Knafeh

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Kanafeh pastry comes in two kinds:

1. khishnah ( خشنه) (rough): crust made from long thin noodle threads
2. Naameh (ناعمة) (fine): semolina dough ( I posted the homemade recipe of this dough on my blog under ( knafeh Naameh dough ) … Check it out. Or you can buy it ready from the knafeh store.
The pastry is combined with melted butter or ( ghee ), then spread with soft white cheese, such as Nabulsi cheese, Akkawi Cheese, Ashta or Nuts- and topped with more pastry. In khishnah kanafeh the cheese is rolled in the pastry or layer flat in a circle cookie sheet or even as cupcakes. A thick syrup of sugar, water is poured on the pastry during the final minutes of cooking. Often the top layer of pastry is tinted with orange food coloring. Crushed pistachios are sprinkled on top as a garnish.
Palestinian Knafeh especially in Nablus is the most popular one.
Nablus kanafeh is a neon orange pastry with a crust of shredded Fillo dough or semolina dough, filled with soft cheese and drenched in syrup. It is especially popular during Ramadan.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package knafeh dough (shredded fillo dough), you can buy it from any middle eastern store.
  • 2 sticks of sweet cream butter melted or 1 cup of ghee butter ( I posted the method of cooking ghee butter at home in Knafeh dough recipe- check it out.
  • A sprinkle of knafeh orange coloring ( optional ).

For filling:
There are a lot of options, I will mention some of them:

  •  500 grams Akkawi cheese soaked in water over night.
  • A recipe of homemade Ashta ( I posted the recipe under

Warbat ).

  • 2 cups of crushed walnuts mixed with 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon – and 1/4 tsp cloves.

For syrup:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Drops of lemon juice

Ground pistachios for garnish

Method

  1. Start with syrup
  2. To a medium size pot add, water and sugar.
  3. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  4. Let cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Add lemon juice and stir.
  6. Let cook for another 5 minutes.Turn heat off and set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large bowl, crumble the knafeh dough with your hands.
  8. Mix melted butter or ghee with the orange knafeh coloring.
  9. Add melted butter or ghee to the dough and mix to combine.
  10. Press two thirds of the mixture in the bottom of a non-stick 12 inch circle pan and spread out as a crust.
  11. Drain the cheese from water.
  12. Top the crust with the cheese or Ashta and spread and press down evenly, leaving one inch of the sides without filling.
  13. Place the rest of the knafeh dough mixture evenly on top of the cheese mixture to form another crust on top. And press gently.
  14. Place pan in the oven and bake  for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  15. Take it out of the oven. Carefully flip it over a bigger pan with flat or short edges.Put it back in the oven for 5 minutes.
  16. Take it out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
  17. Drizzle with syrup, and garnish with ground pistachio.

Cupcake individual knafe:

  1. Follo the same steps in preparing the dough.
  2. Use a nonstick cupcake tin.
  3. Press 1 tbs of the dough in the bottom of each cup ( use the bottom of a small tea glass to press the dough down) to make a well in the middle.
  4. Add 1 tsp of Ashta in each well.
  5. Cover each cup with 1 tbs of Knafeh dough and press gently.
  6. Bake at 400 F in the middle rack of the oven until golden brown.
  7. Take it out of the oven and drizzle with syrup.
  8. Let rest again. And then flip the cupcake tin over the serving dish.
  9. Garnish with ground pistachio.

Tip: try to use ghee butter or (samneh baladieh) in making knafeh- it tastes much better and it makes a big diffrence.

