Bahraini Chicken Machboos

I have again a new monthly challenge group to introduce. This one is called MENA, or Middle Eastern & North African Cooking Group, which could not fall any closer to my blog’s topic interests. The goal is to learn more about the selected country, its food traditions and how to prepare the selected recipe. The host will choose a savory and a sweet dish from the country, you pick which one to make. For my first time participating we were assigned Bahrain and I chose to go with the Bahraini Chicken Machboos. Definitely a first for me.

Bahraini Chicken Machboos

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Coconut Lime Tofu Pudding Verrines

The Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge which is all about baking and making sweets. Every month we are given two required ingredients to work with. This month it is Lime and Coconut. So summery and tropical! With the amazing and unusual summer temperatures we have had I wanted something light and healthy so I went with a modified version of my tofu pudding recipe.

Coconut Lime Tofu Pudding Verrines

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Cranberrylove: Cranberry Lime Galette

What could be a appropriate in season fruit to cook with for the love bloghop this November than cranberries. They bring up memories of holidays to come and huge feasts to enjoy. My mom always made her own cranberry sauce. I can’t stand the canned stuff.

So tart on its own when you bite into a fresh cranberry. You feel the tartness creep into your ear canal. Add a little sugar and it is a whole new taste. Did you know that cranberries are now part of the growing list of Superfruits due to their nutrient contents and antioxidant qualities? 95% percent of crops go to juice making so only 5% make it to other uses like fresh packaged bags or dried fruits.

Psssst, don’t forget there are only 2 days left to enter the An Edible Mosaic Coobook Contest

The idea of this recipe came from the blog The Dogs Eat the Crumbs, the recipe being part of the Tuesdays with Dorie group. A more traditional cranberry tart usually has walnuts in it, perhaps some cinnamon. What really attracted me to this version was the lime and ginger. The recipe suggested raspberry jam but I used some fig jam I have made a little while back. The flavor was so wonderful and complex, I really loved this filling.

I do want to point out your galette will not turn out burnt a bit like mine. My oven sometimes conks out and refuses to get hot enough…I had to do most of the baking in a toaster oven.

 

Yields 6

Cranberry Lime Galette

15 minPrep Time

50 minCook Time

1 hr, 5 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • puff pastry
  • 1 8 oz package fresh cranberries
  • 2 apples
  • 1 cups sugar
  • zest and juice from one lime
  • 1.5 in chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup fig jam

Instructions

  1. Roll out puff pastry into a large circle...say size of a pie plate plus 3 inches around.
  2. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together very well.
  3. Pour topping in the middle of the puff pastry and fold edge over the topping, giving it a rustic pie look.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degree for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 30 minutes more, until the crust is well-browned and the filling has cooked down and is bubbly.
Recipe Type: Desserts
7.6.2
210
http://cultureatz.com/cranberrylove-cranberry-lime-galette/

 

Cranberry cultivation is pretty much done only in the North East of the US and most of Canada. I thought I would show you a pic from Wikipedia of a cranberry harvest. It is a pretty impressive site. I did find out from the article thought that during the growing process the beds are not flooded. They are only flooded when it is time for harvest as it facilitates the process.

Please join in on the #cranberrylove fun by linking up any cranberry recipe from the month of November 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post,so that your readers know to come stop by the #cranberrylove event! The twitter hashtag is #cranberrylove 🙂

My fellow co-hosts are…

Deanna @ Teaspoon of Spice @tspbasil

Kimberly @ Badger Girl Learns to Cook @bdgergrl

Evelyne @ Cheap Ethic Eatz  @cethniceatz

EA @ Spicy RD @thespicyrd

T.R. @ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies @TRCrumbley

Shulie @ Food Wanderings @foodwanderings

Becky @ Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves



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Grilled Lime and Bitters Chicken

A friend once invited me to dinner at her brother’s new house, maybe 10 years ago. I do remember the gorgeous setting of the backyard. There was lush vegetation all around, pretty wind chimes and birdhouses. I have fond memories of that evening. Its was a beautiful summer day and of course a barbecue meal was in order. He made this chicken, it was the best grilled chicken I ever ate. So flavorful, fragrant and intensely delicious. They gave us a photocopy the recipe from a cookbook or magazine and I made it a few times back then and forgot about the recipe. I wish I would remember what was the side dish to the chicken at that dinner party, I know I took down that recipe too but memory fails me.

Well I had a craving and I was having my parents over for lunch on a beautiful Sunday afternoon for my father’s birthday. It did not take long to dig out the recipe. I cannot give you a source, all I know is that is was on page 52-53 of the barbecue section, as indicated in the photocopy. Just as wonderful as I had remembered!

Ξ Grilled Lime and Bitters Chicken Ξ

1 chicken cut into 4 pieces or 4 chicken breast
1/3 cup lime juice
1 Serrano pepper, thinly sliced
2 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp Angostura Bitters
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 ground pepper
a pinch of ground cloves

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Cover the chicken with the marinade and let stand in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight. Remove chicken from fridge and let it come to room temperature prior to grilling. Drain and set marinade aside. Grill the chicken on the barbecue for about 5-8 minutes per side (meat thermometer should read 165 F), basting the meat with the marinade regularly. Serve with a side of your choice.

 

Secret Recipe Club: Watermelon Sorbet Served in a Lime Cup

Hey have you entered my giveaway where 2 gift baskets worth 75$ will be won. Full of neat kitchen toys and a gift certificate. And it’s open to everyone world wide. So go enter now…well after you have read this post.

