May 10, 2020

ADANA KEBAB

A popular Turkish kebab named after the city of Adana in Turkey, where it is said to have originated. This dish is traditionally made of minced lamb or beef mounted on a skewer and grilled over charcoal.

Recipe Card

Ingredients                                                                        Quantity
Beef mince 500 gm
Onion, minced 1
Garlic, minced 3-4 cloves
Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
Cumin, roasted & ground 2 tbsp
Coriander, roasted & ground 2 tbsp
Ground sumac 1 tbsp
Smoked paprika powder 1 tbsp
Salt and freshly ground black pepper As required
Red chili flakes As required
Clarified butter 2 tbsp
Freshly chopped parsley As required

 

Method of Preparation:

  • Marinate the ground beef with all the above ingredients
  • Knead the mixture by hand until all combined. Rest in the chiller overnight.
  •  Grease hands with oil and take equal portions of the mince to form balls and thread them onto the skewer, then shape and release onto a baking sheet.
  • Grill the kebabs, on 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 12 minutes, until well charred on both sides.
  • Serve the kebabs on warm pita or naan bread with sliced red onions, parsley, tomatoes, and diced cucumbers.

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Chef Sabeen Fareed

An Innovative Patissier, certified and trained in hospitality, commercial cookery & patisserie. Her experience extends in the culinary realm, working with ICCA DUBAI for the past 5 years, whereby managing Executive lunch buffets, exotic high tea and Menu development are also to tag a few.

She owns a charismatic style and finesse in fine dining, and in the art of pastry making, designing and presentation. Certified in Gelato making, she is also well versed in Gelateria Management skills. Her proficiency and knowledge includes holding a Masters Certificate in Sugar crafting, working and incorporating that art and talent along with other techniques in pastry.

Has also been involved in culinary training and worked as a pastry chef instructor at the International Center for Culinary Arts Dubai, connecting with and coaching individuals sharing the same passion. She has also contributed her expertise in her culinary career in areas that includes menu planning, cost control and analysis, and staffing.

May 8, 2020

Poultry… Exciting Ways to Cook Chicken!

The name “poultry” comes from the French word “poule” that is actually derived from the Latin word “pullus”, meaning small animal.

Poultry is one of the most commonly consumed types of protein not for one but many good reasons; It is a lean meat, available in plenty and has a very neutral flavour that goes very well with any palate. Poultry is the second most widely eaten type of meat after pork, accounting for over 30% of the total world meat production and sixteen billion birds are annually raised for consumption.

There are several kinds of poultry and they include Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Goose and Quail.

Here are the popular cuts of Poultry...

1. Drumstick

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It’s a classic favorite for barbecuing or frying, either in batter or rolled in bread crumbs.

2. Wing

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The wings do not supply much meat, but are a very popular finger food and are fried, roasted or barbecued.

3. Thigh

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This part is suitable for casseroles and other slow-cooking methods. The thigh meat has a lot of flavor and this cut is often recommended for curries, stews or oriental dishes.

4. Leg

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Comprises of the drumstick and thigh. It is good for slow-cooking, poaching, casseroles and could also be a great roast.

5. Breast or Fillet

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The tender white meat of the breast is the most popular and versatile part of the Chicken. It is available either on the bone or as a fillet and could be simply cooked in butter or even stuffed, coated or wrapped for extra flavor.

Poultry Recipe of the Day - Peri Peri Chicken

About Peri-Peri Chicken

The Peri-Peri Chicken is a spicy chicken dish with roots both in Africa and Portugal. This dish was created in Angola and Mozambique when Portuguese settlers arrived here with a special chilli pepper called African Bird’s Eye Chilli (known as piri-piri in the Swahili language).

It was probably the Portuguese who introduced the African Bird's Eye Chili Pepper as we know it today to Europe and the Far East. They probably were also the first to use peppers to create a hot sauce. Nowadays the Peri-Peri sauce in its many variants is enjoyed by people around the world.

This Dish

Chicken marinated in deliciously spicy Peri-Peri sauce and grilled to one’s liking.

