Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

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Soup For Stuffy Sinuses Recipe

December 11, 2007

Still nursing a nasty sinus/post-nasal drip/flu, so I came up with the following soup. First off, I believe in the power of garlic. It’s good for just about anything. Raw garlic is best. Some people swallow whole raw garlic cloves so that they don’t have garlic breath for the rest of the day. Secondly, I don’t know why but I’m on a beef broth kick. I’m not a beef eater these days. The only time I eat beef is when it’s ground and in a meatball. I also get the urge now and then for a McDonald’s cheeseburger but that’s about it. I think the reason I’m choosing beef broth over chicken is because my children are now in a chicken broth with alphabet pasta soup phase. It started out as just soup with a little pasta and getting them to eat it was easy because I’d say which letters were on their spoons, “Look! You got an O!” Little by little, I added more pasta and less broth. To get them to really enjoy it, I had to partake in the fun so I’m a little bit tired of chicken broth.

This is another quickie. Who has time to make soup from scratch when you’re feeling like you want to crawl up in the fetal position and zone out? If you’re somewhere in the world where finding canned or tetra-packed beef broth is easy, well, this recipe gets even easier. For the rest of us, well…

500ml / 2 cups Water

2 to 2-1/2 beef broth bouillon cubes

Pasta, any small shape will do. I used mini conchiglie rigate

1 large garlic clove, crushed

Lots of freshly ground black pepper

Boil the water with bouillon cubes in a small pot. Once boiling, add pasta until done. Add garlic (I used my garlic press right over the pot), stir a bit then turn off heat. Add freshly ground black pepper. Makes enough for one big bowl. Enjoy!

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Tortellini in Brodo, Stat!

December 4, 2007

Yesterday I was talking to a couple of American friends married to Kuwaitis about cultural differences during winter. My husband, with his Kuwaiti upbringing, runs around the house closing all the windows, while I, the American, run around opening them up. While I run around the house barefoot, he runs after me telling me that I’m going to get sick from the cold tiles. I’m outside in capris and sandals while he’s wearing a turtleneck, long pants, socks and shoes. I tell him, “I’m from Massachusetts, I’m USED to this weather. It’s not even cold for me!” He replies that the cold in Kuwait is different. It’s a “dry cold”, one which gets into your bones and makes you sick. I look at him and say that only viruses and bacteria make one sick, and he’s talking a lot of hogwash. Kuwaitis aren’t the only ones to be cautious of cold weather. Many Europeans are the same way – specifically Italians. Same logic goes for cold tiles, breezes through windows, they’re all something to avoid at all costs. In Italy, just like in Kuwait, if you don’t hop from the shower to your blow dryer within a nano-second, you’ll be on your deathbed by the next day. Older Italian women take a step further and have the belief that during a woman’s menstruation, water is something to avoid all together. Something about the water making you sick or infertile or both.

Moving right along… So yesterday, after our discussion and after hearing both of my friends agreeing with me that it’s all very silly, this almost superstitious phobia-like avoidance of cold breezes and tiles, I did my usual barefoot walking around the house, the outside in the yard with capri sweatpants thing, and slept with our bedroom window open.

Well, reality woke me up and slapped me in the face this morning. I woke up with terrible sinus pain and spent most of the morning blowing out lots of sinus gunk. I’m tired and achy. I’m also thinking there might be something to this whole avoidance-of-cold thing after-all. As my husband says, “We know these things because this is our country and we know it better than anyone else, so listen to me when I tell you that Kuwait’s winter is no joke.”

So for dinner tonight, I had very little energy, very little inspiration and I craved something hot. I had a bag of tortellini in the fridge so…

Tortellini in Brodo (Quick Version)

A bag of Carrefour fresh tortellini, filled with ricotta and spinach

Beef or Chicken broth

Parmesan cheese, grated

Remember, this is a quick version. I only had some Maggi broth cubes so I used 5 cubes for 3 liters of water. It may seem excessive to some, but you need a really rich broth for this soup. I was in the mood for beef, but you can certainly use chicken. Once boiling, add the tortellini. They will automatically rise to the top but don’t be fooled, they’re not done. Boil until they seem to plump up a bit. You may have to taste one to make sure they’re ready.

