Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Cottage Cooking: Lunch Recipes

Two super easy cottage lunch or snack recipes

2 bags of raw shrimp (peeled or unpeeled)

Garlic butter - Lemon and Zest (see other recipe for details) 


Jalapeno pepper 

2 bags of shrimp, I use raw peeled and simply peel them but unpeeled and already cooked works too.
Marina Del Rey is my favourite brand of Argentinian sustainable seafood, it's about ten dollars a bag but worth it.

You can transport your shrimp frozen and thaw over night in your fridge at the cottage.
When ready to use I removed the shells and dried the shrimp well with a paper towel.

Heat a small bit of oil in a big flat bottom pot. Add the shrimp and let them cook and turn pink, flip to the other size. This takes a couple of minutes and during which throw in a lump of garlic butter. Swirl to coat the shrimp.. then add your lemon juice and swirl, it'll create kind of a nice saucey coating. Season with salt (The butter in my garlic butter was salted so I omitted this step)

 Remove from pan and plate. Drizzle with some ketchup (for a more gourmet version mix ketchup with horseradish and worstershire sauce)

Garnish with cilantro, avocado slices and jalapeno pepper slices.


For yummy cottage pizza simply take the following ingredients along

- Homemade or storebought pizza dough - for my homemade dough refer to Recipe 
Simply knead the dough and instead of going into a rise stage throw it into a zip lock and take it with you. I did it the morning or but you can do it the night before too.  Transport and place in fridge at cottage, when ready to use just remove from fridge a couple of hours earlier to let it rise. Bring some flour along to shape.

- Pizza sauce (a gourmet jarred pasta sauce works great for this) or simply a jar of pasata (strained tomato)
- Fresh mozarella de buffala
Fresh basil

Shape your dough onto parchment lining a foil tray, I picked up a tray from the dollar store in town after checking out the size of the oven at the cottage we stayed at.

Spread the sauce and add the pieces of fresh mozarella and basil leaves. Bake until bubbly and dough is done.

Drizzle with olive oil and serve.


Cottage Cooking: Arabic Breakfast

For a complete Arabic breakfast:
- 1 can foul mdamas (can be found in the middle eastern section of grocer or arabic store, it's basically small fava beans in a can) 


- Eggs (for boiling or frying, can be fried in with the foul or made separately) 

- 1 or 2 Sujouk sausages (a spicy beef sausage, you can get it fresh from the supermarket ahead of time or buy it and freeze it so you have it around, it transports well in the cooler frozen and thaws the next day when you throw it into the fridge at the cottage) When ready to serve simply remove the casing and slice up into rounds or dice, fry in some oil in a non stick skillet, use very little oil as it has some fat in it that is rendered once heated. 

- Labneh (store bought or homemade, for homemade use 1 container of bulkan yogurt, add about 1/2 to 1 tbsp salt in container and whisk it all up very well until creamy. Line a strainer with cheesecloth (or 2 pieces of square paper towel) and place over a bowl that will collect the liquid. Add the yogurt into the cheesecloth and set in fridge overnight or up to 2 days. Remove the thick lebneh yogurt mixture and place in a ziplock container. Simply drizzle olive oil over and serve with bread as part of your breakfast or mezze (tapas) spread. 

- Olive oil

- Garlic butter  (easily made ahead of time and stored in the freezer, can be used in many recipes from seafood to pasta.. it's worth it. Sautee 5 big cloves of garlic in 1/4-1/2 lb butter and set aside. Freeze and transport. 

- Lemon juice (Also another cottage necessity, zest and then squeeze a bunch of lemons and place in a plastic container, freeze and transport) 

- Fresh produce (Tomato, cucumber, radishes, green onion, mint, cilantro) 

- Olives 

- Pita bread (not shown here but we had white pita and Egyptian bran bread) 

- Watermelon 

- Black tea with mint and sugar

Cook the beans by adding the contents of can to a large pot with a piece of garlic butter, add cumin spice if available. Cook and mash the beans with a fork partially for texture. Some people like to add tomato paste or simply add chopped tomatoes to the final dish.
Cook until fragrant and soft. Plate and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Serve with bread and fresh chopped tomato, radishes, green onion and herbs like mint and cilantro.


