French onion soup (soupe a l’oignon)

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French onion soup is one the the fanciest soups that i always like to order in restaurants…It is rich,warm and hearty and fill your soul..I did it last week and literally my husband was dancing at the table from how delicious it was..It takes time to make but it is not hard at all..just some TLC..here is how i made it:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 large onions
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • thyme springs
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • bread croutons…traditionally you should use thick slices of toasted baguette
  • Gruyere cheese

METHOD:

  1. Start by slicing the onions thinlyimage
  2. melt the butter with a tablespoon of olive oil with the springs of time..you will start smelling the nice aroma of thyme..image
  3. add the onions and stirimage
  4. put the onions on low heat and leave to to stir only every 10 mins..don’t worry it wot burn until you reach this..you will start seeing some browning..this will take about 30 mins to more depending on how much onions .how large your pan and how is your heat..image
  5. now turn the heat just a little higher to less than medium high and keep stirring and scaring down the bottom of the pan where all the caramelization happensimage
  6. you will see the onions wilted and beautiful caramel color..now add the flour and stirimageimage
  7. add the stocks and stir scrapping the edges againimage
  8. now you can transfer into a smaller pan if you want ..bring to a boil..prepare you ramekins..your toasted bread..and your grated cheese..turn on the oven broilerimage
  9. when the soup boils..poor into you ramekinsimageimage
  10. top with a lot of croutonsimage
  11. end with a generous amount of cheeseimage
  12. put under the broiler to melt the cheeseimageServe immediately while hot..melted cheese and be ready not to talk with anyone for 10 mins because you can;t beat the cheese:))

BONNE APPETIT:)

Super mushroom soup

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Hello my friends,,if you like mushrooms like i do .this is definitely the recipe for you..this mushroom soup recipe particularly if full of mushroom flavor and super creamy that you will all love it..Here is how i made it:

INGREDIENTS:

  • Fresh button mushrooms(better if you have portobellos or porcini mushrooms)IMG_4040
  • onion
  • 2 celery stalk
  • 1 large or 3 baby potatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • lemon juice
  • butter
  • thyme
  • bay leave
  • mascarpone cheese ..or heavy cream

METHOD:

  1. Start by cleaning the mushrooms with a paper towel the slice them ..IMG_4041
  2. sautee the mushrooms on 1 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil on high heat..IMG_4042IMG_4045
  3. do not stir the mushroom a lot because this will prevent them from browningIMG_4046
  4. reserve 1/3 the mushrooms to add later and for decorationIMG_4050
  5. you should prepare your veggies before starting the recipe..add them now to the pan with the mushrooms with the thyme and bay leave and 1 tablespoon of butter and cook for 10 mins while stirringIMG_4044IMG_4049IMG_4055
  6. when you reach this stage add the chicken stock and cook for 15-20 mins on a medium heat..adjust the salt and pepper to tasteIMG_4057
  7. remove the bay leave and puree the soupIMG_4058
  8. add 1/4 cup of heavy creme or milk until u reach the desired colorIMG_4060
  9. add back most of the mushrooms and chopped parsleyIMG_4081
  10. enjoy this warm lovely silky smooth soup that will leave you mushroom satisfied:)

Bonne Appetit

Creme patissiere konafa

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I grew up eating this konafa..this is my family staple and family staples are always the best..the simplest yet the most delicious kind of konafa..it has a creamy filling and crunchy on the crust..perfectly delicious…Here is how my i make it:

INGREDIENTS:

  • KONAFA
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • syrup
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks
  • vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon buter

METHOD:

