Saturday, 28 March 2009

The blogger aid Book project !!

Food is our medium and taking a role in alleviating world famine is our mission. Our wish is that all of us try to share this excitement and help make a difference to our world by joining Bloggeraid members on this journey.

I really had the honor to participate in this such great project.

Bloggeraid announced this great project, They planned to publish a cookbook with the help of some food bloggers and 100% of the profit from the sales of the cookbook will be directed to School Meals, a program of The World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations frontline agency.

The cookbook is targeted for sale on Amazon by November/December 2009.

I shared with one of my very egyptian original recipes.

I created this recipe , depending on my taste memory of what egyptian borek taste like when I was a little child , my old neighbor used to make it , it was so delicious.

My 4th challenge with Daring Bakers, LASAGNA !!

This month challenge was a hit and I did not expect it at all.
Lasagna ??? who doesn't love lasagna ???

The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.

I am used to make lasagna pasta at home but I did not try to make the pasta with spinach, Sometimes I add spinach in the filling but not in the pasta.
I also like to roll it using my rolling pin , I have the machine but I prefer to deal with the dough with my bare hands.

Here you are the pasta dough recipe,

1 Spinach Egg Pasta (Pasta Verde)
Preparation: 45 minutes
Makes enough for 6 to 8 first course servings or 4 to 6 main course servings, equivalent to 1 pound (450g) dried boxed pasta.
2 jumbo eggs (2 ounces/60g or more).

10 ounces (300g) fresh spinach, rinsed dry, and finely chopped; or 6 ounces (170g) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry.
3&1/2 cups (14 ounces/400g) all purpose unbleached (plain) flour (organic stone ground preferred) .
Working by Hand:
A roomy work surface, 24 to 30 inches deep by 30 to 36 inches (60cm to 77cm deep by 60cm to 92cm).

Any smooth surface will do, but marble cools dough slightly, making it less flexible than desired.
A pastry scraper and a small wooden spoon for blending the dough.
A wooden dowel-style rolling pin. In Italy, pasta makers use one about 35 inches long and 2 inches thick (89cm long and 5cm thick). The shorter American-style pin with handles at either end can be used, but the longer it is, the easier it is to roll the pasta.Note: although it is not traditional, Enza has successfully made pasta with a marble rolling pin, and this can be substituted for the wooden pin, if you have one.
Plastic wrap to wrap the resting dough and to cover rolled-out pasta waiting to be filled. It protects the pasta from drying out too quickly.
A sharp chef’s knife for cutting pasta sheets.
Cloth-covered chair backs, broom handles, or specially designed pasta racks found in cookware shops for draping the pasta.
Mixing the dough:Mound the flour in the center of your work surface and make a well in the middle. Add the eggs and spinach. Use a wooden spoon to beat together the eggs and spinach. Then gradually start incorporating shallow scrapings of flour from the sides of the well into the liquid. As you work more and more flour into the liquid, the well’s sides may collapse. Use a pastry scraper to keep the liquids from running off and to incorporate the last bits of flour into the dough. Don’t worry if it looks like a hopelessly rough and messy lump.
Kneading:With the aid of the scraper to scoop up unruly pieces, start kneading the dough. Once it becomes a cohesive mass, use the scraper to remove any bits of hard flour on the work surface – these will make the dough lumpy. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes. Its consistency should be elastic and a little sticky. If it is too sticky to move easily, knead in a few more tablespoons of flour. Continue kneading about 10 minutes, or until the dough has become satiny, smooth, and very elastic. It will feel alive under your hands. Do not shortcut this step. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and let it relax at room temperature 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Stretching and Thinning:If using an extra-long rolling pin work with half the dough at a time. With a regular-length rolling pin, roll out a quarter of the dough at a time and keep the rest of the dough wrapped. Lightly sprinkle a large work surface with flour. The idea is to stretch the dough rather than press down and push it. Shape it into a ball and begin rolling out to form a circle, frequently turning the disc of dough a quarter turn. As it thins outs, start rolling the disc back on the pin a quarter of the way toward the center and stretching it gently sideways by running the palms of your hands over the rolled-up dough from the center of the pin outward. Unroll, turn the disc a quarter turn, and repeat. Do twice more.
Stretch and even out the center of the disc by rolling the dough a quarter of the way back on the pin. Then gently push the rolling pin away from you with one hand while holding the sheet in place on the work surface with the other hand. Repeat three more times, turning the dough a quarter turn each time.
Repeat the two processes as the disc becomes larger and thinner. The goal is a sheet of even thickness. For lasagne, the sheet should be so thin that you can clearly see your hand through it and see colours. Cut into rectangles about 4 by 8 inches (10 x 20 cm). Note: Enza says that transparency is a crucial element of lasagne pasta and the dough should be rolled as thinly as possible. She says this is why her housekeeper has such strong arms!
Dry the pasta at room temperature and store in a sealed container or bag.

I followed the recipe but I added one more egg .And I used this very egyptian traditional tool to chopp finely spinach, it worked very well.

Here you are some pics for it "I do not know its name in english" :))) , it name in arabic is "Makhrata".And here you are the final result, Hahahaha !!

And here you are the bechamel sauce recipe, I doubled it.


Preparation Time: 15 minutes
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/60g) unsalted butter4 tablespoons (2 ounces/60g) all purpose unbleached (plain) flour, organic stone ground preferred2&2/3 cups (approx 570ml) milkSalt and freshly ground pepper to tasteFreshly grated nutmeg to taste
Using a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over low to medium heat. Sift over the flour, whisk until smooth, and then stir (without stopping) for about 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk a little at a time and keep the mixture smooth. Bring to a slow simmer, and stir 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Season with salt, pepper, and a hint of nutmeg.

