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Nicolai

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Everything posted by Nicolai

  1. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    LoL. Yes, I do. I sometimes count how many Eclairs fit in a tray to help me go to sleep....
  2. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    It's Italy then it's a Pizza. I feel rather sorry for the Italian as their food is so superior and they are the ones who taught France how to cook by non other than Catherine de’ Medici. OK, It is debatable as how much she was responsible for but let's go with the myth...... And all we have left for the masses is the double P which is Pasta and Pizza.......what a shame! 1- Starter Burrata with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil 2- Pizze - Marinara - Margherita Fior di Latte and Pecorino 3- Dessert....Certo.... Almond Chocolate cake topped with Hazelnut Ice Cream
  3. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    Apologies: The learned one corrected me as the restaurant was in Kos and not Crete. Unfortunately. I don't remember the name of the mountain village. We drove from the beach which I can't even remember the name and did not use a GPS just kept driving up the mountains to nowhere and ended around lunch time in this very small village on a Sunday after prayers. I have more pictures but they are in another house. I wonder if any Greek person can guess where I shot this picture with the mountain trees the ravine and the sea? I am a big fan of Greece islands and the places we used to go like Mykonos Kos Lesbos did not have a single hotel at that time and you had to either sleep on the yacht or at the local friend houses.
  4. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    Γεια σου (Ya Sou). Love Greece and Greek food......Uggh people as well outside Athens that is. If you wish to have a proper meal, go with a native. My better half and I were touring the mountains somewhere in Cretia and there was this little hamlet like the ones in postcards. We stopped for lunch in a picturesque restaurant overlooking the ravine and the mountains. Nobody spoke English or French or German or Italian and I speak Chinese dialect only after midnight. There was no way we could decipher the menu and seated at a big table were some locals and they were joined by the village priest. The food that was served was extremely appetizing......I ask the lady owner to serve us the same dishes and Zeus opened the heaven vanes of taste. Back to earth, we visited a local Greek restaurant and we had: 1- Starters - Perivoli Salad with Greek Elassona cheese and baby spinach....etc - Dipping Platter of Tzatziki, Fava, Tirokafteri and Eggplant with a helping of Pitta bread - Kolokythokeftedes the most unpronounceable dish ever of zucchini fritters with Greek Yogurt 2- Main - Spinach Pie with Feta cheese - Chicken Gyros with tzatziki - and the ubiquitous Kebab Souvlaki 3- Dessert Then things got serious with the syrup dripping Galaktoboureko and Portolakopita (off picture) - Rice Pudding with Coconut milk and Cinnamon topped with Cherry Jam and frsh black Cherries. My creation called Piggies Rice Pud. - And to wash it all, a designer artsy Watermelon Sadly there was no whipped cream or Crème Chantilly. That's it, I am going to Linz......
  5. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    Wishing you a prompt recovery.
  6. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    Unfortunately, you are correct. He who controls food controls destiny.
  7. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    Falling asleep is compulsory and so niceeeeeeeeeeeee. As for the version you mention, this is similar to Shawarma which took a variation on the original one with Lamb meat. Knafe bel Jebn is offered in a myriad of taste and combinations including Nutella!!!!! I am debating the value of deep fried Knafe from frozen state!!!!! Shawarma fell under the same trap. I tasted Lamb - Beef - Chicken - Shrimps - Sojuk and...... I have never ever seen Shawarma in any other country besides Lebanon in the olden days. It was nowhere to be seen from Turkey to Egypt and the Levant. As far as I am concerned, Shawarma was born in Lebanon and only available in Lebanon before the usual culinary appropriation of Turkey who claim it is their dish cooked on a horizontal spit. They even claim the name is Turkish. The name is not and never has been Turkish. It is Lebanese from the amalgamation of Shawa which means to grill and Awarma which is a typical local dish which is type of dry confit version of Lamb mince to be kept for the winter season. So it is Shawarman i.e Shawa Awarma. Now try to explain this to billions of consumers. Food enters the political arena. Knafe bel Jebn is Palestinian. Shawarma is Lebanese. Lahm bel Ajeen is Armenian. Foul and Taamia is Egyptian and Falafel is Levant fare. End of rant......
