The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
Purchase the new edition on Amazon

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Skillet Berry Apple Cake

This is an easy recipe, and a favorite of my guests during the Summer. You could always use frozen berries too. You only need to slice the apples thinly using a mandolin slicer or a food processor attachment.

I stick of butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
2 eggs
1 Apple thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
I teaspoon vanilla
In a mixing bowl, put the butter and stir in the sugar. Beat it with a mixer until the sugar has combined and the color of butter is pale yellow.
Add the eggs and stir. Add the apples and stir. Add the flour, baking powder and vanilla. Stir to combine the ingredients for 3 minutes.
Put one teaspoon of melted butter in a non stick skillet and butter the surface of the skillet.
Pour the cake batter and drop the berries on top. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar on top of the berries.
Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven.
Cool in the skillet and then transfer to plate. Serve it with ice cream or whipping cream.

Grilled Lamb Liver كبد خروف مشوي

During the Summer, I try to do most of my cooking on the grill. You can use lamb, goat or beef liver for this recipe. It is a popular street food item on the menu. 
If you do not have metal skewers, use bamboo skewers.You will need to soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes before you put them on the grill. This will prevent them from burning on the grill.
I usually slice and soak the liver pieces in a bowl of water, salt and vinegar for 15 minutes to remover most of the blood.
Ingredients for marinate:
1 pound lamb, sliced and drained
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 cup of onion, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed spices( Seven Spices or Syrian Spices) it is a combination of cinnamon, allspice, cloves,ginger,cloves, black pepper, and cardamom.
In a bow, put all the above ingredients and stir.
Drain the liver pieces from the water vinegar solution in a colander. Pat them with paper towel and drop them in the marinade and stir to coat the pieces with the oil and spices. Set aside for 15 -30 minutes.
Insert the skewers in the liver pieces. You could thread five pieces per skewer.
Place on the grill, for 5 minutes on each side.
You can serve with tomatoes, scallions, herbs and bread. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Farro Pilaf طبخة القمح او الفريكة النباتية

Farro Pilaf طبخة القمح او الفريكة النباتية

Farro (فريكة) is an ancient grain found in the Middle East. It tastes chewy like barley. It takes time to cook between 35-40 minutes. I usually purchase parboiled farro from Trader Joe's and cooks in 15 minutes.
You can cook it with chicken, or lamb. I prefer to cook it  vegetarian.

1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup parboiled farro
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Heat olive oil in a deep pot. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and stir. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the farro and boiling water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until water is absorbed. If the grains are still hard add 1/2 cup of water and leave it to simmer on low heat for ten minutes. Turn off heat and leave it covered. 
Serve with salads or as a side dish for chicken.
If you are using regular farro, soak it in water for 30 minutes before cooking. Use 2 cups of water to 1 cup of farro. Bring to a boil until water absorbed. 
Serve it as a salad or pilaf with chicken.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mamoul Filled with Dates

معمول بالتمر 

I was experimenting with this Lebanese recipe as there are so many different version of how to make the dough. I came up with this successful recipe to make a small batch.  You can double the recipe.
Makes 15 cookies. 
1 stick of butter, melted(4-ounces)
1 cup fine semolina
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons rose water 
8-ounces pressed dates
Melt the butter and pour in a bow. Add the flour, semolina, salt and baking powder and stir. The mixture will harden in five minutes. Add the rose water and mix using your hands. When the mixture becomes soft and the dough holds itself, cover and set a side for 30 minutes.
Prepare the filling:
Sauté the pressed dates in butter and add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and ground cardamoms. Set aside to cool. You can prepare the filling the day before if you wish.
To form the cookie, take a small portion of dough the size of a lime. Flatten it and fill it with 1 teaspoon of dates turn the sides of the dough towards the center to close it. Put it in a wooden mold and press it to make the design. Turn the mold over and tap it on a cutting board to release the cookie. Arrange on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. 
Bake for 20-25 minuted in a 350 degrees preheated oven.
Remover from over and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Serve with coffee or tea.

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.