Recipe Card (to serve 4 pax)

Ingredients Quantity
Chicken leg with thigh 4 pieces
For Marinade
Thyme (fresh) 3 sprigs
Oregano 1 tsp
Caster sugar 1 tsp
Smoked paprika ½ tsp
Garlic (halved)  1 whole pod
Red onions (unpeeled, quartered) 1 pieces
Ripe tomatoes 3 pieces
Canned tomatoes in juice (whole) 1 piece
Fresh chilies (deseeded) 6 pieces
Lemon (juice) 1 tbsp
Sea salt as required
Freshly ground black pepper as required
Olive oil 1 tbsp
For the Sweet Potato Wedges
Sweet potatoes 750 g
Smoked paprika 1 tsp
Fine semolina 2 tbsp
Salt & black pepper as required
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Garnish
Lemon Zest 1 tsp
Thyme 1 sprig

Method of Cooking

  1. In a grill pan, on medium high heat; place the quartered onions, halved tomatoes, chilies and halved garlic pod. Grill for 5 to 10 minutes, or until charred all over, turning regularly.
  2. Remove the garlic skins and peel the onions, then add all the vegetables to a food processor with thyme, oregano, caster sugar, smoked paprika and lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil. Blitz until smooth (add a splash of water to loosen, if needed). Season to taste.
  3. Pass the sauce through a strainer. Use half the sauce as marinade and save the other half to accompany the cooked chicken.
  4. Using a kitchen paper towel, pat dry the chicken pieces. Season with salt and black pepper; pour the marinade over the chicken, mix well and let it marinate for a few hours or overnight, in the fridge.
  5. When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 160C.
  6. Heat the same grilling pan and on medium heat grill the chicken for 1 or 2 minutes on each side until charred with grill marks.
  7. Transfer the chicken to a roasting tray and place in the hot oven and cook at 160C for 15 minutes.
  8. Without opening the oven door, increase the temperature to 200C and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  9. Cut the sweet potatoes into rough 2cm wedges. Combine with the paprika, semolina, a small pinch of salt and pepper and a lug of olive oil. Spread the wedges out onto two large baking trays, then place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender and crisp.
  10. Serve the roast chicken garnished with lemon zest and thyme leaves and accompanied with Peri -Peri sauce & sweet potato wedges.

Note: if sauce is too thick, add 1 tsp of chicken stock to thin it to the right consistency.

May 1, 2020

Vegetables… Eating Healthy can be Delicious!

The word “vegetable” was first recorded in the English language in the early 15th century and was derived from the Medieval Latin word “vegetabilis”, which means 'growing, flourishing'.

Vegetables are part of our daily life with its everyday usage and eaten in a variety of ways, either raw or cooked. They play an important role in nutrition, as most vegetables are low in fat and calories but at the same time, bulky and filling. They are an important source of dietary fiber and essential vitamins like vitamin A, K, C, E and B6, minerals, trace elements and are also an important source of anti-oxidants.

Vegetables when included in the diet, have been found to remarkably reduce the incidence of cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease and other chronic ailments. Research has shown that, compared with individuals who eat less than three servings of fruits and vegetables each day, than those who eat more than five servings, have an approximately twenty percent higher risk of developing coronary heart disease or stroke.

Fun fact!

Technically, tomatoes, green beans, pumpkins, squash and cucumbers are fruit because they have seeds. They don’t have a sweet taste like other fruit, but they are indeed fruit.

Here are some of the popular types of vegetables...

1. Artichokes

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Native to the Mediterranean. Greeks, Romans and the Arabs have been eating it and during the 15th century they started growing and producing it in Italy.

2. Asparagus

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It is native to the Eastern Mediterranean region.

3. Aubergines or Eggplants

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Native to India, they spread to China during the 15th century and are now being grown in Southern Europe.

4. Carrots

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It is a world favorite and until about 1600s, carrots were originally colored purple until Holland sold orange colored carrots in the 1700s.

5. Cauliflowers

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Originally came from China where they were about the size of a cricket ball.

