Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Macluba

Maqluba is a Levantine dish popular in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine.  The name literally means “upside down” because the meat, vegetables, and rice are stacked in a handleless pot to cook, then flipped over and placed on a large tray for serving.

These days Maqluba is described as a one pot dish, which I suppose it could be; assuming you don’t count the pot you stew the meat in, and the pan you fry the veggies in.  Not to mention the bowl you soak the rice in, and if you’re adding vermicelli and pine nuts the pan you brown the pasta and nuts in.

Maqluba is very similar to Paella which is also a one pot dish composed of meat or seafood, veggies, and rice.  Considering that many parts of Spain was under Moorish rule for a total of about 800 years it would be fair to say that Paella is the Spanish version of Maqluba or vice versa.

It is honestly the only Arabic dish I can claim to have mastered.  After years of making Maqluba I’ve finally gotten it right every single time.  It’s really not that difficult to make, it’s just tedious due to all the steps in the recipe and the time it takes to make it.  If you count the time it takes to soak the rice this dish takes all day to make, at the very least about 3  hours.  But it is truly worth the time and effort.

Maqluba is typically made with stewed meat, either lamb, beef, or chicken; fried vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower, or eggplant; and rice.  All the ingredients are stacked in that order into a large deep pot preferably without handles.  Of course you can omit the meat and make a vegetarian dish.

There are “enhancements” you can add to make the dish fancier.  Some folks like to mix vermicelli and even garbanzo beans in the rice before cooking, then sprinkle it with pine nuts before serving.  And of course in our family I slip tomato wedges between the meat before cooking, and some of us like to top the cooked dish with corn kernels and plain yogurt.  In short I suppose each family has it’s own version on how to cook and eat Maqluba.  But one thing is certain, it’s delicious!

Here’s how we make it at our house, but first here’s a quick tip.  When making Maqluba use a deeper pot with no handles (a maqluba pot is the best, but hard to find in the US, you may find one at a middle eastern grocery store) and a lid, or a pot with removable handles or handles that aren’t too close to the pot lip.  This will make flipping it over easier as handles can block the tray you flip it on to from laying flat on top of the pot.  The pot has to be deep enough to layer the ingredients and still have enough space for the rice to expand as it cooks.

Maqcluba

Ingrdients:

4-5 Cups Long Grain Rice

1 Tbs. Turmeric Powder

1/8 Cup Olive Oil

8-10 pieces of meat (lamb, beef, or bone in chicken thighs)

1 Large Onion, cut in chunks

1 Tbs. Garlic, crushed

1 Tbs. + 1 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Tsp. + 1 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Box Stock (beef or chicken depending on the meat you use)

1 Large Cauliflower, cut into chunks

1 Large Eggplant, cut into rounds

3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds

Oil for frying

Cooking spray

2 Tomatoes cut in wedges

6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled

Vermicelli (Optional)

1 Can Garbanzo Beans, drained (Optional)

1/2 Cup Pine Nuts (Optional)

Butter (Optional)

1 Can Corn Kernels (Optional)

1 Cup Fresh Plain Greek Yogurt (Optional)

Directions:

Place rice in a big bowl and cover with water.

Add Turmeric to water and stir until it is evenly distributed and water turns yellow.  Set aside for at least 2 hours. Check periodically as the rice will absorb the water.  If all the water is absorbed add more and stir.

Heat olive oil in a stock pot.

Saute onions in hot oil until it starts to turn translucent.

Add crushed garlic and cook another minute, stir to keep from burning.

Add meat, 1 Tbs. Cumin, 1 Tsp. Nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Cook until meat starts to brown.

Add stock and then add water to completely cover the meat.

Let simmer until meat is tender and fully cooked.  About 2 hours.  Set aside when done.

Meanwhile place about 1″ oil in frying pan.

Fry your veggies until cooked and drain on paper towels.  Set aside.

If using Vermicelli and/or Pine Nuts:  Melt about 1 tbs. butter in a small frying pan.  Add vermicelli and cook until it starts to turn brown, stir constantly to keep from burning.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Repeat this procedure with Pine Nuts.

When ready to stack meat in the pot:

Spray bottom and sides of pot with cooking spray.

Drain rice then stir in vermicelli noodles and/or garbanzo beans if using.

Starting with the meat, remove meat from pot it was cooked it, reserve the broth do not discard.

Arrange meat at the bottom of the pot.

Slip garlic cloves and tomato wedges between the meat.

Sprinkle meat with 1 tsp. cumin and 1 tsp. nutmeg.

Arrange veggies on top of meat.

Pour rice mixture over the veggies and smooth out to make the top flat.

Gently pour reserved broth over the rice.  Fill until the broth just covers the rice, if you don’t have enough broth add water.

Cover with lid and simmer over medium heat until rice is cooked.  Check every 10 minutes or so to make sure the liquid has not all evaporated before the rice is cooked.  If you need to add more liquid, either broth or water.  This takes about 30 minutes.

If the rice is cooked and you still have liquid remove lid and raise the heat for about 5 minutes so that the rest of the liquid evaporates.  Be careful not to burn the bottom.  Or you can carefully drain extra liquid before flipping.

