The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chocolate Covered Date Nut Balls

I usually make date nut balls and roll them in shredded coconuts or toasted sesame. I created this recipe for Valentine’s Day and dipped the date nut balls in melted chocolate. The result was very tasty and elegant. You can try it using any kind of nuts. I prefer walnuts with dates.

2 cups soft pitted cooking dates
or Majdool dates, pitted
  2  tablespoons butter                                                                                                
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup dark chocolate, melted
Melt butter in a pan and sauté the dates for 2 minutes. Add toasted sesame seeds, walnuts, ground cardamom and cinnamon. Stir using a wooden spoon to combine and make a soft ball.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
Take a small ball of the mixture the size of a cherry tomato, and roll it in your hands.
 Using a bamboo skewer, dip the date balls in the melted chocolate, and arrange on a tray lined with parchment paper. You can decorate the top with a piece of walnut, or leave it plain. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve at a room temperature.
Use them within 2 weeks, or store them in a plastic container in the refrigerator.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Lamb Stew with Potatoes and Peas

You could use stewing beef for this recipe, but you need to cook it longer.
1 pound stewing lamb
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Arabian spice-Bahar (cinnamon,allspice,cloves,cardamom,black pepper)
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups water
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup frozen peas
Heat oil in a pot and sauté the lamb for 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, cinnamon stick, spices and stir. Pour the tomato sauce and the diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the water, and simmer on medium heat covered for one hour until lamb is cooked.
Add the potatoes and peas, and add 1 more cup of water and simmer until potatoes are soft and cooked. Check the sauce if it needs more salt. Serve it with saffron rice and salad.