6. Chickpeas

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Native to the Middle East and were popular with the Romans and have been eaten in Europe ever since.

7. Lentils

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It has been eaten since prehistoric times. Lentils are native to Asia and they were eaten by Egyptians, Greeks and the Romans. They are also hugely popular in India.

8. Onions

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Grown in the Middle East since thousands of years. Slaves, building the pyramids in ancient Egypt ate onions, garlic and radishes.

9. Potatoes

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Originated in South America and taken to England and Europe by famed explorer Sir Francis Drake.

10. Pumpkins

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Native to Central America and have been a staple food. It was later adopted by European colonist, as it was Christopher Columbus who brought pumpkin seeds to Europe.

11. Spinach

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Native to Asia and was first grown in Persia, and later adopted by the Arabs and the Chinese. The Arabs introduced spinach to Southern Europe and by the 14 century, it was eaten widely in England.

12. Tomatoes

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Native to South America, the Spaniards came across them in the 16th century, ever since widely used in Spain.

Vegetable Recipe of the Day - Vegetarian Moussaka

About Vegetarian Moussaka

The English name for "moussaka" comes from Greek 'mousakás', which is derived from the Turkish 'musakka', which actually came from Arabic word 'musaqqa‘ah (مسقعة)', meaning "chilled". Some even believe that the Arabs introduced moussaka in Greece, from where they brought the eggplant.

Moussaka is an eggplant (aubergine) or potato-based dish, and often includes ground meat, in the cuisines of the countries of the former Ottoman Empire, with many local and regional variants.

In Turkey, it is sautéed and served in the style of a casserole and consumed warm or at room temperature. In some Arabic countries, it is continued to be eaten cold, as originally done.

It was through Nikos Tselementes, a Greek chef of Siphnian origin who grew up in Constantinople and trained in France, that the Greek Moussaka came to be.

He brought a twist by adding the French sauce, Béchamel to the Moussaka, making all the difference in taste.

This Dish

This is a simple Vegetarian Moussaka, packed with lovely layered roasted vegetables and Feta cheese slices, then topped with yoghurt and Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Card (to serve 4 pax)
Ingredients Quantity
Potatoes (sliced) 2 large
Eggplant (sliced) 1 large
Onion (sliced) 1 large
Garlic (crushed) 2 cloves
Red peppers (deseeded, sliced) 2 pieces
Thyme (extra for garnish) 2 tbsp
Olive oil 4 tbsp
Cherry tomatoes (halved) 1 cup
Tomato puree 1 cup
Feta (sliced) 1 cup
Yogurt 1 cup
Eggs 3 pieces
Parmesan (grated)  1/2 cup
Zucchini (sliced) 1 piece
Salt & pepper as required

Method of Cooking

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Place the sliced potatoes in a roasting tray with the eggplant, zucchini, onion, garlic and peppers, then season the vegetables with salt & pepper.
  3. Sprinkle with thyme, drizzle with the olive oil and mix.
  4. Roast the vegetables for 15-20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through the cooking process. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, until tender and scorched at the edges. Remove from oven.
  5. Then for the next part of the cooking, reduce the oven to 160°C.
  6. To layer: Place the half of the roasted vegetables in a casserole/ovenproof dish, then layer over half the tomato purée and all the Feta. Top with the remaining vegetables and tomato purée.
  7. In a bowl, mix the yogurt, eggs and Parmesan until smooth and pour over the vegetables. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
  8. Make sure the yogurt mix is firm before serving.
  9. Garnish with thyme leaves.

April 26, 2020

Sheesh Tavuk (Turkish Chicken Kebab)

Sheesh Tavuk is a classic Turkish Chicken Kebab that is popular all over the Middle East. It is also one of the simplest kebabs in terms of ingredients and cooking procedures. These kebabs are made by marinating boneless tender & juicy chicken pieces with earthy spices, then skewered and perfectly charred.

