January 19, 2010

Crunchy Delicious Crackers.

I know, I know I am supposed to give you the recipe for how to cook decent rice...

But I thought since most of you out there are meat eaters, and enjoy barbecues, you may need to check out this ready made recipe here .

To accompany it, specially if you are on a diet, you know all those extra pounds and kilos from stuffing your faces into oblivion, I suggest you can do away with bread, baked potatoes, and the rest...just settle for some nice crunchy delicious crackers.

As for dessert, nothing beats the high of pure sugar, a ready made recipe can also be found here.

Enjoy !

January 15, 2010

Chicken Liver Grandma Style...

Before reading this, please read the Welcome Note on your left.

I don't know about other languages, but in Arabic, terms of endearment or anger at slights often involve allusions to human organs.

For example in love you'd hear - you are my heart, eyes, will serve you from the inside of my eyes, (meaning deep from my soul), or another one you the pupil of my eye, or men ba'ad kabdee...difficult to translate, kabd means liver, and men ba'ad kabdee means very close to my liver, my most vital organ... liver.

Of course everything has it's opposite and Love's opposite is Hate. I will not go into a philosophical discussion as to how hate comes about, but it is fair to say that hate usually comes from anger at some injustice done...

So terms involving organs and hate are the same - he/she made my heart explode, my gall bladder explode, and also talae'lee aynee, meaning he made my eyes pop out (usually referring to someone who has kept at you relentlessly and not in a nice way either...) and of course the proverbial allusion to liver as in he made my liver explode...

Of course there are other sentences used for the lower parts of the body, which I shall refrain from teaching you tonight, as I make ample use of them on my other blogs....but not quite and not enough...in my opinion.

But rest assured, I do not wish you to explode in any way, maybe just loosen up that belt, button, whatever is around your waist, because the recipe I am about to endear you with is just so yummy...

This is a recipe I watched my grandma (bless her soul) cook. It is easy, healthy and tasty...

You will need the following for two persons. I always make more, because I hate stinginess and avarice. And bear in mind that measurements are not absolutely exact, this is cooking not algebra. OK ?! So when I say roughly, because I do say roughly often, take it to mean more or less...

So more or less :

200-250g of chicken liver
1 medium size onion
1 big glove of garlic
4-5 branches of fresh coriander or cilantro as you call it
1 cube chicken stock
black pepper
mixed spices (also called all spice)
-curry powder (optional)
-cinnamon powder
-cumin or keemun powder
-vegetable oil - I use sunflower.
-tomato paste
-(note I don't use salt in this one because the chicken stock is already salty enough)

Get ready :

-wash chicken liver and strain.
-chop onions finely and crush garlic
-heat about a tablespoon of oil in deep pan or pot
-cook onion until tender THEN add the garlic
- fry for a couple more minutes then add liver
- mix well and make sure to let the liver cook before adding spices - meaning you are not to see any raw red bits at all...if you don't do that, the liver gets soggy...
- once you have made sure that the liver is cooked, add your spices, i.e mixed spices, a bit of black pepper, cinnamon, keemun. You need the liver to smell of spices and become brownish from the mix.
-boil about a cup of water and dissolve your chicken stock cube in it and add some tomato paste, enough to make it into a rich red.
-stir the whole thing and add to your liver
- and finally add your coarsely chopped coriander leaves (leaves not stalks)

Let is boil once then lower temperature to simmer, until the spices, the liver, the broth drink up from one another...and the sauce thickens enough but not too much, you need to keep some sauce in there...

Serve with rice (I will give you the proper way to cook rice, none of this Western bullshit rice cooking) or if you can't wait for my next rice recipe and want to try it out immediately, serve with hot pitta or Arabic bread instead.

Bon appétit and don't forget my welcome note and a prayer for my grandma...

January 10, 2010

Apples -- a Winter Rose.

Don't ask why the title...cooking is like poetry, no questions asked...nothing but engaging the senses..
I love winter time, yes I do, in small, intense doses...I don't like this gray carpet for a sky, but I do love chilly crisps freezing days... I like winter, because I am urged to stay indoors and indulge...

And for some reason, I associate winter time with apples and cinnamon, The mixed scent of apples and cinnamon is mind blowing...

I think the fragrance industry must have figured out that this combo of scents is potent, and I noticed that shops make it a point to sell apples and cinnamon scented candles, specially around Christmas.