  8. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    I like the Tabouleh with little crushed wheat and more parsley and lemon juice. Also a pinch of red hot powder pepper. The Shakshouka is soften onions and garlic paste with the chickpeas slightly toasted in. Add the tomatoes plus tomatoes concentrate and lots of Cumin plus black ground pepper plus Aleppo ground Pepper plus salt plus Cayenne pepper plus Celery salt. All Chef's measure but go heavy on the Cumin and start sweating your forehead......
  9. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    Glad you like them.
  10. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    The square one is called Knafe bel Jebn. The top layer is semolina based which was toasted as thin strands and pounded. The second layer is unsalted white cheese. The cooking is akin a Tarte Tatin whereby it is cooked upside down and then reversed and doused with Sugar syrup and served with a sesame bread type. The origin of the dish is Palestinian using the local cheese from Nablus. A Syrian pastry maker set up shop in Paletine Nablus with a local Palestinian and they made Knafe filled with crushes pistachios. The Syrian man went back home and the Palestinian could not afford the pistachios filling and tried the local Nabulsi white unpasteurized cheese and the dish was born. A famous Lebanese pastry chef visited Nablus and learned how to make the recipe as told to me by his grandson with the picture of his ancestor in the sweet shop in Nablus. Now the sweet is available with either a cheese filling or clotted cream filling. it is also available in the original fine dough or the coarse stringy dough. The round one Osmalieh is originated in Lebanon and is made with stringy knafe dough with clotted cream doused with sugar syrup.
  11. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    Me think that any meal is just a conduit for dessert. A typical yanning dinner followed by a princely dessert. 1- Starters - Tabouleh (my way i.e. prepared to my taste) - Hummos Mtabal (my way i.e. prepared to my taste) 2- Main - Shakshouka (my way i.e. prepared to my taste) which means the addition of chickpeas. 3- Dessert - Knafe bel Jebn (hot and oozung cheese.....bestest for me) - Osnalieh
  12. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    You are correct. The Jordanians and Palestinians like a mellower version of Zaatar. I think they have other spices added I prefer our home made Zaatar but I do like their Zaatar Manakeesh. Also bear in mind the famous Palestinian dish: Musakham (I posted about it few month ago). This chicken dish has an overload of Sumak. Unfortunately, they have used Almonds instead of Pine nuts for cost considerations. It is a shame as the Pine nuts have a unique taste impact. One other dish we have it served at home is Roasted or fried potatoes with chickpeas and tons of Zaatar. To be gobbled with Arabic bread and cold Arak followed by a nap in the garden..... Here is an old picture for you. No recipe just cook wisiwig to your taste....... Try it
  13. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    I would suggest to use the traditional way of mixing the Zaatar with olive oil and then spreading on bread or dough. It does affect the taste. As for Sumac, this would mean that the Zaatar used is mixed with different spices. Unfortunately, lot of cheating is done to bulk up the quantities. It is a matter of taste and Lebanese /Syrians like the sourness of Sumac (except Aleppo). We mix our own Zaatar which is wild Zaatar flower from the monasteries grounds , Sumac berries and toasted sesame + salt. You are rightly adding Sumac.This places you in the connaisseur league.
  14. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    While chickpeas and Theeheh go very well together, the other marriage is chickpeas and pine nuts where you golden fry the pine nus in olive oil or ghee and serve on top of hummos. I guess peanut butter would make a tasty alternative.
  15. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    A frugal dinner followed by a piggy dessert....... Manousheh Lebanese flat bread topped with Zaatar - EVOO (pre baking) - Labneh - Tomatoes - Cucumbers - Olives and fresh Mint leaves (post baking) You join the Zaatar side with the Labneh side and enjoy.... Dessert Chocolate Caramel and Hazelnuts Cake
  16. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    I found my freedom on Blueberry Hill when I found you................actually in a bowl of Hainanese Chicken Rice on Singapore Hill. First place I had Hainanese Chicken Rice was in Singapore and got addicted immediately until I went to Malaysia and started tearing up..... This one I enjoyed lovingly. The Chicken sliced over the rice and the Chicken broth on the side to be enjoyed as such or poured over the chicken. To complicated the taste buds, four sauces were served which now gives a mind scratching number of combinations and permutations. Chicken and rice mixed with chicken broth and ginger sauce and sweet soya sauce and tamarind sauce and sambal sauce.... and of course Dessert to reach Umami Nirvana in the guise of Sticky Coconut Rice Mango and Pandan Crepe with Coconut Ice Cream
  17. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    The barbies pit were quite tame but the partying was Hotter than Wasabi.............