Recipe Card 

Ingredients                                                                       Quantity
Chicken thighs, boneless & skinless 1 kg
Greek Yogurt 500 gm
Tomato paste 300 gm
Olive oil 1/2 cup
Garlic, minced 2 cloves
Ginger, minced 1 inch piece
Ginger garlic paste 2 tbsp
Onion, finely chopped 1 no
Fresh parsley, finely chopped 2 tbsp
Lemon juice 30 ml
Dried oregano 1 tbsp
Roasted & ground cumin 1 tbsp
Roasted & ground coriander 1 tbsp
Ground cinnamon 1 tsp
All spice powder 1 tsp
Smoked paprika powder 1 tbsp
Cayenne pepper 1 tbsp
Red chilli flakes As required
Salt & freshly crushed black pepper As required
Clarified butter for basting As required

 

Method of Preparation: 

  1.  Marinate the chicken with all the above ingredients except the clarified butter, and chill overnight.
  2. Thread on skewer and grill in the oven at 220 degrees Celsius till cooked and charred.
  3. Baste with clarified butter and serve with sliced onions, Turkish pide and minted yogurt.

 

Chef Sabeen Fareed 

An Innovative Patissier, certified and trained in hospitality, commercial cookery & patisserie. Her experience extends in the culinary realm, working with ICCA DUBAI for the past 5 years, whereby managing Executive lunch buffets, exotic high tea and Menu development are also to tag a few.

She owns a charismatic style and finesse in fine dining, and in the art of pastry making, designing and presentation. Certified in Gelato making, she is also well versed in Gelateria Management skills. Her proficiency and knowledge includes holding a Masters Certificate in Sugar crafting, working and incorporating that art and talent along with other techniques in pastry.

Has also been involved in culinary training and worked as a pastry chef instructor at the International Center for Culinary Arts Dubai, connecting with and coaching individuals sharing the same passion. She has also contributed her expertise in her culinary career in areas that includes menu planning, cost control and analysis, and staffing.

April 17, 2020

Rice… A Full Meal in a Pot!

Rice is the most important food crop of the developing world and a staple food for more than half of the world’s population. It is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates to sustain good health being rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. There are many different types of rice with several qualities, suiting different consumer preferences. Quality factors in rice relate to length of the grain, stickiness, aroma, texture and flavor.

Although cooked in several different ways, on their own, they are extensively used in a wide variety of food. The egg whites help give volume, thicken, bind mixtures, glaze surfaces and the egg yolks help to emulsify.

Oryza Sativa (Asian rice) – contains two groups: indica (long-grain) and japonica (short-grain). Other types of Asian rice include the glutinous rice and aromatic rice.

Oryza Glaberrima (African rice) – includes short and long grain varieties.

Here are the different types of rice...

1. Long Grain Rice

  • White rice

The long-grain white rice is the most familiar rice used in kitchens. It is often cooked by the absorption method.

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  • Basmati rice

Sometimes called “popcorn rice” is a long-grain variety that is highly regarded for its fragrance, taste and slender shape. This rice is perfect for Indian cuisine and not sticky like the other varieties of rice.

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  • Jasmine rice

This rice originates from Thailand and has a long and translucent grain. When cooked, it has a slightly floral aroma, soft and clingy texture.

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2. Medium Grain Rice

  • Japanese rice
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This Japanese style sticky rice is used for sushi and could also be served plain. It is translucent when raw and is firm & sticky when cooked.

  • Bomba rice

This choice of rice is used for the Spanish dish “Paella”. It absorbs twice as much liquid as compared to other medium-grain rice, but without getting sticky.

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3. Short Grain Rice

  • Arborio rice
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It is the most widely used variety of Italian superfine rice and used to make Risotto.

  • Short grain brown rice
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Rice with the bran intact is chewier than the white short grain rice and like any other short-grained variety, when cooked, becomes sticky.

4. Specialty Rice

  • Wild rice
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The only grain native to North America and actually an aquatic grass. It is often sold mixed with long-grain rice. This rice is gluten-free and high in fiber & protein.

  • Brown rice
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This is the type of rice that has been hulled with the bran intact. It is higher in vitamins and minerals than white rice. The storage life of brown rice can last more than 6 months. It is great for making rice salads and healthy Asian dishes.