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Cream of Potato Soup

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Ingredients :

  • 2 cups potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 cup reserved chicken broth
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • Chicken or vegetable broth for cooking the potatoes
  • Parsley and croutons for garnish

Method :

  1. In a saucepan, add the potatoes and broth … bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until the potatoes half way tender.( you will cook it again in milk ). Drain and set aside. Reserve 1 cup of the broth.
  2. In the same pan, melt butter and sauté onion until translucent, add celery and sauté until tender.
  3.  Stir in flour until combine. Heat milk in the microwave for a minute. Gradually stir in milk and broth. 
  4. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened.
  5. Reduce heat and add the potatoes and pepper. Adjust salt if you like it more salty. Cook for 10 minutes. Add heavy cream and stir. 
  6. Serve in a bowl with parsley and croutons on top.
  7. Enjoy!!😊

Warbat bil Ashta ( Fillo dough triangles filled with milk pudding )

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Ingredients:
For Ashta ( milk pudding )

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tbs sugar
  • 4 tbs corn starch
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 tbs orange blossom water

Also you need:

  • 1 package fillo dough
  • 2 sticks(1cup) butter (sweet cream butter )
  • ground pistachio for decoration

For Ater ( syrup )

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Drops of lemon juice
  • 1 tbs orange blossom water

Method :

First start with Ater ( syrup )

  1. In a pan add sugar and water. Stir until all sugar dissolves.
  2. Let boil on a medium heat for 5 minutes . Add lemon drops and let boil again for another 5 minutes. Turn heat off and stir in the orange blossom water. Set aside.
  3. For Ashta : in a medium size nonstick pot add corn starch, flour and sugar and then pour in milk and heavy cream, and stir until combine and sugar and starch dissolve.
  4. Heat the mixture up on a medium temperature stove until boil while keep stirring so the liquid would not stick to the pan
  5. When the mixture comes to a boil and thick enough like a pudding, turn heat off and pour into a Pyrex pan.
  6. Cover it with Saran Wrap. Let cool completely and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  7. Now start shaping the warbat by …preheat oven to 400 F. Lay out the fillo dough and brush each layer with melted butter. ( be sure to keep the rest of the dough covered with a damp cloth to prevent drying out ).
  8.  Make 5 layers top of each other. Cut layered fillo dough into 6 squares. 
  9. Place 1 tbs of Ashta at the middle of each square and fold over into triangles. 
  10. Brush a baking sheet with melted butter and place triangles. Brush top of the triangles with butter. 
  11. Finish up all the sheets the same way.
  12. Bake in the middle rack of the oven until golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes drizzle cold Ater (syup), and decorate with the crushed pistachios.

Enjoy!!!!! 

Red lentils soup

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 potato chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tbs pepper paste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 -1 tsp red pepper flakes depends on how spicy you like it.
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbs dried mint
  • 3-4 tbs vegetable oil
  • 5 cups Vegetable or chicken broth

Method :

  1. Sauté the finely chopped onion in oil until translucent,
  2. Stir in the tomato paste, pepper paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in the rinsed lentils, potato and carrot, and stir for 1 minutes.
  4. Add 5 cups of broth and boil until the lentils are fully cooked.
  5. Add spices, and stir.
  6. Blend the soup with the hand mixer into a smooth consistency. 
  7. Crush the dried mint in between your hands.
  8. Stir to combine, If it’s too thick add some more hot waterproof broth.
  9. Taste it to adjust salt.
  10. Serve in a bowl with a piece of lemon and pita bread crackers.

Tip: 

You can make pita bread crackers at home by having pita bread cut into small pieces and fry or bake them.

  

Orange chicken

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Orange chicken

  • 1/2 pound chicken breast (cut into bite-size cubes)
  • 5 dried red chilies (cut into 1.5 inch length, seeded and soaked in warm water)
  • 1 tsp minced orange zest
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 inch ginger (minced)
  • 1 stalk scallion (use the white part only, cut into thin threads for garnishing)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • Oil for deep frying

Orange Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tbs chicken broth
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 5 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • Salt to taste

Frying Batter:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 egg
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 small pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Mix the orange sauce ingredients and set aside.
  2. Mix the frying batter and dip the chicken meat into the batter. Heat up a pot/wok of cooking oil. When the cooking oil is hot enough for frying, drop the chicken pieces into the oil and deep fry them until they turn golden brown or crispy. Transfer them out onto a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
  3. In a wok, add 2 teaspoons of cooking oil and quickly stir-fry the minced garlic and ginger until aromatic. 
  4. Add in the dried red chilies and toss around until you smell the spicy aroma. 
  5. Follow by the minced orange zest and then chicken. 
  6. Quickly stir the chicken around before adding the orange sauce mixture. Continue to stir-fry until the sauce thicken. 
  7. Dish out, garnish with the scallion threads and serve immediately with steamed white rice.
  8. Enjoy!!😉

Atayef ( قطايف )

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Qatayef (قطايف) is an Arab dessert commonly served during the month of Ramadan, a sort of sweet dumpling filled with cheese or nuts.

