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The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Feta Cheese Spread


Feta cheese is a staple in my house. I use it for salads, sandwiches and in pastas. You need to preserve it in salt water and store in the refrigerator. It is often salty cheese.To serve, soak it in cold water for 20 minutes and drain it before slicing. In the following recipe, I added cottage cheese to the crumbled feta to cut down on salt. There are different varieties of feta that are imported or domestic that you need to try until you find the brand you like to purchase.

1 pound feta block
½ cup low fat cottage cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried mint or zaatar
In a bowl, crumble the cheese and stir in the cottage cheese. Sprinkle mint and drizzle olive oil and stir.
Serve in a small salad bowl and garnish with mint or black olives. Serve with pita chips or crackers.

For this recipe, you can add 1 clove of crushed garlic to the spread if you desire.
Enjoy

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Baked Butternut Squash


This is an autumn vegetable that we use in so many dishes, such as soups, stews with lamb and others.
I purchased butternut squash whole, peeled it with a potato peeler, scooped the seeds out and sliced it.
 
You can purchase the squash already cubed in 1-inch size.
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
A pinch of nutmeg
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup cranberries
¼ cup walnuts
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Put the squash in a bowl and drizzle olive oil. Season with salt, spices and stir. Spread squash on a baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until tender. Allow to cool, and arrange in a deep dish. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, cranberries and walnuts.  
This makes a good side dish with chicken or lamb.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Tahini Cookies كعكة بالطحينة والسمسم


Tahini is a sesame paste that I use for making hummus, and other sauces. I decided to make these delicious cookies that resemble sugar or peanut butter cookies using tahini. You can use almond butter if you do not have tahini. You can find tahini in the Middle Eastern isle of the grocery store.

This recipe makes 20 cookies
¼ cup tahini
4 ounces butter, melted (1/2 stick)
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a bow, put the butter, tahini, sugar, egg and whisk until sugar has melted. Add flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom and stir using a wooden spoon.
Take a small ball of the dough the size of a walnut. Roll it in your hands, and put on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. When done rolling, make an indention in the middle of the cookie dough and put a few sesame seeds. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. Remove from oven and leave the cookies to cool before removing from pan. Store them in a Tupperware container lined with wax paper.

Enjoy