  1. 1st prepare the creme patissiere by heating the milk and whisking the eggs with the sugar in a separate bowl until light in colorIMG_4002
  2. stir in the corn starch and vanilla with the egg then start tempering the eggs with the milkIMG_4005
  3. add the mixture back on heat  and whisk until thickenedIMG_4006IMG_4007
  4. pass thru a mesh siff to make sure there is no lumps and it is completely smoothIMG_4008
  5. add a tablespoon of butter the cover and start preparing the konafaIMG_4010IMG_4011
  6. tear the konafa with you hands the stir in the butter and oil mixture until you feel all is covered with butterIMG_4012IMG_4013
  7. take half of the konafa and press it down in the baking panIMG_4015
  8. spread a layer of creme patissiere and leave the edges free( do not overstuff it)IMG_4016
  9. start arranging the top layer starting from the edges so the filling doesn’t reach the edges and burnIMG_4017IMG_4018
  10. bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 mins to 45 until golden brown..flip over and drizzle the syrup immediatlyIMG_4038
  11. this gold color doesn’t need any decorations..it just need to be eaten right away:))20140713_223510

Bonne Appetit family:))

Smashed potatoes

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Hello my friends..i wanted to show you one of my favorite recipes for baby potatoes..how to make baby potatoes crispy on the outside,soft and buttery on the inside..totally yummy and perfect side dish for any meal..here is how i make it:

INGREDIENTS:

  • Baby potatoes
  • vegetable oil or olive oil
  • salt pepper

METHOD:

  1. first after washing the potatoes well..put them in a pan with cold water and 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil for about 20 minsimage
  2. drain the potatoes and put on a baking sheet .drizzle oil,salt and pepper and coat well with your handsimage
  3. put in a preheated 400 degree F (200 degree Celsius) for about 15 mins the take them out and smash them down with the back of a pan  until they look totaly smashed and the skin has crackedimage
  4. put them back in the oven for more 15 mins ..until they become crispy..take the out carefully with a flat spoon and serve immediately while hot..image

I can guarantee you these will be gone in seconds..just take care not to burn your mouth..:)

Bonne Appetit

The best ever bolognese sauce

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Spaghetti or rice bolognese is one the recipes that everyone loves it and has memories with it since we were young.everyone loves his mom’s bolognese is the best and that is true..I used to eat rice bolognese all the time in the restaurant of Yacht Club restaurant in Alexandria back in the days..it was the best and i knew when i grew up that bolognese sauce has secrets for it’s success..the perfect flavor and consistency that only Italians has perfected..and today i wanted to share the recipe with you..here is how i made it:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds ground beef(1 kilo)
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stalk
  • bay leave
  • thyme
  • chicken stock 1 quart ( 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt and pepper.
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • 1 tsp all spice

METHOD:

  1. Start by putting in the food processor: onion carrots celery garlic until chopped very finelyimage
  2. heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add the veggies to the pan ans start cooking until the liquid evaporatesimageimage
  3. now add the meat stirring it with the veggies and sook until all liquid evaporates..what i am trying to do here is to brown the meat well so it has a stronger flavorimageimage
  4. add the spices now and let cook the meat has browned well and become crispy= flavorimage
  5. make room in the bottom of the pan and add the tomato paste..cook for 5 mins then stir it into the meet..add the chicken stock and the bay leave and continue cooking until again all liquid evaporatesimageimage
  6. the process adding liquid then evaporates it intensify the flavor and tenderizes the meet..so now add the tomato sauce with some water and cook slowly for an hour until the you reach the perfect thick but not too thick consistency image
  7. add the milk at the end the cook for more 10 mins then you sauce is ready to mix in with you pasta or over rice  or so many uses that are countless..DON’T FORGET TONS OF PARMESAN CHEESE ON TOP( or Pecorino Romano, Roumi is delicious too )..this is a must.. image

Bolognese sauce is different that the sauce used in lasagna or pasta al forno ..it is more of a slow cooking process with a deeper flavor but it definitely can be used in any of those dishes
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With all my heart BONNE APPETIT:)

cigar and Bird’s nest baklava

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Baklava has so many versions and ways to make it..these two are some of my favorites..they have the same way to make and here is how i made them:

INGREDIENTS:

  • Phyllo pastry
  • ground pistachios and ground walnuts
  • syrup
  • 1 cup of melted lard

METHOD:

