana-spice mix are layered in a pot, cooked a little longer, then inverted onto the serving dish. Continue reading “343. Iraqi Fish Turn-Over”

341. Couscous, Pomegranate and Pine Nut Salad

This is efficiency at its best. A substantial, flavorsome, and incredibly textured salad made and ready to eat within 10 to 12 minutes.
Couscous is a staple carbohydrate consumed regularly in Northern African countries, much like rice in the Arabian Gulf countries. It forms an excellent base for any flavors you want to add (like in Couscous and Grilled Summer Vegetables Salad ). Continue reading “341. Couscous, Pomegranate and Pine Nut Salad”

340. Lemon-Mint Refresher Drink

Due to globalization, few ingredients that were once considered exotic still are.
Mint was considered very exotic and almost exclusive to Arab and North African cuisine.
This lemon-mint refresher is a typical drink in the Middle East.
The color and amazing flavor is completely natural, and no dye or artificial essences are added.
If we want to bring it close to the English language, I suppose we could call it mint lemonade although lemonade seems to be the poor man’s alternative to this wonderful drink. Continue reading “340. Lemon-Mint Refresher Drink”

339. Chocolate Fondue

Gather your friends and have a blast with this chocolate fondue!
It is so simple to prepare, tastes absolutely delicious, and is a great conversation starter.
A selection of whatever sliced fruits your heart desires, and another selection of baked goods on the side, plus the bowl of chocolate fondue, and you are good to go.
Fondue is the French word for “melted,” and although chocolate fondue is very popular, it is not original.
The Swiss are famous for their fondue, the original sort: savory cheese fondue. It is a large pot of bubbly molted cheese in which you dunk cubes of baguette of boiled new potatoes. Indescribably delicious.
So this chocolate fondue is the sweet adaptation of the savory original. Continue reading “339. Chocolate Fondue”

338. Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni is too often dismissed as kiddies’ food and for unrefined palates.
Not true.
As adults, we find ourselves re-discovering so-called kiddie foods, and adapting them to suit our (so-called) adult tastes. In this case, the aged cheddar cheese (not pre-shredded) and sauteed mushroom made this cosy family favorite all the better.
The cubed toast (or “croutons” for poshy adults) made a wonderful contribution in the texture department: both crunchy and chewy at the same time; almost like popcorn. Continue reading “338. Baked Macaroni and Cheese”

337. Apple Caramel Cake

Apples are an amazing and versatile fruit which we unfortunately take for granted and greatly underestimate it. There are so many varieties and so many different ways to eat them, from fresh to cooked or baked.
I came across this apple cake recipe on A Year From Oak Cottage, authored by Marie, who also pens The English Kitchen. I must have a taste for caramel-topped cakes, as the first recipe that drew me to The English Kitchen was the sticky toffee date cake several years ago. This cake is different but just as good. I dice the apples fairly small. Continue reading “337. Apple Caramel Cake”

336. Iraqi Meat Pies

These Iraqi meat pies (لحم عجين) are a popular snack or afternoon tea accompaniment and are affectionately termed as part of the Nawashif (نواشف) food group. Nawashif literally translates as “dried,” and include any number of baked and fried food, both of which are dearly loved yet do not qualify as a meal in themselves (hence the Iraqi love for stews or maraq).
Pulverizing the meat mix renders it highly spreadable and easier to both bake and eat, as it will not crumble off as un-pulverized minced meat will.
You can increase or decrease both or either the chili and/or the pomegranate molasses to suit your personal liking of spiciness and tanginess respectively. Continue reading “336. Iraqi Meat Pies”

335. Broad Bean Dill Rice Pilaf


Broad bean and dill rice pilaf (تمن باجلا) is just as popular as carrot rice in the Iraqi household.
It is healthy, hearty, and delicious, and jam-packed full of flavor.
Similar to the Iraqi carrot rice, you may opt to make it vegetarian or as carnivorous as you like.
Broad beans, fava beans, and lima beans may all be used interchangeably.
Some households serve this rice with shredded boiled or roasted chicken, others with roasted or simmered lamb shanks, while some find it the perfect accompaniment to roasted fish. Continue reading “335. Broad Bean Dill Rice Pilaf”