  • Red rice
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This aromatic rice with reddish-brown bran has a nutty flavor and a chewy consistency. Red rice is great with hearty ingredients like butternut squash.

  • Wehani
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This is a whole grain, reddish brown hybrid of basmati and long-grain brown rice. It is intense to chew and its deep color makes it popular for mixing with other rice in Pilaf.

  • Chinese black rice
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Also known as forbidden rice, it is whole grain rice that cooks up firm, is non-sticky and tender. It has a dramatic color (deep purple) when cooked and is particularly striking as a side dish.

Rice Recipe of the Day - Paella

About Paella

This dish is believed to be a fusion between several cultures including Spanish, Roman and the Arabic, who introduced rice to Europe. The term ‘Paella’ actually refers to the pan in which it is cooked in and actually originates from the Arab word “baqiyah” meaning leftovers.

Many culinary experts believe that the dish was developed in the Spanish city of Valencia. Valencia is where the Romans introduced irrigation and then the Arab conquerors brought rice and perfected it. Today, many still say that the best authentic paella comes only from Valencia.

When cooking Paella there are 3 pillars to keep in mind: the rice, the pan and the soccarat.

Rice: There are several types of rice that are widely available in Spain, the best one that is often used to make Paella is the Bomba rice. However, Arborio is an acceptable substitute.

Pan: It is important that the rice be distributed over the pan in a layer no more than about 1/2 inch thick.

Soccarat: Soccarat is the caramelized crust of rice that will form between the rice and the pan. It has been called the “prize in well-made paella.” The flavor of the rice will change and improve dramatically once the soccarat has formed, as the rice should be al dente, not mushy and the texture should never be creamy.

To form the socarrat, you may need to increase the heat at the end of the cooking.

Paella are traditionally served in a family style setting in Spain, directly placed on the dinner table with the pan in the center and eaten straight from the pan, not plates.

This Dish

The delicious paella, is flavored with intense saffron spice, cooked together with seafood that adds an element of flavor & texture, along with a squeeze of the lemon wedge which brings a tang with sharpness & freshness to the dish.

Recipe Card (to serve 4 pax)

Ingredients Quantity
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Onion (finely chopped) half a piece
Garlic (finely chopped) 1 clove
Red pepper (chopped)  ½ a piece
Chicken stock 4 cups
Saffron threads  1 pinch
Smoked paprika 1 tsp
Bomba (Paella) rice  1 ½ cups
Parsley (leaves picked and chopped) 1 small bunch
Fresh or frozen peas 1 handful
Prawns  ½ cup
Mussels 1 cup
Squid (halved) 2 small
Sea salt as required
Freshly ground black pepper as required
Tomato concasse (finely chopped) 100 ml
Lemon wedges as required

Method of Cooking:

  1. Rinse clams under cold water and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, cover with cold water; soak for a bit. Rinse clams thoroughly and drain.
  2. Shell and devein prawns. Scrub mussels and remove beards.
  3. In a sauce pan, heat the chicken stock; bring to a boil then take it off heat. Divide the stock evenly into 2 bowls; in one bowl add the saffron (to make infused stock).
  4. Heat olive oil in a Paella pan/large skillet. Then add the onion, garlic and red pepper; sauté for a few minutes then add the tomato concasse.
  5. Add the smoked paprika, rice and infused stock and leave to cook on a medium heat, stirring from time to time.
  6. After 15 minutes the rice should be nearly cooked. At this point, pour in the rest of the stock along with the peas. Season if required.
  7. Add prawns, mussels and squid; let it simmer for 5 minutes more, until the stock is absorbed.
  8. Remove from heat and stand for 10 minutes.
  9. Serve with chopped parsley and wedges of lemon.

April 14, 2020

Fresh & Dry Pasta… Taste Italy In Your Plate!