  18. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    I like burgers but I like classic burgers and classic Hot Dogs exception made for the Chicago Dogs which are a league of their own. It seems that even burgers nowadays have submitted to the awe of wannabe chefs to the extend that Michelin starred restaurants switched to burgers during lock-down. I was violently subjected to one such eatery and I get aggravated when the bacon and sauce taint my beautiful clothes. This is a pic of the chicken burger ordered by our friend with the name of Katsu Sando which I had to look up and discovered that Sando stands for sandwich in Japan as maybe the word sandwich has colonial connotations......you never know, and Katsu can be anything from chicken to pork pankoed and fried.....I do not eat fried chicken banned by my shrink. and then..........disaster struck as a meal is never complete without a dessert for me. And there I was contemplating a disgusting looking dessert under the watchful and piercing eyes of my better half............ An Ice Cream burger for crying out loud. Utterly revolting in visual and taste as I chose the Strawberry Cheesecake version. And no I did not eat the stupid bun and this is the first time in my life I was served Ice Cream with a knife and fork. You have been warned.....do not scroll down.....
  19. The jury still out but logical culinary history states that dishes emanated based on the resources of a country. In which case, North Africa is closer to Spain and the Spaniards got the Tomatoes from Latin America (Aztec...etc). So my money is on North Africa Egypt and the Levant are Johnny come lately.
  20. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    The Japanese touristic dinner. 1- Starters: Edamame Salt - Gyoza Steamed Vegs - Bao Beef........Off picture 2- Main: - Angus Ramen - Chicken Ramen - Chicken Donburi 3- Dessert: - Mochi Ice Cream
  21. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    Ohhh. You should try the wicked Shallah upgraded recipe which I did not have for sometime now. Simply it is Shallah (brioche) in the French Toast style as enjoyed in times gone by at my parents house. The dip is not the usual one but it is with a more liquidy version of Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream) but not Custard, the difference being dropping out the corn starch from the Custard. The Brioche is double pan fried, first at high heat for crunch and after resting shallow fry at low heat. Dress up with left over creme pat and berries. Rum compulsory.......but not for the kiddos.
  22. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    Met some friends for a bite at a Levant restaurant serving a mix of Syrian Lebanese and Palestinian dishes. I will save posting the usual Hummos - Tabouleh.....etc 1- Libation - Bottles water 2- Appetizers - Fatteh: Bread - Chick Peas - Yogurt - Theeneh - Almond Slivers and Pine Nuts fried in EVOO (the real deal should be fried in Ghee) - Salad: - Watermelon - Feta Cheese - Baby Spinach and Blueberries. Balsamic and Pomegranate Molasses dressing with EVOO 4- Mains - Kebbe bel Saniyeh: Crushed wheat with mince Lamb meat layering fried mince meat and pine nuts. Dressed with Almond Slivers. Oven baked - Kofta bel Saniyeh: Mince Lamb meat in fresh spicy Tomatoes coulis. Oven baked - Kofta bel Theeneh: Mince Lamb meat and potatoes in a Theeneh Lemony sauce. Oven baked, Dessert: Knefe bel Jebn. Off picture
  23. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    Blame the Pitu Cachaca 😎
  24. Nicolai

    Dinner 2020

    Lockdown dinner was a nice piece of Salmon marinated and crusted with Chermoula and baby potatoes crowning the Salmon. The pre-dinner drink which also served as dessert was a concoction of Mangoes and Rum. Fresh diamond cut Alphonso Mango mixed with Mango Sorbet and made wet with a dash of Lime and Pitu Cachaca. Few Walnuts for crunchiness .
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