  1. The key of success for this recipe is to work very fast and to prevent the phyllo pastry from drying ..bring a wooden stick or a wooden spoon and the mixed nuts..spread the phyllo and spread a thin layer of ground nuts and put the wood stick over itimage
  2. start rolling tightly the pastryimage
  3. put all you hands over the stick and try to pull inside to both sides image
  4. pull the wood out and cut into pieces and arrange in a baking dish for the cigar baklava
  5. for the bird’s nest baklava pull the phyllo to one side and pull out the stick the roll it over and arrange the nests stuck to each other in a baking dishimageimage
  6. now heat the lard until it smokes and pour it over both baklavas untill all is covered and put in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 mins until golden brownimage
  7. then be prepared to pour the syrup over the baklava as soon as it come out from the oven
  8. decorate with ground pistachios and eat the whole thing:)imageimage

Bonne Appetit

 

egyptian scotch eggs

imageThis lovely egyptian dish that i have know when u used to go with my family to the most famous iconic restaurant the local egyptian meal;foul and taameya (fool and falafel as most of people say) in Alexandria,Egypt ..it is a version of falafel that is stuffed with an egg an i named it scotch egg because it is the same idea for the British scotch eggs that is also an egg wrapped in ground beef..but the base for this recipe is a good recipe for falafel ..and here is how i made it:

INGREDIENTS:

  • Split fava beans( soaked in water overnight)
  • 1 leeks
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • dried coriander
  • flour
  • bicarbonate soda

METHOD:

  1. Drain the soaked beans firstimage
  2. cut the leaks top and base and split in halfimageimage
  3. wash layer by layerimage
  4. wash the coriander thenput in the food processor with the leeks ,onion,garlic an turn into a pasteimageimageimage
  5. add the beans and mix wellimage
  6. cover and keep frozen until ready to fryimage
  7. when ready to fry take a portion and mix with a tsp of bicarbonate soda,salt and pepper.at this stage you can fry and make regular falafel
  8. prepare your boiled egg(put the egg in cold water and bring to a boil then turn heat off and leave for 7 mins then take out) ..bring the flour and the falafel miximage
  9. put the egg in the flour to coat well then cover with a layer of falafel mix and fryimageimage
  10. serve with a mice piece of bread and enjoyy

BONNA APPETIT

 

Mixed nuts Baklava

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It was hard to tell from me .is it Greek or Turkish,knowing the origin of food is so important to me in setting the mood for any dish…i have searched a lot and i learned that the difference is in the filling..in Greece they mostly use walnuts or hazelnuts,on the other hand in turkey they use pistachios..my preference is for the Turkish one but both are incredibly yummy .. here i have made a mix of all the delicious nuts to create the mixed cultures mixed nuts baklava

  This kind of very rich that melts in your mouth dessert always reminds me of my trip to turkey with my family..i encourage you all to go visit this beautiful country if you haven’t yet but i know that there is a lot of people who share the same feelings with me..when you walk in the Famous ISTIKLAL street,the first couple of Turkish delight stores,this is the place where you will taste the most amazing oriental desserts ever..walking there looking at the stores from outside..seeing this man pouring and pouring rivers of sweet syrup over the baklava and konafa is like a dream comes true,like a fairy tale..takes me back to a time in the paste that i wish i lived in,exactly like the vintage Turkish TV series,the dream of every arabian girl  it..going back to this type of baklava, incredible deliciousness..Here is how i made it:

INGREDIENTS:

  • Phyllo pastry
  • thick syrup(2 cups sugar+1 cup water+ 1 tablespoon lemon juice+1 tsp rose water+ cinnamon+ cardamom+anise)
  • Mixed nuts : walnuts pistachios almonds hazelnuts..or used only one..the ultimate is pistachios
  • 1/2 stick butter+1/2 cup lard+ 1/2 oil

METHOD:

  1. Start by buttering the baking dish very well
  2. prepare your nuts by pulsing them in the food processor with some cinnamonimage
  3. Now add honey(2-3 tablespoons) and melted butter (2 tablespoons)and mix again until froms a slightly sticky mixtureimageimage
  4. start layering the phyllo pastry with a generous amount of butter mix in between until u reach 7-10 layers
  5. put the filling and press it downimage
  6. Continue the rest of the layers the cut into diamond shapesimage
  7. Bake in a 350 degree F or 180 Celsius for about 15- 20 minsimage
  8. Pour the syrup immediatelyimage
  9. Then start decorating with ground pistachios..leave to cool completely before serving.