Pasta is noodles of different shapes made from unleavened dough of durum wheat flour and can also be made with flour from other cereals or grains. Pasta has become one of the most loved dish around the world, as it is affordable, easy to prepare, versatile food and can be served as an appetizer, salad, starter, main course or even as a dessert.

Depending on what the recipe calls for, pasta are both, in the dried (pasta secca) and fresh (pasta fresca) forms. Fresh pasta is hand-made with eggs and flour, rolled out, cut into desired shapes and cooked. The shelf life of fresh pasta is short, and being delicate, works well with rich cream sauces.

Dry pasta on the other hand is factory made, ready to use and with a longer shelf life. Ingredients like olives, anchovies, chili, ground meat or seafood are best suited with dry pasta.

Here are some of the most popular shapes of Pasta used in the kitchen...

1. Macaroni

 

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The word Macaroni literally means “narrow tubes”. Used for delicate cream based to tomato based sauces and works best in casseroles.

2. Ravioli

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Ravioli are square or round pillow shaped pasta that could have a variety of fillings like cheese, mushroom, meat, or butter like Burnt Butter Sage sauce.

3. Spaghetti

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Spaghetti in Italian means “A length of a cord”. It is a very popular pasta shape that goes well with a variety of sauces as a main course.

4. Tortellini

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Tortellini is pasta shaped like a ring which is usually stuffed and pairs well with broths.

5. Lasagne

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The word Lasagne comes from the Latin word “lasanum” meaning pot. Lasagne casseroles are made by using chopped vegetables or a tomato based meat sauce and cheese.

6. Fusilli

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Fusilli literally means “Twisted Spaghetti”. It holds well in baked dishes such as Casseroles.

7. Penne

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Penne means “Quills” or “Feathers”. It complements every sauces, however tastes beautiful when paired with a chunky tomato based sauces like an Arrabiata.

8. Rigatoni

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Rigatoni translates to “Large Grooved” pasta. The ridges and holes are perfect for holding a sauce, perfect in a main course.

9. Elbow Macaroni

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A versatile elbow shaped pasta that could easily be paired with any sauce.

10. Farfelle (Bow Ties) / Farfalline

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A bow tie shaped pasta that can be paired with any sauce. It can also be baked, or added in soups and salads.

11. Rotini

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It is very similar to Fussilli but only a smaller version. It actually means “Spirals” or “Twists” and its shape works well with stir-fry meals.

12. Riccioli

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The word Riccioli means “Curl”. This pasta’s twisted shape grips the sauces making it a favorite with a variety of sauces or even in salads and casseroles.

13. Conchiglie (Shells – Small, Medium, and Large)

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Large shells are best used when they are stuffed with any mixtures or fillings and also used in salads and soups.

14. Cavatappi

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This pasta has a rounded tight spiral shape that locks-in the flavor and is best for salads.

15. Linguine

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Linguine literally means “Little Tongues”. It complements a variety of sauces and used in main courses.

16. Pappardelle

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It is a type of pasta in the form of broad ribbons that goes well with a wholesome ground meat in tomato sauce.

17. Pipe Rigate

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This pasta has a wide opening at one end, flattened at the other. The shape resembles a snail shell and pairs well with oil based sauces.

Apart from traditional ways and regional preferences for a shape, pasta’s ability to hold and support the sauce is what is most important. However, there is no rule stating which shape should be paired with which sauce.

Pasta Recipe of the Day - Cannelloni with Spinach and Ricotta

About Cannelloni with Spinach and Ricotta

Ricotta is an Italian whey cheese made from sheep (or cow, goat, or Italian water buffalo) milk whey that is left over from the production of cheese. The Ricotta curd is creamy white in appearance, and slightly sweet in taste.

Cannelloni are cylindrical shaped pasta, generally served baked with a filling and covered by sauce. Some types of Cannelloni need to be boiled beforehand, while for the others, it is enough to use a more diluted sauce or filling.

The popular stuffing includes spinach & ricotta or minced beef. The sauces typically used here are tomato which spreads through the under layer of the dish and béchamel sauce covering the top.