But I did not follow at all the Ragu recipe, first because some of the ingredients are not available in my country, second because of the presence of wine in the recipe so I made my own,
Here you are,

I Heated the olive oil in skillet (frying pan) over medium-high heat.
I Added 3 big onions , stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, 10 minutes, or until the onions barely begin to color. I added a half kilo of grinded beef meat, . Stir into the pan and slowly brown over medium heat. It will begin to brown after a while . Cook 10 minutes, or until the meats are a deep brown.
Reducing and Simmering: I Added some water and some milk to the skillet, lowering the heat so the sauce bubbles quietly. Stir untill all has reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add 4 grinded tomatoes . And Cooked it uncovered, for another 20 mn. , or until the sauce resembles thick, And I Seasoned it with salt and pepper and nutmeg .
I used when making lasagna layers some fried zucchini, it made it more tasty.
Actually, I made the pasta dough in one day, and bechamel sauce +ragu at the next day.
I had some left over from the lasagna dough, I used it, you know what I did with it????

Yes..... flat bread in my new invention "my home made flat bread's gadget"..The result was really nice, specially when I topped the loaf with some feta cheese.

do not judge from the appearence , It was tasty and the kids liked it.
I had also some leftover from spinach, so I made spinach fritata, on my way using zucchini, and it was sooo yummy, It was like a festival for spinach.
Thanks to all the Daring bakers team and special thanks to Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande.
We really enjoyed dinner today !!!
Love you all !!
Ah !! forgot to tell you that I topped my lasagna with some romi cheese.
P.S:- Serve two pieces because they will ask you for more !!

We can make Pastrami at HOME !! Let's see !!

I love Pastrami.... All the egyptians do.. We always like it on breakfast as well as on dinner , we put it in pies on pizza and also in our omellette pan.
I use to prepare it at home , from scratch .
For now I will put just a pic and soon I will share the recipe.
I have to post my 4 th challenge with daring bakers.
I am too late as usual . See you !!

Pure Egyptian flat bread 100% wild yeast !!

Hello everybody and missing you all !
Phyl Divine named me on his group on Facebook "artisan bread bakers".He named me "Pharaoh of flat Bread ".
I really was very happy but wondering all the time , why ?? May be phyl knows that Egyptians can not eat without the presence of the flat bread on their meals tables .
So I decided to present something about our daily bread in Egypt , may be to try to prove to myself that I really deserve this great title !!!!
O.k I bought this pan shown in the picture, it is better than my oven cause flat breads really need a very high temp. and it is usually baked in special ovens " with three flames".
The pictures will show you this incredible invention for flat breads , let's go ....
First the bread before being baked,,,ah forgot to tell you that I used 100% wild yeast.
Also about the dough , i made two doughs one contained 50% bread flour +50% whole wheat flour, and that is the traditional ingredients for our egyptian bread.
The other dough "which i invented" contained bread flour +whole wheat flour+grounded oats"i grinded it at home"+barley flour and of course wild yeast and tepid water .
let's go ....

"as seen on T.V" HAHAHAHA!

The harvest !! sandwiches for me and my husband, i filled it with pastrami and romi cheese. I wish i had at this time some of our wonderfull home made falafel or foul"beans".

Falafel , I am missing it!!
And here I am....Do I really deserve to be the "pharoah of flat bread"?????

Monday, 9 March 2009

Lokoms from my kitchen !!!!

Eating Lokoms in the occasion of our prophit Mohammad's birth day,, is a habit and a way to celebrate the day ,, every year we use to buy lokoms but this year, I decided to make it ,it turned out very delicious 100 times better than what we used to eat it...

This time I flavored it with orange and lemon but next time I will try the original taste the one with nuts and flavored with rose water.

Here you are my wonderful recipe

one lemon zest

one orange zest

1/4 cup orange juice

2TB lemon juice

3 cups of sugar

1/2 cup of water

2TB gelatin

2/3 cup of corn starch

3 or 4 of flavor or rose water

food color

1/2 of confectionary sugar for dusting

I put in a medium pan the sugar+water+zests+juice ,,all on a medium heat untill the sugar dissolved .

Leave it to boil for 5 mn untill it reaches the thread point "I used candies thermometer"and do not stir it at all..

Mix the gelatin in 1/2 cup of water and dissolve it on bainmarie, also dissolve the starch in another 1/2 cup of water,,, put both the gelatin and starch mix in the sugas syrup over a medium heat and stir it till it reaches the boiling point put you flavor and food color.

pour it in a mould 17 cm with high bords and covered with foil.

Put it in the fridge till next day , start cutting it after dusting your table with sugar.

Try it , I am sure you will like it!!!

Monday, 2 March 2009

3rd DB challenge of valentine's month !!!

Finally, I finished my challenge ,,actually I made it early this month ...sorry, I mean february but this month was horrible to me !!!
So if my dish looks messy, simply because my mood was the same.
I was depressed, confused & dissapointed.
I am much better now, thanks God.
The chocolate cake was nice, i served it with Mango ice cream and strawberry/vanilla ice cream.

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

Here you are the chocolate cake recipe , it is a flourless one, I wish you really like it.

Chocolate Valentino

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated
1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter. {link of folding demonstration}8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C9.
Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C.
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

I wish you like my dish and pray for me,,this month will be better inshaallah.

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