Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tamarind Chicken with Almonds/ Mama Nazima's Jewish-Iraqi Cuisine









 Mama Nazima's Jewish-Iraqi Cuisine by Rivka Goldman

This is one of my favorite cookbooks.
It's more than a cookbook!
I am drawn to the history and cultural heritage that is preserved in this book. Rivka draws the reader into the recipes with comments and reflection, revealing glimpses of old Jewish-Iraqi culture. She speaks of  memories of her mother, a woman revered for her wisdom, to whom the book is dedicated ; and a third, Iraqi anti-Semitic persecution culminating in a pogrom in 1941, and the community’s exit from their ancient home in 1950.
I decided to prepare this recipe tonight , thinking about my love for tradition. Thinking about Rivka's mother and how I wish I could have leaned over her shoulder and watched her cook.
I want to make and eat food that has a history.  Try this! You will not be able to just eat one serving!

Chicken with Almonds
serves 8
2 tablespoons tamarind sauce ( can be found in Middle Eastern and Indian stores)
1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, garlic powder and paprika
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cubed
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
2/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup sliced almonds

preheat oven to 350
Combine the tamarind sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika. Brush chicken with the mixture.
Brush a baking sheet with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Place chicken on the tray and cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.

Heat the remaining oil in a skillet over high heat  and add the onions. Reduce to low. Add raisins and almonds to the onions. Stir for a minute and remove from heat. Remove chicken from oven and top with the onion mixture. Serve with saffron rice.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Moroccan Grilled Quail and Scenes of a Kitchen

Snowbound Day 2: What ingredients do I have?
Yes! I bought a half dozen quail at the Asian market last week.
In a zip lock bag combine cumin, coriander,cinnamon,
paprika, red pepper flakes, ginger, chopped garlic and olive oil.
Wash and dry the quail and add to bag, toss and rub the mixture into these delicate beasts.
Stick in the fridge for a few hours. Since there is snow outside I am going to use my new grill pan.
(thanks Mom) Season with salt and pepper and grill, being careful not to burn to a crisp.
Serve with lemon slice and steamed vegetables.

I love this old gas stove!

some cookbooks and favorite things

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Persian Twist to the Blueberry Muffin

Today the snowstorm began with a crack of thunder, a perfect day to bake. I looked in my cabinet to see what I had, and borrowed baking powder from my neighbor. Luckily, yesterday the market had a special on pints of blueberries! I am bored with cinnamon and vanilla, so here is my take on a classic....

A Persian Twist to the Blueberry Muffin
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temp
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground cardamon 
  • almond slivers

Heat oven to 350
Grease and flour 12 cup muffin pan
In bowl, mix butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each
Beat in rosewater, cardamon, baking powder and salt
fold in half of flour, then half of milk into batter; repeat.
Fold in blueberries
Spoon into the muffin pan, sprinkle with almond slivers and bake for 20-30 min.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year !

Moroccan Style Beef Stew

4 lbs tender beef eye round steak, cut into cubes.1/2 cup whole wheat flour 2 tablespoons veg oil or butter  1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger,1 teaspoon cinnamon,1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper anddash Syrian red pepper flakes
2 medium onions, sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 small new potatoes, quartered
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2/3 cup dried apricots
2/3 cup prunes, pitted
3 to 4 cups beef broth
 Heat a saute pan with oil and flour the cubes in a bowl. Shake them and place them in the pot, just enough time to brown, not cook. Remove and set aside.In large pot with olive oil, slightly brown your onions and garlic, then add carrots and potatoes, and spices, apricots and prunes.Add meat and broth, bring to low boil, cover and simmer for two hours, until tender. Serve with saffron rice.

Warm Mushroom Salad

Look at a recipe and improvise...    Sometimes you won't always find what you think you are looking for, that is when you have the chance to be inventive. Buy what is in season and available and work around that.   Here is what I found at the Farmer's Market today.     

Warm Mushroom Salad 
 1/4 pound micro sweet pea shoots (use baby spinach, endive, or mesclun mix)    1/4 pound shitake mushrooms, sliced     1/4 pound baby brown button mushrooms, sliced   1 small red onion, sliced      1 small onion, sliced     1 glove garlic, chopped. 1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped   2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar    1/2 can broad beans,  fava beans or cannelloni beans     dash of sea salt and pepper olive oil, and a touch of butter.
Heat a little olive oil in a saute pan and slightly brown and soften onions, add garlic, do not burn. Add mushrooms and sage, salt and pepper, just a touch of butter.   Saute for few minutes until tender and fragrant.   Add the vinegar then the beans, saute for just another minute.Remove from heat. Serve on bed of greens.Yields 2 lunch size portions