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Atayef is the general name of the dessert as a whole, but more specifically, the batter. The result of the batter being poured onto a round hot plate appears similar to pancakes, except only one side is cooked, then folded. The pastry is filled with either unsalted cheese or a mixture of any of hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, dates or coconuts . It is then fried or, less commonly, baked and served with a hot syrup .

For Atayef Batter
You Need

  • 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup  Samolina
  • 3 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 3 tbs sugar

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend till incorporated. Pour batter in a big bowl. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes .
  2. After resting pour onto heated nonstick pan or iron flat sheet. Pour in the desired size of circles, about 2 tbsp. Cook the batter on one side only till the bottom golden brown and the bubbles on the top appear to have dried out.
  3. Cool on a clean kitchen cloth or on a wire racks bottom side down
  4. Remove the finished cakes from the skillet and repeat till all quantity is finished. Allow to cool completely before filling.

To make Cheese filling, you need :

  • 1 disk of Queso Fresco white cheese or any white cheese crumbled and soaked in cold water for couple of hours to get rid of salt – change water few times during soaking.
  • 2 tsp nigella seeds (habet il barakeh) optional.
  • Finely ground Mistka (optional )

Mix filling ingredients and set aside.

For walnuts Filling, you need :

  • 2 cups roughly chopped walnuts
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground Cloves

Place all ingredients in a bowl, and mix to incorporate.

How to fill Atayef :

  • Place 1 tsp crumbled cheese, or walnuts filling in the center of each Atayef circle.
  • Fold the sides over to touch at the centre. Squeeze firmly with your fingers to seal and continue until you have sealed all sides in the shape of a half moon. Repeat till all desired quantity is filled. If you have extra cheese filling, or walnuts filling, place in a tightly sealed glass container in the fridge for up to 5 days for cheese and a month or more for walnuts. Or in the freezer.

How to cook Atayef :

  • Simply brush both sides of atayef with vegetable oil, place in a baking dish and bake till crisp, turning once throughout. Or place them on a nonstick pan and fry them on the top of the stove until golden brown. Dip them in sugar syrup and serve. ( I prefer to eat them hot, especially the cheese once )
  • Cooked atayef can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Uncooked, filled atayef can be frozen till ready to use for up to 1 month. Just thaw before frying or baking.

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Kazandibi

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‘Kazandibi’ is a Turkish classic: a thick, milky pudding with golden-brown coating of caramelized sugar on the outside.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cornflour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • cinnamon (optional)

Method

  1. Grease bottom of a baking pan of 25 x 30x 3 (9×13 x 1 1/2 inch). Sprinkle with sugar.
  2.  Put baking pan in hot oven, untill Sugar turns a light caramel colour, take out of  the oven and set aside. 
  3. Combine flour, cornflour and milk in a saucepan. 
  4. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly in rotary fashion with a wooden spoon. 
  5. Stir in Sugar until blending well. 
  6. Simmer for 1 minute over low heat.
  7. stirring gently and constantly. 
  8. Remove from heat. 
  9. Add vanilla and stir well.
  10.  Spread into baking pan. 
  11. Bake in a moderately hot oven for 15-20 minutes. 
  12. Remove from oven. Place in a cold water bath. Let stand for 10 minutes. Remove from water bath and chill. 
  13. Dust with cinnamon or crushed Pistachio when ready (optional). .

This recipe adapted from http://www.turkishdesserts.net

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