Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cappuccino cake with caramalized nuts (poorman tiramisu)

The reason why I call this a poorman tiramisu is because the concept and the taste is similar to tiramisu but with less expensive ingredients. Instead of mascarpone cheese, ladyfingers, and espresso, cappuccino cakes calls for cool whip, graham crackers, and instant coffee. But the cappuccino cake is delightful and will be a big hit with your family, I am sure of it. This recipe is quite popular among my friends, though I don't know who initially came up with the recipe. I hope you enjoy it.

Cappucinno Cake

1 cup almonds
1 cup sugar
2 (6 oz.)cans of danish cream like Puck brand
1 (8 oz.) container cool whip
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup water
1 (14.4 oz) box of graham crackers.

Heat sugar and almonds in saucepan until sugar turns to caramel color, then pour hot mixture onto a sheet of aluminum foil and let them cool. Once cool, crush the hardened caramel into coarsely pieces or grind them into finer pieces. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix the 2 cans of cream, cool whip, 1 teaspoon instant coffee, and about 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk. In a separate bowl, mix water, 1 teaspoon instant coffee, and the rest of the sweetened condensed milk. Dip crackers in the coffee/condensed milk/water mixture on both sides for a few seconds (not for too long because they will turn soggy). Start layering crackers in a 13x9 pan. Place some of the cream mixture and spread and then sprinkle with 1/3 of the almonds on top. Continue making the layers ending with a layer of almonds. Cover and refrigerate until the next day. Serve!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Debikh (Yemeni Chicken Vegetable Stew) Low-fat and healthy

This healthy dish is one of the main meals in Yemen. Everyone has a very different variation and I tend to very flexible with this dish so my stew differs with each time. Sometimes, I add new ingredients or omit some ingredients. It really depends on what spices and vegetables I have on hand. Here is the basic recipe with optional additions.

1/2 large onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced (optional)
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 chicken, skinned and cut into 10 pieces (or 10 skinned drumsticks)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp curry
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced (opt)
3 medium potatoes, cubed
1 zucchini, sliced or cubed
1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables like green beans, lima beans, peas, corn
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (opt)
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped (opt)

Fill a kettle with water, bring to boil and then leave on low heat.
In a pot, heat oil over medium high heat and then saute onions until just lightly browned. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 min. Add tomatoes, and cook until softened. Add chicken, salt, and spices. Stir to coat, cover. Stir occasionally, add some of the boiled water when needed to prevent the chicken pieces from burning. Cook until chicken is browned and cooked (about 28 min). Add carrots and celery and stir to coat, cover and cook for 4 min, stir occasionally. Add potatoes, stir to coat, cover and cook for 5 min. Add zucchini, mixed vegetables, jalapeno, and cilantro. Mix tomato paste with a half cup hot boiled water and pour into pot. Stir everything together. Add enough hot boiled water until just barely covering vegetables. Bring to boil on med-high and then reduce to med. Cook for 10 -20 minutes until potatoes are cooked.

Spoon on cooked white rice and serve. Can be eaten with bread too.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Strawberry Jam-Filled Vanilla Spritz cookies

I did the Kuhn Rikon recipe for vanilla cookies and decided to fill them with strawberry jelly. The key to making a stickier jam filling is to heat the jam (in a bowl) in the microwave for 30 or so seconds, spread between the baked and cooled cookies, and let set for a couple of hours.

I also tried baking the jelly in some of the cookies by pressing a dent and filling the dent. Did not turn out great, so I poured some heated jelly once they were cooled. You can (and I plan to try this next time) press a dent in the center of the unbaked cookies to close the hole but don't fill it with jelly until after they are baked and cooled.

The recipe for the vanilla cookies is available at Kuhn Rikon's web site. It says 2 1/2 cups of sifted flour on the web site, yet on the leaflet that came with a product says 2 1/2 cups flour, sifted. I take that as measuring the 2 1/2 cups of flour and then sifting.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fatayer (Middle Eastern mini pizzas)

This recipe is a Yemeni twist of a popular food in the Mediterranean and Gulf Arab countries. I got this recipe from a friend. I put less cheese on mine though, and I used a blend of different cheeses this time. While I don't have the recipe for the dough ready, any pizza dough recipe would work fine. But I will write up the recipe next time I make the dough, so keep a look out for that.

Prepared pizza dough (let rise)

2 Tablespoon oil
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pound ground beef
1/2 tsp curry, or more
1/2 tsp cumin, or more
1/8 tsp black pepper, or more
1/2 tsp salt or more
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 medium tomato, chopped
Shredded cheese preferably mozzarella

Heat oil in saucepan on high heat. Saute potatoes in oil until browned and cooked. Add meat and brown, pour out any excess oil (usually the potatoes absorb the oil so there won't be much). Add seasonings and stir. Adjust flavors and remove from heat.

Preheat oven at 500 F. Cut risen dough onto floured surface into golf ball size. Let rest for 5 min, then pat down each one and place each on ungreased baking sheets. Make several pricks with a fork. Bake each sheet of dough rounds in a preheated oven for 3 min or until half cooked (not browned). Place filling on top of each bread round. Place some of the raw chopped onions and tomatoes. Finally top with cheese. Place back in the over and bake until edges are golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve with hummus or sour cream