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eG Foodblog: arbuclo - Dubai is a long way from Montana, baby!


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Some of my grazing for today: a pear, the last couple of pieces of baklava, and since I've neglected my chocolate intake this week, 3 pieces of chocolate from a box of cadbury assortment.

Baked some bread too. The Potato Loaves from Baking with Julia. I love the recipe because it's so fast but I never can shape them to look like the picture, so hopefully none, or few, of you have the book so you can't compare mine! Will post pic later.

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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We had a discount. It was 450dirhams before the discount, so I suppose it wasn't outrageous. It's just that the prices there were at the high end for what we've seen in Dubai.

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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Found a picture of what a small portion of the fish selection at Carrefour's looks like:

gallery_18_3_57120.jpg

They will, of course, fillet the fish or whatever you want (ie they cleaned some prawns and some squid for me not long ago).

The fish market looks like this times about 100.  Every few feet is a new display with a different vendor!

This is awesome thanks!! If Carrefour has such an impressive fish selection, I wonder what the fish market looks like???

The one in the bottom center is "Sultan ibrahim" or red mullet, a fish people love in Lebanon!! We eat it deep fried whole served with deep fried arabic bread and drizzles of lemon, it is so good that some people even eat the crispy head. Oh I wish I was there... :rolleyes:

"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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Aaah, Thursday, the weekend.  (Forgot to mention the working week is Saturday through Wednesday here)  I call Thursday "the new Saturday"!  I'll probably be grazing throughout the day but for starters I had some toasted fake ciabatta with French butter. (no picture since I didn't want to embarass the ciabatta any further)  Last week in therese's blog there was some comment about cultured butter.  I think I picked some up at Carrefour the other day.  My butter is made with lactic culture, does that mean it's cultured butter?  Whatever...it's divine!  Also had some toast with labna again.

Yep, that's it. Delicious.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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This is awesome thanks!! If Carrefour has such an impressive fish selection, I wonder what the fish market looks like???

The one in the bottom center is "Sultan ibrahim" or red mullet, a fish people love in Lebanon!! We eat it deep fried whole served with deep fried arabic bread and drizzles of lemon, it is so good that some people even eat the crispy head. Oh I wish I was there... :rolleyes:

Ooh, thanks for identifying that fish. I wondered what it is. I haven't bought much fish that hasn't already been hacked up (ie filleted :wink:) and fish names are rarely consistent. That deep fried fish sounds heavenly!

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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Aaah, Thursday, the weekend.  (Forgot to mention the working week is Saturday through Wednesday here)  I call Thursday "the new Saturday"!  I'll probably be grazing throughout the day but for starters I had some toasted fake ciabatta with French butter. (no picture since I didn't want to embarass the ciabatta any further)  Last week in therese's blog there was some comment about cultured butter.  I think I picked some up at Carrefour the other day.  My butter is made with lactic culture, does that mean it's cultured butter?  Whatever...it's divine!  Also had some toast with labna again.

Yep, that's it. Delicious.

Me likey! Thanks for blogging about it. :smile:

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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Do those bananas taste any different from regular ones?
I reckon they're not as "heavy" tasting since there's a bit of lemon taste to them. I found them again today. They were in with the Indian foods at the supermarket. Does anyone know if they're called something other than "finger bananas"?

Looks like what we Bengalis call "Singapuri Kola" (literally, "Bananas from Singapore"). Unlike in the USA, you get many different varieties of Bananas in India, and this is one of them,..

OK, let's play "what IS this and what DO I do with it?"  (and I don't know the answers so you could just make stuff up if you wanted!  :wink: )  If you have links to info or recipes, I'll love you forever!  :raz:

...

I worked out that the middle things were banana flower and banana "stick"?! from the sign.  I've seen banana flower before unsure how to use it. 

gallery_12852_828_80409.jpg

The thing you call banana "sticks" is what we call "Thor" in Bengali. Its actually the pith or the stem of the Banana plant.

The purple looking things are banana blossoms, called "Mocha" in bengali. If you peel of all the layers of petals , you will eventually get to the edible part. I believe the use of both these things is quite common in South East Asian cuisines. We bengalis have a tradititional preparation with "Thor" and mustard paste, which is an absolute favorite of mine. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to cook it.

Here are some threads from the India forum on "Thor" and "Mocha":

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=55084

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=50510

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jhlurie Simpson, yes, it's beautifully constructed!

bongo, thanks so much for the information. I'm learning a ton this week!

percyn, you know, I'm unsure as to the types of mangos. I do see several different kinds of mangos at the shops but they're only labelled as to where they come from. And I don't know which of those mangos they normally use for juices. Where are alphonsos from?

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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here's what my potato bread from yesterday looked like. I love this recipe because it's a 30 minute initial rise and the second rise is about the same. Plus you don't even have to peel the potatoes!

gallery_18_3_136695.jpg

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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Last night we had a birthday party to go to at the pretty Ritz Carlton. (It's pretty except for the canyon of construction going on around it, poor thing!) The setting of the restaurant we went to is wonderful. It's in the pool area, steps from the beach, but that's not the best part. For larger parties you can eat in one of these open air tents:

gallery_18_3_178287.jpg

(There's a better picture here at their website.)