BONNE APPETIT

Tomato tart

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Look how cute this tart is..very light ..not too much cheese just simplicity in every bite..i do this recipe when i crave some crunch with a delicate flavor..Soo delicious .Here is how i make it:

INGREDIENTS:

  • Phyllo dough
  • tomatoes
  • yellow cheese like Gouda, Em-mental,Gruyere
  • basil
  • some fried or fresh oregano

METHOD:

  • Butter the baking dish then start layering the phyllo layers with  some oil or butter brush between each layer until u reach about 7-10 layersimageimage

then sprinkle the cheese on top,oregano,slices of tomato and a sprinkle of salt and pepper image

  • bake in a 350 degree oven for about 15 mins until golden and crispyimage
  • cut and serve hot

BONNE APPETIT

serves = 2
calories = 250

Fig frangipan galette

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Who doesn’t love pies..i personally adore pies,they are probably my favorite desserts…

 Galette are a type of pie that is not bakeD in a pan,but the crust is just spread on the baking sheet..filled with all different kinds of filling and the crust is folded over the edges and baked directly in a very casual way,,so it’s easier than regular pies where the dough should be pressed in a pan..

    Frangipan is a kind of french pie that had a filling of almond cream and could be baked alone or topped with any kind of fruits or nuts..I finally got my hand on some nice figs..it’s the first time since i came to USA that i eat figs..we used to eat the best figs in Egypt..very sweet ones..these were the best..i thought it’s nice to make a fig tart and it was my first time to do it..here is how:

INGREDIENTS:

-THE CRUST:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cold butter cubed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon

-THE FRANGIPAN FILLING:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 120 grams ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • vanilla
  • if available: 2 tablespoons of almond paste

-1 cup chopped walnuts

-figs thickly sliced

-honey to drizzle on top

METHOD:

-Start by putting the butter,sugar,flour in the food processor and pulseimage

image-add the egg yolk,vanilla and miximage

-add 2 or 3 tablspoons of ice cold water while the mixer is on just to combine the doughimage

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-put on a plastic wrap,wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours

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-now prepare the filling by mixing the butter,almonds.sugars,egg.vanilla( and almond paste if available)imageimageimage

-put in a zip log or a piping bag for easy spreadingimage

-take out the pie crust and leave for 10 mins then start rolling between 2 parchment papersimageimageimageimage

-start forking the dough leaving the edgesimage

-now start spreading the fillingimageimage

-sprinkle the walnuts all over and press them downimage

-distribute the fig slices all over and push them down a little bitimage

-fold the edges over trying to fix them to the botoom layer because they will tend to spread while baking in the oven..the brush with egg wash and sprinkle some granulated sugar over the crust.image

-bake in a 350 degree F (180 degree Celsius) oven for about  30-40 mins until the crust is golden brown and the filling i set.image

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when its done,serve while hot or warm with a generous drizzle of honey over the figs and some whipped cream…

BONNE APPETIT

serves = 8(Serving Size 118 g)

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving

Calories

527
Calories from Fat

311
% Daily Value*
Total Fat

34.6g
53%
Saturated Fat

15.6g
78%
Cholesterol

102mg
34%
Sodium

182mg
8%
Potassium

234mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates

51.9g
17%
Dietary Fiber

3.1g
12%
Sugars

35.9g
Protein

7.8g

 

Vitamin A 15% Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 5% Iron 10%
Nutrition Grade C-
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

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