Ro-be-yann nashif (Shrimp Fried with Spices)

Ro-be-yann nashif is a magical dish from the United Arab Emirates where plump shrimps cook slowly with loads of exotic spices, bezar, loomi and curry leaves.

It’s time for the MENA (Middle Eastern & North African) Cooking Group. This monthly group has for goal to help us discover the culture and cuisine of the countries found in these parts of the world. The host of the month will choose two savory and a sweet dish from the country and the members pick one dish to make. This month we are off to United Arab Emirates where we will savor Ro-be-yann nashif, or Shrimp Fried with Spices.

Ro-be-yann nashif

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Savor Peruvian cuisine at Mochica for MTL à TABLE

MTL à TABLE has arrived in Montreal! You can now sample 150+ restaurants at very fair set prices. And this particular culinary trip takes us to Peru at Mochica.

Let’s face it, November is a depressing month. The cold weather slowly sets in, the sky is grey and trees look sad and naked without leaves. You almost wish for a snowfall to cover the brown landscape.

Thankfully, for the past four years now, a ray of foodie sunlight has brought warmth and joy to the month of November in Montréal, Québec. Happiness envelops Montréal when MTL à TABLE arrives.

Mochica

Restaurant Mochica: fine Peruvian dining

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A Meal out of Three Cookbooks

A great selection of three cookbooks with themes are used to build a wonderful 3-course meal.

The internet is an infinite source for recipes, no one can deny that, but sometimes sitting in your favorite chair and leafing through a cookbook can be really relaxing and gratifying. Cookbooks also have a great knack for gathering a whole bunch of recipes on a specific theme. Today I will give you a brief introduction to such three cookbooks I received recently: Spiralizer, Slow-cooker and Vegetarian Thai.

A Meal out of 3 great Cookbooks

I have savored my time leafing through these cookbooks and testing out some of the recipes lately. I am including the main description of the books, a recipe and a “my-2-cents” paragraph for each. Bon Appetit!

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Grilled Shrimp Saganaki Stuffed Tomato

Summer is still playing hide and seek here in Montreal. Last weekend was hot and scorching, this weekend sunny but much cooler. As long as it is sunny I am happy. In Canada we had a long weekend too so I thought it was a perfect opportunity to get some of my foodie friends together for a simple BBQ dinner. An excuse to have the seasonal BBQ baptismal.

I do feel bad a bit for my friends because they did not get to taste my earlier meal, my amazing grilled lunch. There just was not enough to go around. How a propos to submit this recipe for the Creative Cooking Crew’s June theme – “what are you bringing to the BBQ?”. Turns out I did not bring my Grilled Shrimp Saganaki Stuffed Tomato to the BBQ but kept it all for myself.

Grilled Shrimp Saganaki Stuffed Tomato

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Dim Sum Staples: Let’s Make Shumai 燒賣 and Law Bok Gow 蘿蔔糕

Dim Sum is one of the best ways to enjoy brunch with friends. just choose a whole bunch of dishes to share for the table and dig in with chopsticks! Two of my favorite selections are Shumai and Law Bok Gow. Let’s make them at home!

Now let’s make one thing clear: my friends know if you come to eat at my place you are a willing and participating guinea pig! I have been waiting a long time to get a kick in the butt to try my hand at some Chinese Dim Sum recipes. The marriage here was perfect and I prepared Shumai | shāomài | 燒賣 (Pork and Shrimp Dumplings) and Law Bok Gow | Luóbo gāo | 蘿蔔糕 (Daikon Radish Cake). It’s Food ‘n Flix and Creative Cooking Crew time again, all wrapped up into one post! For Food ‘n Flix the chosen film was Kung Fu Panda 1 and/or 2; and for the Creative Cooking Crew challenge was “What’s for Breakfast?”.

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SRC: Fennel, Grapefruit and Shrimp Stir-fry

Today is my group’s reveal day for the Secret Recipe Club. 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. This month’s secret: Fennel, Grapefruit and Shrimp Stir-fry.

fennel shirmp 1

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Shrimp Saganaki as a classic Greek Meze

Oh so looking forward to what everyone will make for this 5 Star Makeover. Our theme this month is Greek Meze, or appetizers. We all checked in to make sure no recipe will be made twice so watch out for the round up for amazing Greek fare inspiration. I chose a wonderful meze which can easily be transformed into a main meal as well. My meze is called Garides Saganaki, or Shrimp Saganaki.

This theme came up at a most appropriate time in an odd way for me. One of the things I do at my 9 to 5 job is write an online travel guide. I just happen to finish the country Greece, having written quite a bit about Greek food. Greek food brings back childhood memories of dinners parties at my dad’s old partner’s house. He and his wife where first generation Greek and they had a daughter my age. I remember being terribly impressed at the site of so many flavorful dishes when they invited us over for dinner. OK I rambling but basically I want to say how much I enjoy really good Greek food.

I am also a fan of anything seafood so I jumped at the chance to prepare this dish. I also go gaga for feta! This is a really simple and quick dish to prepare but it is so packed with flavor. I am always amazed at the simplicity of certain recipes which make my taste buds go crazy. I got a similar delightful surprise with the Boureki I made recently, a dish for the Greek Islands. There are two tips I can give you to prepare a successful simple Greek dish: the freshness of your ingredients and enjoy the smells as you cook. The smells are uplifting.

The word Saganaki refers to a cooking term in Greek cuisine where the food is cooked in a single-serving pan. The pan is also called Saganaki.  The most popular dish is the Cheese Saganaki where a hard cheese is pan seared. If you want to get really fancy why not flambe it at the end with a shot of Ouzo!  There are a couple of versions where shrimp and mussels are used. As you may have guessed it by now Garides is the phonetically written word for shrimp in Greek, γαρίδα.

We have 3 guest start ingredients in this recipe. The first is a hot pepper I picked up in Toronto last week in a Latin market. The Cascabel chili would be classified as medium heat. It is know for sounding like a maracas when dried as the seeds get loose in the bell shaped pepper. Next up is Mastic which I ground and added to some white wine. I did not have Ouzo so I improvised! Mastic is the resin of the Mastic tree on the island of Chios. It has a distinctive flavor close to pine or cedar.  Finally to add a subtle touch of sunshine I used the O blood orange olive oil which I found on the Foodspring Marketplace. This is a cool website which was set up by a non-profit organization, the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade. You can find many natural, organic and exotic ingredients listed here but they do not sell them, instead they link you to where you can by the products.

Ξ Garides Saganaki Ξ

Ingredients

2 tablespoon blood orange olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Cascabel pepper flakes (or any hot pepper)
1 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup ouzo (or mastic liqueur or white wine)
1/2 pound medium shrimp
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
chopped oregano for serving

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent. Add the hot pepper flakes and garlic, saute for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper and ouzo and simmer until the sauce thickens for 5 minutes.  Add the shrimp and simmer until just cooked, turning the shrimp once halfway. Transfer half the mixture to a souffle dish and top with half the feta cheese, repeat. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 F until the sauce is bubbly for approx 10 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh oregano. Makes 4 appetizer servings or 2 main meals.

Traditionally this meze is served with crusty bread. If you want to make it a meal than prepare pasta, or couscous and serve the shrimp over it.

hosted by 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro Cooks!