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Nicolai

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  1. Lunch! What'd ya have? (2017)

    Just another manic Monday.......wish it was Sunday..... Bao buns with crispy Duck and Hoisin sauce and some love fruit.........
  2. fireplace (with glass doors) ???? sitting glowing coals>>> Were you smoking the eggplant or burning it? 1- Eggplant should not be in direct contact with the heat source, in this case glowing coals. 2- Eggplant should not be in an enclosed glass doors thingy 3- Eggplant should not be cut or scored. Simply pricking with a fork. 4- Never tried it from wood but always from coal and most of the time from a open gas hob flame and some people use the oven grill. For the record, the Baba Ghanouj recipe is unfortunately incorrect as it is using Lemon for sourness. Eggplant pulp with Tahineh and Lemon++ correct name is Batenjan Mtabal and the full name is Batenjan Mtabal bel Thineh. Baba Ghanouj is different as the sourness is from Pomegranate juice with Tehinah. Baba Ghanouj translation is Father for Baba and Baba is also used as sometimes derogatory and some time in a patronizing manner. Ghanouj is what you say to a pampered child. Pamper=Spoil=Cuddle Ghanouj is not someone name (I guess I need to correct Wikipedia on that). Baba Ghanouj correct translation is a Father's cuddle. Today, people use either names for the Lemony version which is a sad state of affairs. I prefer the original with Pomegranate freshly squeezed juice. Two completely different tastes and people started substituting Lemon instead of Pomegranate for the simple lack and difficulty, cost and sourcing Pomegranate in times gone by. A plea to all readers, do remember that such recipes were created in ancient or old times where cooking had to follow the seasons harvest and location. Food recipes were created during each particular season. Albeit not anymore the case today and substituting elements in a recipe falls under the guise of creativity or sheer incompetence. This is how age old great recipes are expropriated and ruined by neighboring cultures and countries.
  3. Lunch! What'd ya have? (2017)

    A satisfying Egyptian lunch for a boring Monday. This was a kind of lunch for one before my main lunch . The wifey was busy attending some conference of sort with Canapes, Champagne and the usual Choccies. 1- Egyptian Taamia or called Falafel in other countries. The side is Tahina Sauce and of course Egyptian bread 2- Egyptian Foul (Fava Beans) drowned in EVOO. Yummm 3- Egyptian Koshari which is a mix of Lentils - Rice - Pasta - Chickpeas - Fried Onions and Vinegar based Tomato sauce ( with extra Lentils - Chickpeas and Fried Onions) Luv it. 4- The complete reveal And if you have to ask, I could not finish it all but pigged out to the max
  4. Lunch! What'd ya have? (2017)

    It's Sunday.......on the Bay before going to the Beach While waiting endlessly for the missus while having my Shesha at a new Lebanese restaurant overlooking the Bay. The Chef thought to cheer me up with one of his daily dishes. Kofta bel Saniyeh. This translates to Minced Meat on a Plate. This is a Lebanese old style dish presented in a new swanky serving. The meat is Lamb Mince Kofta with Onions and Parsley + spices. It is usually laid flat in the round baking tray and topped with sliced Potatoes and Tomatoes. The sauce is Tomato based with Olive Oil - Garlic - Spices. Baked in the oven and depending on whomever doing the cooking, you either stop cooking when all is soaked and ready or when the tomatoes dry out and the potatoes get singed. I like it either way. You eat it with chunks of Lebanese flat bread. Here. the Chef went further one and made individual patties sitting on top of the Potato, a slice of Onion and topped with half a Tomato with the sauce providing the blessing. He served it with Vermicelli Rice. The serving is three patties but I could not wait and ate one before taking a pic. Sheer Sunday Heaven.......and then the Missus showed up!!!!
  5. Lunch! What'd ya have? (2017)

    It is a Green Walnut Preserve. They start green and turn black with the cooking method which is rather arduous. (They darken as they are to be left in the water for around 10 days). The taste is rather unique and the bite is a tad firm on first bite and softens after the first perimeter. It is sweet with traces of nutty taste and considered a delicacy, albeit an expensive one. It was usually served with an afternoon coffee at celebrated afternoons. It beats the hell out of Strawberry jam with clotted cream and scones for an English afternoon tea. As the Walnut are drowned in their syrup. Lot of the liquor is left over. This is a special Xmas treat when making chocolate Xmas cookies as the syrup is used for sweetener and the taste is heavenly. On time for Xmas. Next is Xmas Cookieeeeeeeeeees.
  6. Lunch! What'd ya have? (2017)

    It is not lunch and it is not dinner but the in between when you have Turkish coffee (which in fact was brought to Istanbul by a Syrian couple and the Turks called it Turkish coffee which is not). Nevermind the historics. What is on the plate? Open for guessing and winner takes a Smiley......
  7. Breakfast! 2017 (Part 2)

    The odd thing is that we do not use Savory - Zaatar Akhdar in cooking but only eat as a salad in it's fresh green raw state, I personally think it must be a variant herb to savory as it seems many variants exist. The only time we use the Zaatar in it's dry powder form besides the sesame mix one, is a la Greque. We have been taught by a Greek restaurateur lady, that the best way to enjoy Greek Barrel Aged Feta cheese besides raw on a salad, is to spread on flat bread and sprinkle Greek Thyme and lace with oil toasted in a pan. The other way to eat Barrel Aged Feta is to crumble the Feta on a sheet of alu foil, sprinkle with dry Thyme and EVOO and bake in the oven. The smell is unbelievable. When we run out of Greek Thyme we use powder Zaatar instead and the result in taste and smell is very similar. We will probably have a Barrel Aged Feta toasted in Egyptian Baladi flat bread next week. I will try to post for you a prep and final pics.
  8. Breakfast! 2017 (Part 2)