It is not only the smell that is alluring, but the taste...and I shall give you a simple, recipe for winter, that will warm your palate and your heart - Baked Apples.

Wait, it's not any baked apples it's Layla's baked apples.

Two kinds of apples : I call them Green Skinned ones and Red skinned ones.
The Green ones can be Granny Smith or Golden. Avoid yellow skinned ones as they are too sweet. Red skinned ones are red skinned ones and I don't know their name. If you can't find Greenish ones, no worries, stick to Red only.

Why the mix of both ? Good question. The mix of the tangy sourness of the green ones goes very well with the sweetness of the red ones. And you need to get that right mixture but not necessarily so...as I said you can stick to one kind only.

Slice apples in nice chunks, not thin, keep skin on...place in a glass plate, prepare your winter sauce : for 2 apples you need :

- 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey
- tablespoon of rose water

Pour the mix over the apples, and make sure that they taste it -- then be generous with the cinnamon (powder), but not too generous, as too much of everything can turn into bitterness - but you need enough to have that smell fill up your kitchen...cover with foil, and bake in oven until tender...

Serve HOT with fresh cream or vanilla ice cream or just by itself, decorate with a cinnamon stick and whiff away the wonderful smell of winter roses...

January 9, 2010

Omega 3 in your plate.

Nothing beats the blues like Omega 3. Seeing the state of the world, it should be made into a compulsory supplement.

Been reading the news again - and I need mega doses of Omega3 to survive the blues coming from this endless cycle of violence specially in, around, directed at this bloody Middle East-- more like the Arab and Muslim world.

Can't handle no more of it. Will cook instead some Fish, the natural source of Omega3

Can't find fresh fish here, so I settle for some simple frozen cod filet. Cod is easy to cook, not too greasy and not too expensive.

Thaw the thing - obviously. I also wash it. I wash everything actually. Fish included.

Marinate itfor 30mn in: some fresh lemon juice (not too much but enough to give that lemony flavor), ground cumin or keemun, a bit of salt, pepper, crushed garlic, a dash of olive oil, and I also add a bit of curry for the color and flavor.

Pre-heat oven, place fish in foil paper, and add some fresh cilantro leaves on top. Fold the whole thing but leave space for fish to breath, do not tightly wrap it, you need to let the fish cook in its own juices.

Cod is cooked quickly, so if you need a side dish, prepare it in advance. I usually add steamed vegetables, preferably potatoes on which I put a little olive oil and fresh dill.

That should beat your blues for today. Bon appétit.

Sore Throat.

I woke up with a bad sore throat. I must have caught cold yesterday, but I think it's because I got furious at the news I read about an Indian student 29 y who was set on fire alive, in that shit hole called Australia. Like it's not enough that Australians kill Afghan kids, they need to set their students on fire too. Then some dickhead on twitter was finding 1001 excuses as to why Australia is not be called a shit hole to be boycotted.

Any ways my sore throat is bad. So this is a recipe that usually works.

- Fresh grated ginger in pot, add boiling water, boil thoroughly, pour in cup, add FRESH lemon juice and honey.

I like to have the honey apart like a cough syrup, as it looses it healing effectiveness when diluted in hot liquids.

OK, now time to go and heal my self...and yeah Australia is a shit hole.

January 8, 2010

Love Sizzle and all...

I have a strange theory - I really believe people make love the way they eat...
You see it's not only about ingredients, it's the way...
Can you imagine someone having a big Mac daily, can you imagine what his or her sex life is like ? A total disaster. The dude is a product of the new world order, of globalization.

How can anyone fuck globalization without the extra calories, chemicals and tastelessness ? Definitely a philosophical question to ponder.

Another Beginning...

This is a totally crazy idea, a suggestion by a friend who told me - Layla you love cooking, why don't you start a blog and call it Layla Anwar's Kitchen ?
I had thought about that, in secret...
I sure do love cooking but then every thing is a meal dished out our way...for those who are lucky to have one, to have a meal that is...

Hence this new blog. A totally experimental one.

My kitchen is not only a place to cook but a place to experiment...and am hoping that the right recipe will be concocted here...

I will write about food, gender, art, politics, whatever ingredients I can find in my kitchen and will open the doors for you to add your own recipes...

I did say recipes...

I don't have domestic help and will not clean after you. In other words, if you will use this blog to shit your way around like a lost dog, you shall be banned...this is a kitchen not a public toilet.

Catch you soon with a bait of a recipe...