Pour into bowls, and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. While your eating your soup, remember to drag the spoon around the bottom of the bowl. Some of the Parmesan settles there and gets all gooey and nice.

That’s it. Easy, no?

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Iranian Bread Pizza

December 4, 2007

Yesterday I went to the Iranian bread place to buy dough (“ajeena”). Five portions for only 100fils. What a bargain.

So I came home and set the oven to 470F, opened up a can of peeled whole tomatoes (No. 1 brand), crushed them by hand, added oregano, basil, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, olive oil, Italian seasoning (a mix of rosemary, thyme, etc.), let it sit while I shaped the dough into a large circle on a pan brushed with olive oil, placed some of the prepared sauce on top, put some shredded mozzarella on top, placed the pan on the bottom of the oven (bottom, not bottom rack, the bottom), shut the door as quickly as possible, let it cook for a few minutes and voila….

Iranian bread pizza

It was OK, but I don’t recommend it. The dough was too chewy and just didn’t marry well with the sauce and cheese. I used the dough to make bread later on for dinner and no matter how much olive oil or flour I used on the pan, the bread ended up sticking in some places.

I think if you bought Iranian bread already made, put a bit of sauce and cheese on top and placed it in the top part of your oven to melt the cheese, it might be OK. At least it’s something quick that you can prepare when you’re really short on time I suppose.

My all-time favorite way to eat Iranian bread? Fresh and hot from the bakery, plain, nothing on it.

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Lavash

November 29, 2007

Combine the following in a large bowl:

8 cups flour

1-1/2 T salt

1 T sugar

Make a well in the center and add:

1 package yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup lukewarm water

2 cups warm water

1/4 lb. melted warm butter

Knead 5 minutes. Cover bowl with kitchen towel and let sit for 3 hours.

Divide into 8 pieces, roll each piece into a ball and place on floured surface. Cover with towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Roll – diameter 15″, prick with fork all over. Preheat oven to 375 F.

Place rolling pin in center of dough, fold 1/2 of dough over it and place on floor of oven for 2 minutes, or until it bubbles.

To soften lavash, run under water on both sides, shake water off, wrap in towel for 1/2 hour.

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Manti

November 29, 2007

Mix the following and set aside:

1 lb. ground lamb

1 onion, finely chopped

2 T parsley, finely chopped

1-1/2 t salt

1/8 t pepper

Mix the following, knead until smooth. Divide into 2 balls and cover with towel. Let rest for 1/2 hour. Roll to 1/8″ thickness. Cut into 1-1/2″ squares.

3-1/4 cup flour

1 egg

2 T melted butter

1 cup warm water

Fill each square with meat (size of marble). Pinch two ends to resemble boat. Put 1/8 lb. butter in a baking pan and lay one next to another. Bake 1/2 hour at 375 F. Add 6 cups of chicken broth to pan, bake 5 minutes. Add 2/3 T yogurt to center and serve.

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Lule Kebab

November 29, 2007

Combine the following with your hands until well mixed. Form into shape of small fingers and put into a baking dish for 1 hour at 375 F.

2-1/2 lbs. ground lamb

1/2 cup bread crumbs

2 t salt

1/2 t black pepper

1 T ground coriander

2 oz. milk

Sprinkle with 1 bunch finely chopped parsley and 1 bunch finely chopped scallions (green onions).

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Kheyma Kebab

November 29, 2007

Or,  Kiyma Kebab. (Thanks, Ahmet.)

Combine the following in a bowl, crush and squeeze mixture with hand:

3 medium onions, very finely chopped

2 T salt

Add to the above:

1 T paprika

1-1/2 cup parsley, very finely chopped

Add to the above: 5 lbs. boned leg of lamb, ground twice. Knead for 5-10 minutes.

Take portions the size of an orange and roll into a ball. Push a skewer through the center of it. Squeeze into shape of long sausage. Broil.

Garnish with 1-1/2 cup chopped parsley, 3 medium onions – thinly sliced, and 1 t paprika.