    According to Wikipedia, Zaatar is a generic name and Savory is one of the family. In which case Zaatar Akhdar in Arabic is Savory which means you are right on the money! Wikipedia: Za'atar[1] (Arabic: زَعْتَر‎‎, IPA: [ˈzaʕtar]) is a generic name for a family of related Middle Eastern herbs from the genera Origanum (oregano), Calamintha (basil thyme), Thymus (typically Thymus vulgaris, i.e., thyme), and Satureja (savory).[2] The name za'atar alone most properly applies to Origanum syriacum, considered in biblical scholarship to be the hyssop (Hebrew: אזוב‎‎ Hebrew pronunciation: [eˈzov]) of the Hebrew Bible.[3] It is also the name for a condiment made from the dried herb(s), mixed with sesame seeds, dried sumac, and often salt, as well as other spices.[4] Used in Levantine cuisine, both the herb and spice mixture are popular throughout the Middle East.[5][6]
  9. Breakfast! 2017 (Part 2)

    Zaatar Akhdar ( Green Zaatar) (Green Wild Thyme) It does look quite similar to savory. Do you eat green raw savory like Zaatar?
  10. Breakfast! 2017 (Part 2)

    You are welcome.
  11. Breakfast! 2017 (Part 2)

    This Breakfast thread is really entertaining for me. There are certain items I would never dream eating for Breakfast and I am sure other people feel the same on my type of Breakfast. This is what I had today, with the Missus for Breakfast before hitting the beach for a swim Clockwise from 12 o'clock: 1- Labneh doused with EVOO 2- Spring Onions 3- Cucumbers 4- Green Wild Thyme 5- Haloumi Cheese 4- Tomatoes 5- Green Olives in the middle and of course Bread (off picture). We had two types of Bread: The flat Lebanese (for yours truly) and the Egyptian Baladi flat bread (for the Missus). The way to eat is to tear a piece of bread, scoop some Labneh and dip on top of the Wild Thyme which is picked up by the Labneh. Same goes for a piece of bread with Haloumi Cheese and placing Wild Thyme in the formed pocket (some call it cat ear). I refuse to have a meal if no sweet is included, in this case Beurre D'Isigny on flat bread with Dark Sour Cherries jam. Lunch was Linguine and wild mushrooms pan sauteed with onions and garlic in olive oil and S&P and finished with a splash of Gavi Di Gavi. The Linguine was dressed with fresh chopped Parsley and a mix of grated Gouda and Parmesan and washed down with the rest of the Gavi Di Gavi. Dessert was a juicy Pineapple...............and a small chocolate accompanied with few strong words from the Missus.
  12. Some Fruit I Bought

    I went shopping with the Powers that be and got so much fruits that I would make any Fruitarian proud. I took a picture for you and you can see the following: - Banana Chiquita - Avocados - Custard Apple - Figs - Nectarines - Pears - Persimmons Kaka - Rambutans - Pineaple - Mangosteen - Granadillas Missing from the pics are: Watermelon - Apple Royal Gala - Apple Green - Kiwi - Mandarin Nadorcott - Valancia Oranges and a pun of Physalis that we had to return as no Bar Code was present. Only 17 type of fruits. And yes the Avocado is a fruit as eaten in Brazil and other countries. I will try to put all the 17 fruits together for a pic. In the mean time I ate couple of Figs - a Rambutan - a Banana before lunch.
  13. Lunch! What'd ya have? (2017)

    Actually you are right as these are clearly M&M's and not Smarties. They look quite similar minus the M&M letters. When at the movies, I usually get salted Popcorn and empty a bag of M&M's/Smarties on top of the warm Popcorn so it melts and is yummy to eat and crunchy. I wear a dark T-shirt to cover up for the mess on my top. You should try it. You know the joke about the Blonde who got a job at M&M as spellchecker!!!!
  14. Lunch! What'd ya have? (2017)

    It is Sunday. Burgers Sunday After a nice long swim in the sea, and everybody stinking of after sun moisturizer, we headed to a new burger joint whose USP is Angus and Wagyu beef burgers. Different burgers were ordered and upon recommendation of our food attendant, I ordered the Gourmet Wagyu Burger (medium} with the original topping. The hero of any burger is always the meat patty and it was an excellent 200g of Wagyu goodness. The most important factor is that the topping "accompanied" and not "overcame" the taste of the meat and this is how it should be. It also seems the new trend is not melted cheese but grilled cheese as you can see in the pic the round cheese disc. Add the ubiquitous Cajun Fries and the Fat Onion Rings for good measure. And then at the end of the meal, we were hit where it really hurts, in the tummy, with a complimentary serving of a unique gargantuan Choc Brownie with a white Choc dip, a dark Choc dip, a Smarties sprinklings (Smarties???? What the F@#^%) and just when you thought it cannot get any worse......comes the soft ice cream. Left the place with a stupid smile on the face and a happy tummy...........and a frowning wifie!
  15. Lunch! What'd ya have? (2017)

    Late, very late lunch yesterday. - A green salad, I wanted a green salad and I got all things green including the kitchen sink: Green beans - asparagus tips - arugula - lettuce - avocado - green wild thyme - chopped parsley and few pomegranate seeds. The dressing is simple EVOO - lemon - S&P. - An Artsy Fartsy serving of minced meat (loaf) rolled around chopped spinach with a tomato concasse, pomegranate molasses and pomegranate seeds. The second row is Italian style baby aubergines baked with mozzarella on a cushion of tomato sauce. A splash of yogurt/cream holds them together and don't ask why as some grated peanuts stand in waiting. To be honest, the dish works and is very tasty.
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