When rice is cooked and there is no more liquid remove pot from lid.  Let rest about 5 minutes.

Flip over onto a large tray.

Garnish with cooked Pine Nuts on the meat if desired.

Serve with bowls of corn kernels and plain yogurt.

 

 

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish
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Breakfast Strata

Breakfast Strata

Easter morning is always hectic. Between sorting out Easter eggs and aiming to Church, it’s powerful to search out time for a hearty breakfast. Thankfully, I actually have a make-ahead breakfast dish that may provide you with much energy to survive the chaos.

Growing up, we have a tendency to continually create this scrumptious egg casserole as a part of our Church breakfast fundraiser. It absolutely was filled with fragmented sausage and cheese and that i loved it. Well, this can be a a lot of refined version, courtesy of Ezra’s cake.

There are several things i really like concerning breakfast strata. Initial and foremost is that the reality you create it ahead. The maximum amount as i like pancakes and contemporary toast that has time to form them on a busy morning? Not ME. However I will pop a dish within the kitchen appliance and walk away!

Next, it’s therefore filmable. the fundamentals keep the same—bread, eggs and milk. however the remainder, you’ll experiment and build your own favorite combos. For this version, I sauted spinach with garlic and mushrooms then further tomatoes and bacon. to form things even a lot of fascinating, I used jalapeno focaccia because the bread base.

I like spinach; however I wasn’t entirely sold-out on that within the formula. Next time, and there’ll be a next time, I’m aiming to eliminate the spinach and replace it with some artichoke hearts and roast red bell pepper for breakfast strata..

 

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Ingredients
5 cups of cubed bread (french bread, sourdough, jalapeno focaccia, etc.)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
10 eggs
4 cups milk (I used 2%)
3 green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
6-8 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
12 oz bag of baby spinach
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 plum tomatoes, chopped
8 oz container of sliced mushrooms
Instructions
1. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Place the bread cubes in the dish and top with cheddar cheese. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, green onion, cayenne pepper, mustard, salt and pepper together. Pour mixture over bread cubes.
3. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Add washed spinach and 1 tablespoon of water. Cover the skillet and let the spinach wilt, 2-3 minutes.
4. Spoon the spinach mixture, tomatoes and bacon over the the bread cubes. Gently press down with a spoon to make sure everything is moistened.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for up to 24 hours.
6. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the strata, uncovered, for 60 minutes or until the top is golden brown and doesn’t wiggle when you shake the dish.
7. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Breakfast Strata
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Breakfast Strata
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Mungo Guisado – Filipino Mung Bean Stew

Mungo Guisado – Filipino Mung Bean Stew

Mungo Guisado Mungo Guisado or Filipino Mung Bean Stew is a classic comfort dish, it’s one of my favorites.  Mung beans in case you didn’t know are the beans that produce bean sprouts.  That crunchy sprout commonly used in many types of Asian Cuisine.

In many Mungo Guisado recipes including the one my grandmothers used they would soak the dried mung beans, in Tagalog its called Mungo beans, in water for hours.  My recipe doesn’t call for soaking the beans; skipping the soaking step in my opinion makes my recipe much easier as you don’t have to plan on making the dish hours ahead.

I love mungo guisado on cold rainy days.  Eaten with freshly steamed white rice makes it a filling and comforting meal. I use bok choi, Chinese cabbage, in my recipe; but you can use any type of leafy greens such as spinach, bitter melon leaves, kale, or mustard greens.

Here’s my recipe, hope you love it as much as I do!

Ingredients:

2 Cups Dried Mung Beans – available in the Asian markets

2 Tbs. Vegetable oil

1 Large onion chopped

1 Tbs minced garlic

1 Cup tomatoes diced

6+ Cups Water

2 – 3 Tbs Patis – Fish Sauce – adjust to suit your taste

1 Lb. Shrimp shelled and deveined

1 Large Bunch of Bok Choi or other leafy greens roughly chopped

Directions:

Heat oil in large pot

Sauté onions until they start to turn translucent

Add Garlic until it starts to brown

Add Tomatoes and cook until they start to soften

Add dried mungo beans

Add at least 6 cups water and stir well

Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover pot

Cook for at least an hour or until the beans are softened to your liking – you may have to add more water if the mixture is too thick – add water 1 cup at a time until you get the desired consistency

Stir in Patis and shrimp -you can adjust amount of fish sauce to your liking  or leave it at 2-3 tbs and let everyone add more later if they prefer

Cook another 8 minutes or so until shrimp is cooked, they are pink

Add bok choi or leafy greens

Stir in and cook until leaves are wilted

Mungo Guisado Serve hot

 

 

 

 

 