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It’s Secret Recipe Club reveal day! What is the SRC? Basically you are assigned a fellow participant’s blog by the organizer and then you pick a recipe of your choice from that blog and make your version of it. But it is a secret, you cannot reveal whom you picked and what you made until the established posting date and time…. which is today! I can’t wait to see who picked me.

I have to admit I am really nervous. I feel like the new kid who just joined a new class at a new school halfway through the school year. The source of my anxiety? I asked to be switched groups, from C to A, for scheduling reasons. I have done 3 SRCs so far and I got to bond with some people from my group and started looking forward to their reveals. But now I left my friends in group C. I hope group A is nice to me! Ah well new friendships await!

This month I was assigned the cool chick Katie who is the author of This Chick Cooks. As she explains her eating habits are changing: I’m going back to the basics trying to focus on natural, whole foods and eliminate processed items such as white sugar, white flour etc. But she is reasonable too and believes in a treat: while I am trying to focus on my family’s health I also believe in moderation. Everyone deserves a little treat now and then, right?

I learned quite a few things on her blog. She has great informative posts where she discusses pesticides on fruits and veggies or the dangers of refined sugar.  And then the recipes will help you learn how to substitute bad ingredients for better ones. Looking for a the recipe I was going to make though was a breeze because the ‘coincidence’ was just to obvious to ignore. I made my interpretation of her Watermelon Desserts {lime stuffed with sherbet} because the lime cups are too cute and  just so happen to have watermelon sorbet in my freezer from my Watermelon Carving Contest Entry.

Ξ Watermelon Sorbet Served in a Lime Cup Ξ

Ingredients:

limes (1 per serving)
watermelon sorbet (or pink like strawberry, raspberry etc.)
“seeds”: mini chocolate chips or annatto seeds or black sesame, etc.

Directions:

Cut a tiny bit off the bottom of the lime, just enough so it will stand up. Cut off the top and scoop the insides out. Fill the limes with sorbet and freeze till ready to serve.  Decorating or imitating seeds is your personal choice. For my full cups I went with a knotted lime zest.

But I had the idea of cutting a slice out of the filled lime which makes it look like a mini watermelon slice with the green rind and white wall. Katie suggests mini chocolate chips to imitate the seeds. I could not find some but I had annatto seeds that work just great.

Ξ Watermelon and Basil Sorbet Ξ
from Emily Maloy

Ingredients:

4 cups pureed watermelon
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp fresh basil

Directions:

1. Puree watermelon with basil.
2. Boil 1 cup of the pureed watermelon with the sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, making a syrup, and allow it to cool completely.
3. Add to remaining pureed watermelon and and process for 25 minutes in an ice cream machine.
4. Freeze for 3 hours or up to overnight.


I served this to a friend for a lunch and he was thrilled by the presentation and taste. In case you are wondering what is the stuff under my lime it is a little bit of plain sugar mixed with a couple of drops of yellow and red food coloring.



Citrus Mezcal Sherbet

After the Fruit Dropping Party I had a large amount of cut up citrus fruit leftovers. What to do? That will come in a future post but from this recipe I had still an unused portion, about 1 cup, of boiled down citrus flavored sugar syrup made with oranges, grapefruit, lemon, lime, strawberries, sugar, red wine, anise star, ginger, lemon fizz water.

What a great frozen concoction I could make with that! I had a small concern thought as I have only made ice creams up to now but never a cream-less frozen dessert. Would it get rock solid in the freezing process, what cream and eggs do prevent in ice cream? Not if you know a few tricks:

– Sorbets and sherbets often use a bit of lemon or lime juice. In this case they are the base of the syrup. An acidic juice will convert table sugar to simple sugar preventing crystallization (solid ice).

– BOOZE! Adding a touch of alcohol to your frozen dessert will help keep it a bit soft. Why? Because alcohol only freezes around -114 °C (-173.2 °F). When a bit of alcohol is mixed in well its particles will remain liquid and keep the whole mass from sticking together.

I had an unopened bottle of Mezcal that was given to me by a friend who went to Mexico. Mezcal has an intense smoky flavor, an acquired taste. However I thought the smokiness of this drink would be subdued by the citrus intensity and this frozen treat could pass for an exotic Margarita knock-off! Oh was I ever right. I adore this flavor! It’s a new favorite.

Citrus Mezcal Sherbet

1 cup milk
1 cup citrus flavored simple syrup (or what ever you have)
1/8 tsp salt
1 to 2 tbsp Mezcal (or tequilla)

Ice cream machine
– put everything in the machine at once and operate as per manual

Hand made
– Mix all the ingredients
– Pour into a shallow container and freeze until solid around the outside and mushy in the middle
–  Stir with a fork and freeze until firm

When I was coming up for my title I did not know if it was a sherbet or a sorbet, so off googling I went. Turns out it is definitely a sherbet. A sorbet will have zero milk product in the recipe and it is basically flavored iced water. Had I omitted the milk it would have been a sorbet. Sorbet can also go by the name of Granita in Italy or Agraz in Northern Africa.

But I decided to add a cup of milk so this recipe automatically falls into the sherbet category. Apparently by U.S. federal regulation, sherbets must contain a minimum of 1 percent and a maximum of 2 percent butterfat. The word sherbet derives from the Persian sharbat, an iced fruit drink. Sharbat is popular in the Middle East and in South Asia. At its base sharbat is also iced water flavored with syrup made from fruits and/or extracts of flowers and herbs.

India seems to be the first to dilute the syrup in milk, or evaporated milk. Thai Basil seeds can be added (pre-soaked in water and added) after for effect. I guess someone than decided to freeze the mixture and we have today’s Sherbet.