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The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
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Monday, January 25, 2016

Potato Cakes, عروك البطاطة

This is a delicious recipe that we prepare during Lent. I prepare these cake as a side dish or an appetizer. You can prepare them ahead of time and freeze them. When you are ready to serve, just put them in heated oven at 350 degrees F. For 15 minutes.
5-6 russet potatoes 
1 cup scallions, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon turmeric 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
Oil for frying

Place the potatoes in a pot of boiling water and boil for 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and immerse them in cold water. This will make it easy to peel them.
Shred the potatoes using a food processor attachment or a hand shredder. 
Put the shredded potatoes in a bowl. Add the bread crumbs, flour, spices and salt. stir and add the egg and scallions. Use your hands to combine all the ingredient. 
Take a small portion of the mixture the size of an egg. Shape it into a patty. Wet your hands in oil while shaping the patty.
Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Slide the patties in oil. When they become lightly browned turn them to the other side. It should take three minutes on each side.
Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. 
Serve them at room temperature with pickles. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Spinach Zucchini Soup, شوربة الكوسة و السبانخ

This is a light, warming soup that you can prepare in 30 minutes. It freezes well and you can keep in the refrigerator for a week. It is vegetarian, but you can add chicken stock and pieces of leftover chicken to it if you prefer.

3 cups water
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup rice
1 zucchini, peeled and sliced
1 cup frozen spinach, or 1/2 pound fresh spinach
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt, or more
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried mint, or 1 tablespoon fresh mint
Bring water to a boil in a pot. Add rice, onions, and garlic. When rice is halfway cooked, add the zucchini and spinach, and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice and dried mint. Turn off the heat and keep the pot covered for 10 minutes. Taste if it needs more seasoning.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cauliflower Fritters عروك القرنبيط

Cauliflower Fritters عروك القرنبيط
This is a very delicious vegetarian recipe you can prepare as an appetizer, a side dish, or take to picnics. We usually prepare it during Lent. There are different varieties and you can add to it herbs you like and make it your own. My sister adds to it curry powder and turmeric. You could add parsley or cilantro. 

1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped or medium onion
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper or curry powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
 Vegetable Oil for frying

Put the cauliflower and onion, or scallions in the food processor and pulse until well chopped. Transfer to a bowl. Add spices, flour and baking soda and stir. Set aside for 10 minuted.
Heat oil in a pan.  Take a tablespoon of the mixture and from a patty. Drop the patties in oil. When the edges start to brown, turn to the other side.
When cooked, remove them and put the on a wire rack lined with paper towels to drain the fat. When cool, you can freeze them, and reheat them in oven when needed.
Enjoy them with pickles.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Molasses cookies كعكة الطحينة والدبس

These are one of my favorite healthful cookies the I always keep in my kitchen. I got the inspiration from mixing the tahini with date molasses in a small plate, I stir it and spread it on a piece of bread. This is the typical snack food in Iraq during Lent or Winter. It very much resembles the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. If you do not have tahini which is sesame paste, you can use peanut butter, but tahini has a mild flavor. You can find the date molasses in the Middle Eastern grocery stores. 

1/2 cup date molasses
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 ounces butter, melted
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom, or cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons sesame seeds 
Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine the molasses, tahini, butter, sugar and egg and stir with a wooden spoon. Add flour, salt, baking soda and sesame seeds and stir. The mixture will be soft.
Takes a small piece of dough the size of walnut and roll it in your hands. Arrange the cookies on a baking pan lined with silicone liner or parchment paper. 
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool for 30 minutes before moving them to a wire rack.
Store them in a Tupperware contaminate lined with parchment paper.
Enjoy these cookies with tea or coffee.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Mushroom with Pease

This is a vegetarian dish that you can use as a side dish with meat or rice. I had leftover saffron rice and decided to make a topping for the rice. Very delicious!

1 (8 ounce s) baby bell mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons frozen peas
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
I tablespoon fresh thyme (optional)

Heat oil in a deep pan. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme, and stir for a few minutes until mushrooms are cooked. Add frozen peas and stir. Leave it to cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to serve over rice.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Broccoli Vegetarian Bites

This is not an Iraqi recipe, but wanted to share it with you to enjoy it as much as I do.
These are very delicious snacks or served as an appetizer. I had leftover cooked broccoli and wanted to make lunch snack to take with me to work. You can eat them at room temperature or heat them in the oven. You can freeze them after baking to serve for later when needed.
Makes 24

2 cups cooked broccoli, chopped
½ cup scallions, chopped
½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
½ cup bread crumbs
½ cup flour
¼ cup Parmesan cheese  plus extra for rolling
1 egg
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
½ teaspoon baking powder
Pour 1/ cup of Parmesan cheese in a bowl and set aside.
Put all the above ingredients in the food processor and pulse a few times until al well combined. Pour the mixture into a bow. Oil your hands and take a small ball of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Drop it in the bowl of Parmesan cheese and roll it. Arrange the balls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil over these balls and bake in 350 degrees F. preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and leave the tray on the kitchen counter for 14 minutes before removing the broccoli balls.

You can also use any type of green veggies instead of the broccoli. Make sure to cook the greens, chop them and  remove the moisture out, before adding to the processor.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Grilled Chicken Shawirma with Red Rice- شاورمة دجاج ورز احمر بالبزالية

I attempted to grill the chicken outdoors, but you could arrange the chicken pieces on a sheet pan and put it under the broiler for 10 minutes. Turn the slices on the other side and leave it for 5 more minutes under the broiler.
You will need a jar of shawirma spices that you can find at Middle Eastern grocery stores.

Makes 3 servings
1 ½ pounds chicken breast,(boneless and skinless)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon shawirma spices
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ cup onion, chopped
1 glove garlic, chopped
Slice the chicken breast on a cutting board. In a deep bowl, pour the oil and vinegar and add the salt, spices , onions and garlic and stir. Add the chicken pieces and make sure they are very well coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Heat the outdoor grill to medium. Place the chicken pieces on the grill and cover the grill. After 5 minutes, turn the chicken slices over and grill for 3 more minutes until done.
You can serve it with bread and salad or with rice cooked with tomato sauce.
Red Rice with Tomato and Peas
This is a vegetarian rice but you could add chicken stock or lamb stock to the rice if you prefer.
3 cups boiling water
1 ½ cup basmati long grain rice
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Bahar or Arabian spice
¼ cup water
½ cup frozen peas
In a deep pot, bring water to a boil. Add salt and rice and stir the rice. Leave rice starts to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour rice in a strainer and leave to drain.
In a pot, heat the oil and add onions and season with salt and spices, and stir. Add the tomato paste and stir. Add ½ cup of water and bring to a boil. Add the peas and rice and stir. Reduce heat to low and cover to steam for 20 minutes.

Serve it with Arabic salad and pickles