The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
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Monday, September 24, 2012

Feta Cheese Omelet

I usually serve this omelet as a light dinner or a brunch. It is light and easy to prepare. You could use egg whites if you prefer.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
½ teaspoon dried mint, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add salt and pepper. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and pour the eggs in. Leave the eggs to set for 2 minutes on medium heat. Spread the feta cheese on top and cover the omelet for 3 minutes until set. Sprinkle parsley and mint over it.
Slide the omelet to a plate and decorate with a slice of fresh tomatoes and olives.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chicken Stew with Cranberries

I got the inspiration of the dish when I sampled a Persian chicken dish prepared with pomegranate syrup. 
I decided to cook this dish with the ingredients available in the American kitchen. It is a delicious sweet and sour hearty stew. 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion chopped, or sliced
1 pound skinless boneless chicken
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 cinnamon stick
½ cup chopped almonds or walnuts
1 cup cranberry juice
1 cup red seedless grapes
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon honey or molasses
Heat the oil in a deep pan, and sauté the onions.  Cut up the chicken into cubes and add them to the onions and stir. Season with salt, spices and add the cinnamon stick. Add the nuts and stir.
Add the cranberry juice, cranberries and grapes, and bring to a boil uncovered. Reduce heat and add the honey and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve it in a soup bowl with bread or over plain white rice.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Almond Cookies-Louzina. لوزينة

This a very simple, light and delicious cookie that taste wonderful with ground cardamom. You could use other flavoringns such as rosewater or vanilla.
For this recipe, you need blanched almonds, toasted or raw.  You can buy them ready blanched, but to blanch almonds, you can put 1 cup of almonds in a glass bowl. Add 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Place in the microwave oven for 5 minutes. Remove the bowl and drain the almonds in a colander.
Rub the almonds in your hands to remove the skin. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake in a 300 degrees F. oven for 8 minutes to dry, or leave them on a tray on the kitchen counter for 3 days to dry before storing.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2 cups almonds
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs (egg white only)
1 teaspoon ground cardamoms or 1 teaspoon rosewater

Put the almonds and sugar in a food processor and pulse until all almonds are ground. Put the mixture in a bowl, and add the baking powder and cardamom. Add the eg whites and stir with a spoon. It will make soft dough. Spoon the cookie dough on a cookie pan lined with parchment paper. Place a blanched almond on top of each cookie for decoration. Bake for 25 minutes.
Makes 2 dozens.
You can purchase almond flour from the grocery stores but it costs much less to grind it yourself.