This Dish

The Cannelloni with Ricotta and Spinach have four different elements in the dish - First is the béchamel sauce that gives a creamy texture to the dish. Second, the Pomodoro sauce that gives a fresh tangy flavour. Third being the Spinach and Ricotta filling which serves as the body of dish. And lastly, the Cannelloni that becomes the base and holds all the elements together.

Recipe Card (to serve 4 pax)

Ingredients Quantity
Cannelloni shells (dried) 8 nos
For the Béchamel Sauce
Milk 200 ml
Flour 20 gm
Butter 20 gm
Nutmeg a pinch
Onion 1 small
Cloves 4 pieces
Bay leaf 2 leaves
Parmesan cheese (grated) 30 gm
Cream 90 ml
Salt as required
For the Pomodoro Sauce
Tomato (whole or crushed, peeled in juice) 250 gm
Basil (fresh) 2 leaves
Garlic (minced) 1 clove
Olive oil 20 ml
Salt & black pepper as required
For the Spinach and Ricotta Filling
Onions (chopped) 60 gm
Spinach (chopped) 400 gm
Ricotta cheese 200 gm
Olive oil 30 ml
Parmesan cheese (grated) 20 gm
Oregano as required
Salt & black pepper as required

Method of Cooking

a. To make the Béchamel Sauce

  1. In a sauce pan, boil milk with cloves, bay leaf & onion.
  2. In another sauce pan, cook butter & flour together to make a roux. Do not color.
  3. Strain the clove, bay leaf & onion from the milk, cool and add the milk to the roux slowly.
  4. Whisk together till smooth, cook on a gentle heat until thick, and then add cheese and nutmeg.
  5. Add cream to adjust the consistency.
  6. Season if required and set aside.

b. To make the Pomodoro Sauce

  1. Heat a sauce pan; add olive oil, garlic and sauté.
  2. Add the tomatoes and simmer the sauce on a very low heat, stirring from time to time until it thickens.
  3. Add basil and season then drizzle a little olive oil and mix into the sauce.

c. To make the Filling

  1. Blanch the spinach, by immersing it in boiling water for 5 – 10 seconds, remove from the hot water, plunge in cold water, drain and squeeze to remove excess moisture and chop.
  2. Heat pan with olive oil. Sauté the onions and spinach. Add oregano, salt & black pepper to taste.
  3. Remove pan from heat, cool the mixture down and mix in the ricotta.
  4. Mix well until smooth. Fill the mixture into the pasta tubes using a piping bag or teaspoon.

d. Assembling the Cannelloni

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C.
  2. Spread 2 tablespoons of Pomodoro sauce on the base of the ceramic dish and arrange the filled Cannelloni tubes on it.
  3. Spread the remaining Pomodoro on top of the tubes and drizzle the Béchamel on top of the Pomodoro.
  4. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Serve hot garnished with Basil leaf

June 23, 2019

Keto Recipe #2 – Zucchini Spaghetti And Zaatar Shrimp

Pasta is one of those Italian delicacies that all of us love to have. However, when you are on a diet and that too Keto diet pasta or any kind of carbs are off the table. Main ingredient being flour, pasta is a total no-no for the ones following Ketogenic diet. Fret not!  You can still enjoy your pasta with your favourite sauce and add ons, by simply introducing zucchini pasta into your diet.

Zucchini is a Keto approved vegetable, packed with nutrients. The noodles or spaghetti made out of them are flavourful and adapt beautifully to other flavours they are paired with. Hence, it’s the best choice of vegetable to make carb-free noodle and pasta dishes that are not only healthy but filling as well.

In this recipe we have three main elements, such as the Zucchini Spaghetti, Pistachio Pesto and Zaatar Shrimp; when put together gives an explosion of flavours in your mouth. The recipe also calls for some fresh blends of Mediterranean herbs and Parmesan cheese making the dish refreshingly delightful. Once the prep is done you will have a gourmet quality meal ready in less than 15 minutes!