Mungo Guisado
Mungo Guisado - Filipino Mung Bean Stew
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Mungo Guisado
Mungo Guisado - Filipino Mung Bean Stew
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large pot
  2. Sauté onions until they start to turn translucent
  3. Add Garlic until it starts to brown
  4. Add Tomatoes and cook until they start to soften
  5. Add dried mungo beans
  6. Add at least 6 cups water and stir well
  7. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover pot
  8. Cook for at least an hour or until the beans are softened to your liking - you may have to add more water if the mixture is too thick - add water 1 cup at a time until you get the desired consistency
  9. Stir in Patis and shrimp -you can adjust amount of fish sauce to your liking  or leave it at 2-3 tbs and let everyone add more later if they prefer
  10. Cook another 8 minutes or so until shrimp is cooked, they are pink
  11. Add bok choi or leafy greens
  12. Stir in and cook until leaves are wilted Serve hot
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Fuji Apple Chicken Salad (Panera Bread Copycat)

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad (Panera Bread Copycat)

Mixed greens tossed with juicy chicken, crispy apple slices, red onions, blue cheese and crunchy pecans. A fresh and healthy Fuji Apple Chicken Salad inspired by the famous Panera Bread version.

I’ve been holding off on you. After we were in Washington D.C. in Sep we tend to Greek deity at Panera Bread and that i tried their fuji apple salad. Therefore GOOD! So, naturally, I make it after we got home and it absolutely was unimaginable. I like that I don’t need to head bent notice a Panera whenever I purchase the longing for this dish.

But why on earth did I wait farewell to share this recipe?? Well it appears like Sep would are excellent temporal arrangement, what with apple season and every one, however I got all bound up in sweet potato casseroles, glazed hams and homespun candy that I quite forgot regarding it for a unit of time and next factor I knew it absolutely was three days till Christmas and every one I wished to try and do was stuff my face with cookies. However currently it’s January! Dish season! Therefore I do know it’s terrible that I’ve been holding out for thus long but… better late than never right?

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Ingredients

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to half inch thickness
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
6-8 cups mixed greens
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup pecan halves (such as Diamond of California)
1/2 cup gorgonzola or blue cheese crumbles
2 cups apple chips (store-bought or go [url:1]here[/url] for a great homemade version)
1 cup fuji apple salad dressing store-bought (I prefer the one by Lighthouse, it's my fav!) or homemade

Instructions

  1. Season chicken breasts with seasoning salt and cook on both sides for 3-4 minutes each in a greased skillet or pan over medium heat. Cut into pieces and set aside.

   2. In a large bowl toss together mixed greens, tomatoes, sliced onions, and chicken. Sprinkle pecans,         cheese crumbles, and apple chips on top. Serve with fuji apple dressing.


 

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad (Panera Bread Copycat)
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Fuji Apple Chicken Salad (Panera Bread Copycat)
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Oh So Spicy Homemade Salsa Recipe

Oh So Spicy Homemade Salsa Recipe

Spicy homemade salsaI concluded years ago that if you want great salsa you only have two choices.  One, find a family owned Mexican restaurant preferably one south of the border or in  border zones in states like Arizona, California, and Texas.  Or two, make it at home.  Since I live in Hawaii I generally opt for option two as I can’t jet off to Mexico or the border states each time I’ve a yen for salsa.  So I came up with my Spicy Homemade Salsa Recipe.

At our house we like our salsa chunky, tasty, and very spicy.  That’s why those store bought bottles of salsa just don’t make the cut.  I mean the old TV commercial was right who wants to eat salsa mass produced in like Ohio or worse yet China!

spicy homemade salsaMy Spicy Homemade Salsa is perfect.  It uses fresh ingredients and lots of it.  It’s chunky and flavored with lots of fresh cilantro, limes, and of course hot peppers.  The hotter the better!

Now my Spicy Homemade Salsa is just that salsa, meaning it’s saucy.   We use my Spicy Homemade Salsa as a dip, topping, or filling.  Yes a filling!  I love it rolled up in a fresh hot tortilla!

Here’s the recipe, you might think it’s a bit fussy.  But believe me it’s worth the time!  I usually mix up a batch, it makes about 3 small bowls, to serve with dinner.  Any left over salsa will keep in the fridge for about 2-3 days.  I’m not sure because it never lasts more than 3 days at our house, heck we’re lucky to have left overs which is generally gone by the next day!,

Try this salsa on Dion’s Steak Flautas, it makes that delicious dish my grandson Dion makes for us outstanding!

Spicy Homemade Salsa
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Spicy Homemade Salsa
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Wash Tomatoes and Jalapeno Peppers
  2. Drizzle 1 Tsp olive oil over unpeeled bulb of garlic
  3. Grill all the vegetables until cooked - Tomatoes, Onions, Peppers, and Garlic
  4. Remove the peel from the grilled tomatoes and dice the tomato
  5. Dice the onions and peppers and place in a bowl with the tomatoes. Be sure you add the pepper seeds in the bowl too. (for less spicy salsa remove and discard the seeds or just add the seeds of 3 peppers to the bowl and discard the rest of the seeds)
  6. Slip garlic out of its peel and crush. Add to tomato mixture
  7. Add cilantro and stir everything together
  8. Squeeze lemon juice over the tomato mixture and mix well
  9. Add olive oil and salt to the salsa and mix well
  10. Serve hot or cold
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