The food is buffet and you can choose from an appetiser buffet or full buffet.

This is a portion of the appetisers section which included dips and stuffed grape leaves, as per usual. The one item in this picture that I wanted to make note of is dish just to the left of the grape vine rolls. Those are Syrian magdus. I think they look awful, especially when they're whole but I like the taste. They're eggplants stuffed with nuts and chiles and preserved in oil. I found this interesting story about someone's experience making them with a Syrian family.

gallery_18_3_115019.jpg

This man was making fresh breads filled with cheese and zaatar. Yum!

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The delicious lentil soup with bowls of muslin wrapped lemons and croutons.

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And some of the dessert selection. There was also fresh fruit and some bread and butter pudding concoction. We also got some wonderful chocolate mousse birthday cake!

gallery_18_3_188246.jpg

This picture is hard to see much in. It's a tent that they had there where you could buy sheesha pipes and boxes of the flavoured tobacco to go with. You can sort of make out the "flavours" by the fruits pictured on the boxes.

gallery_18_3_37228.jpg

As you can see I neglected to take pictures of a few things. There was also plenty more dips and about half a dozen giant bowls of different types of olives. The mains were lamb chops, skewers of meats (like those in my Goodies photo), fish and more stuff I've forgotten by now.

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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For breakfast today I thought I'd do "Baghdad Eggs". I had these in a cafe (Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder) in Melbourne just before I moved. The person that owns the cafe is Stephanie Alexander, a famous chef in Australia. I was given her latest issue of The Cooks Companion, which is a cook's essential in Oz. I was pleased to see the dish listed in the cookbook the other day.

(Here's her website and her book.)

It's really easy and oh, so yummy! First melt some butter in a pan. When it's foamy throw in some garlic to cook for a few seconds, add a dash of lemon juice (I used lime juice since I had 'em) then gently fry eggs in the pan. When cooked, serve them atop flat bread, sprinkle with zaatar (she calls for cumin), fresh mint, salt and pepper. Give it a try! (I'll post a picture later.)

[edited to fix link]

Edited by arbuclo (log)

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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I haven't seen manousha but that's not to say it's not around. I'll keep an eye out for it 'cause it's definitely something I'd like.

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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I haven't seen manousha but that's not to say it's not around.  I'll keep an eye out for it 'cause it's definitely something I'd like.

My uncle until last year had a food business in Dubai that sold french baked goods such as croissants and pains au chocolat (he went out of business though :sad:, a lot of fierce competition going on...) Anyway, his most popular item was zaatar stuffed croissants. It is absolutely delicious, I make it at home all the time, you should try it if you like zaatar...

"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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Ya gotta love zaatar, huh? So do you buy the croissants, slice them open and sprinkle zaatar inside or do you put zaatar in during the making of the croissants?

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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Ya gotta love zaatar, huh?  So do you buy the croissants, slice them open and sprinkle zaatar inside or do you put zaatar in during the making of the croissants?

Well at home we only did it with croissants already baked (that is, slice them open etc... as you said), but i'm pretty sure it works as well if added during the making. Sometimes i like to add zaatar to unbaked puffed pastry dough and bake it in the oven until it...well...puffs, so if this works, it should work with unbaked croissants too.

Just a note though: instead of sprinkling it dry, i moisten the zaatar with olive oil and use it as a spread rather...

and YES I looooove zaatar :wub:

"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler
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Oooh, yeah, great idea to put it on puff pastry before baking! I gotta try that and what a wonderful easy nibbly to serve to guests! Thank you, zeitoun.

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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Great blog, Arbuclo. :smile:

I'd be very interested to know what's in those pistachio nougats that you did not care for.

I had the same problem a few years ago. I like all spices but there's just that one spice

that I had in some nougats and some Greek pastries which I just cannot eat. Do you think it could be mastic? Please let me know if you find out.

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Actually, I liked the pistachio nougat fine it was the rose petals I didn't really enjoy eating (sorry, I wasn't clear!). But the pistachio nougat did indeed have some sort of different flavour to it, kinda floral. I don't think it was mastic since, if I understand correctly, mastic has an aniseed taste. (I HATE aniseed!)

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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Mastic tastes exactly like tree resin. It's definitely an acquired taste. I'm hopelessly addicted.

I also love mastic. The version I've had (there's actually a picture of the resin blobs in my blog from last week) has a vaguely citrus minty quality to it, not at all like anise (though I also like anise). It doesn't remind me of pine resin, which is what I think of when I think of tree resin.

Anyway, mastic may well be the light floral note that arbuclo notes in the nougat.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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*takes microphone for a second*

Please give a round of applause to arbuclo, for opening up her life and sharing it with us this week.

Lori's blog installment will be open for the rest of today and a good part of tomorrow for questions and wrap-up, and any last minute ImageGullet additions.

Next blog in the sequence will commence Sunday morning, and is extra special since this will bring the series thread full circle.

We now return you to the conclusion of arbuclo's Foodblog installment.

*replaces microphone*

Soba

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