Pancakes are always a hit, prep a homemade mix by adding 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour, 3 tbsp sugar, a dash of salt and 2 tbsp baking powder into a big ziplock bag.

At the cottage whisk 2 eggs in a big bowl, add 1 1/2 cups milk and 3 tbsp melted butter or oil. Add the dry mix and blend together without over mixing. Let sit for about 10 minutes and then fry up in a non stick pan (add a small drizzle of oil if needed)

Serve with high quality maple syrup and fresh fruit, we opted for wild blueberries!

Tomato & Halloumi
(Slice tomatoes and season with good olive oil, salt and black pepper) Fry up pieces of halloomi cheese in olive oil in a non stick pan. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve together!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Happy Eid-ul Adha!

Happy Eid!

These stunning cookies were done by a super talented friend of mine, did I mention she has a heart of gold? She was so sweet to include a beautiful tea set for my birthday since this year Eid fell on my birthday, double the fun!

Lots of love, blessings and good wishes for all!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Egyptian Ka'k Shortbread Cookie

The perfect Eid cookie! A melt in your mouth buttery shortbread cookie that is PERFECT with turkish coffee or espresso. They look fancy but are super easy to throw together and you can have them ready in a tin for when your guests pop in.

Basic Egyptian Ka'k (shortbread)
Approx. 60 cookies

4 cups flour
50 g powdered sugar + extra for dusting
3/4 tsp baking powder

sprinkle of salt (1/16 tsp)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tbsp Ka'k essence  (or ground mahlab, which comes from the pit of a cherry giving it that almost almond like essence)

Whisk all of the above.

Add until absorbed:

300 g ghee or clarified butter at room temperature, it's creamy textured (or 1 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp)

Splash of orange blossom water

Incorporate the milk until dough forms:

40 g milk at room temperature, or add up to 80 g if needed

Mix all together and roll into balls. Use a tbsp sized scoop if you have one and put evenly sized balls of dough onto your baking sheet.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F for 22-25 minutes until firm to touch and golden all over. Remove from oven and cool

Lay on a tray or flat surface and dust with powdered sugar using a fine sieve and tapping the edge from a height over the cookies.

Store in a container, these will keep for a very long time.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Quick Brunch - Sujouk and Eggs

Nothing beats Arabic style eggs...  It's amazing how few ingredients can come together and make such an amazing dish. I had forgotten that there was a piece of sujouk in my freezer and of course eggs in the fridge, radishes in the crisper and wild arugula in my garden (It sprouted in my front garden and I transplanted it to the back herb container and now it's completely taken over!) Chives too from out back.

It's as easy as 1 2 3 and makes for a perfect breakfast, brunch, lunch or even dinner. I had a couple of toasted pine nuts in my fridge from garnished a recipe I made over a week ago of Lebanese stuffed zucchini so I sprinkled them over top and voila!

Egyptian bread is always found in my freezer, that's the best place for it, goes straight into the freezer once it arrives from the store and stays perfectly fresh and all it needs is a quick warm up in the microwave of my new favourite way is to cut it in half and pop it into the toaster!


Sujouk with Eggs 

- Chopped sujouk (Arabic spiced sausage) 
- Eggs
- Olive oil

In a small non stick pan sautee your sausage in the oil until the edges are crispy and it's browned nicely. Crack the eggs into the pan and let cook to desired doneness. Add a sprinkling of salt and black pepper and serve with sweet black tea and a plate of fresh herbs, olives and crusty fresh bread.  

Delicious treats we had earlier this week and mulberries from my backyard!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Plantain "potato" fries

Plantain "potato" Fries

- 1 plantain per person, they are filling

- Drizzle of olive oil or any oil of your choice
- Salt


In a non stick pan drizzled with evoo arrange the slices of plantain (peel and slice like a banana) 
Let roast on medium heat until crispy and brown on one side then flip for the other side to brown. Sprinkle with salt

Serve warm with ketchup on the side.