Monthly Archives: October 2011

  • chocolate-roll

Chocolate and cream roll, gluten-free


How many of you are secretly happy for a Halloween night with trick-or-treaters knocking at the door and the excuse  to stash pounds and pounds of candy at the house?

I was!

Well, the kids are grown and neighborhood kids are not knocking these days.

This cake is a great consolation:  flour-less, moist, creamy and light.

Recipe […]

By |October 31st, 2011|Others|19 Comments
  • speedy-falafel-2

Falafel express



When in Beirut or any other Middle-Eastern city, making falafels at home seems superfluous; after all, every neighborhood offers at least one great falafel joint. In Dallas, however, one needs to plan a trip to a Middle-Eastern restaurant or make one’s own from scratch; the made-from-scratch version requires some time.

This is a speedy version […]

By |October 29th, 2011|Others|33 Comments
  • carrot-cake

Carrot cake, Abbasid-era


According to Nawal Nasrallah in her Delights from the Garden of Eden, the recipe for this carrot cake was found in a tenth-century Baghdadi cookbook. Well, the recipe may go back to medieval times but it is still popular today all over the Middle-East in one form or another.

The method is simple: Cook […]

By |October 27th, 2011|Sweets|41 Comments
  • Abbasid-stew

Lamb shanks in citrus sauce


This is a medieval Iraqi recipe dug up by  Mrs. Nasrallah in her book Delights from the Garden of Eden. Very simple to put together: The lamb shanks are browned then braised over gentle heat in a sauce of citrus juice and a medley of vegetables and spices.

This recipe would work really well […]

By |October 26th, 2011|Salty|17 Comments
  • Iraqi-cookbook

Delights from the Garden of Eden by Nawal Nasrallah


I am aware that for a lot of people the word Iraq conjures violent images of blown-up vehicles, death and destruction. When I think of Iraq however, I am still starry-eyed and try my hardest to blot out these dark and tragic  images.

The Iraq I saw (years ago) was magical. Imagine being led […]

By |October 24th, 2011|Reviews|17 Comments
  • egg-on-foil_

Amaranth pancake (gluten-free)



I would have never run into this flour, called rajgara flour, had I not been roaming  inside an Indian market  in my neighborhood in Dallas, Texas.

The label said “buckwheat” and initially I thought: “Great, I can make buckwheat galettes”. Upon closer scrutiny, the translation was inaccurate and this is indeed flour extracted from […]

By |October 23rd, 2011|Salty|21 Comments
  • plate-of-eggplant

Eggplants in a pomegranate and walnut sauce


This eggplant dish is meatless however it will leave you totally satiated. The walnuts and bulgur do the trick: Paired  with fresh pomegranate juice, pomegranate molasses,  garlic and a touch of cinnamon, they deliver depth of flavor and a sweet/tart taste.

I came up with this last summer but go back to it whenever […]

By |October 21st, 2011|Salty|33 Comments
  • Kaak-Algérien

Orange and olive oil cookies



A traditional Algerian cookie posted on Radia’s blog called twabaa; the ring shape of these Algerian cookies is similar to the Lebanese kaak flavored with anise or mahlab. The dough is richer (with eggs) but the cookies are plain and rather crunchy. Radia flavored hers with lemon rind and vanilla and coated them […]

By |October 19th, 2011|Sweets|27 Comments
  • fresh

Armenian meat pies (Lahmajoon)



These Armenian meat pies are called lahmajoon and are made to order in Armenian neighborhood bakeries in Beirut. They are a bit spicy, the dough encasing them is almost paper-thin (similar to a Mexican flour tortilla) and tender with crisp edges; rolled up in a piece of paper and doused with fresh lemon juice […]

By |October 17th, 2011|Others|61 Comments
  • 2-slices-of-toast

French toast (savory)



An idea gleaned from Nathalie’s blog,  cuisiner, tout simplement. Prepare the basic batter for a French toast: Eggs  beaten with milk; flavor it with tomato paste, dip in Parmesan; fry in butter.

I like the French name for French toast: Pain perdu (lost bread).

I have adapted her recipe by adding some spices to the batter […]

By |October 15th, 2011|Others|11 Comments