Nutritional Value of Ingredients

  • Zucchini is an amazing low carb option to traditional pasta. It’s a good source of fiber and is packed with Vitamin A, B and C.
  • Shrimp has an impressive nutrition profile. It’s high in fat and protein, and is a great source of the essential fatty acids such as the Omega-3 and Omega- 6. Shrimps from the sea provide a good dose of iodine as well, an important mineral many people are deficient in.
  • Pistachios are loaded with nutrients. They are high in antioxidants, protein and Vitamin B6. They are also high in fiber promoting healthy gut bacteria.
  • Parmesan cheese is a carb and lactose free variety of cheese that is loaded with protein, good fats, vitamins, minerals, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and copper.
  • Mediterranean herbs and spices are not only flavour enhancers but are a huge hub of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

The combination of zucchini spaghetti in garlic butter, zaatar shrimps and roasted pistachio pesto, delicately dressed with a drizzle of olive oil, Mediterranean herbs and Parmesan cheese make this recipe a fancy lunch or dinner option for people who are on Keto diet or even for the ones who wants to try something refreshingly healthy and gourmet.

 

 

Recipe Card

Number of Servings - 2

Preparation Time - 20 minutes

Cooking Time - 15 minutes

Ingredients  Quantity
Shrimps 200 g
Garlic minced 2 cloves
Lemon Juice 1 tbsp
Zaatar 1 tsp
Salt/Pepper To Taste
For Sauteing the Shrimp 
Marinated Shrimps 200 g
Butter 1 tbsp
Fresh Parsley, finely chopped 2 tbsp
For the Roasted Pistachio Pesto
Roasted Pistachio 50 g
Parmesan cheese 30 g
Fresh Basil 1/2 cup
Garlic 2 cloves
For the Zoodles
Zucchini Spaghetti 400 g
Onions, thinly sliced  1
Olive Oil 2 tbsp plus more for drizzling
Salt & Pepper To Taste
Pistachio Pesto 1-2 tbsp
Roasted Pistachio Nuts 1 tbsp
Parmesan cheese 2 tbsp
Fresh Parsley, finely chopped 2 tbsp

 

Method

  •  For the shrimp Marinade - Add the shrimp and all the marinade ingredients in the bowl and mix. Set aside in the chiller for 15 minutes.
  1. For the pesto – Blend all the ingredients together till smooth.
  2. For Sauteing the shrimp – Add butter in the saucepan and heat. Add in the marinated shrimps and saute. Cook till 2-3 minutes or till done.
  3. Top with fresh parsley. Serve on top of the Zoodles.
  4. For the Zoodles – Heat Olive oil in the pan, Add in the onions and saute till soft and translucent . Add in the Zucchini spaghetti, and pistachio pesto and toss. Adjust seasoning.
  5. For the Assembly – Plate the Zucchini spaghetti topped with garlic shrimps. Drizzle olive oil on top, with some fresh parsley, roasted pistachio and Parmesan shavings.

serving nutrition-01

Chef Sabeen Fareed 

An Innovative Patissier, certified and trained in hospitality, commercial cookery & patisserie. Her experience extends in the culinary realm, working with ICCA DUBAI for the past 5 years, whereby managing Executive lunch buffets, exotic high tea and Menu development are also to tag a few.

She owns a charismatic style and finesse in fine dining, and in the art of pastry making, designing and presentation. Certified in Gelato making, she is also well versed in Gelateria Management skills. Her proficiency and knowledge includes holding a Masters Certificate in Sugar crafting, working and incorporating that art and talent along with other techniques in pastry.

Has also been involved in culinary training and worked as a pastry chef instructor at the International Center for Culinary Arts Dubai, connecting with and coaching individuals sharing the same passion. She has also contributed her expertise in her culinary career in areas that includes menu planning, cost control and analysis, and staffing.

April 27, 2019

Keto Recipe #1 – Roasted Eggplant Boats With Feta

Are you looking for a Keto friendly vegetarian recipe? Look no further. We are bringing you an easy to make Roasted Eggplant Boat recipe with some interesting Mediterranean twists making this Keto recipe a great and wholesome vegetarian option for Ketogenic diet followers.

The idea of combining Keto with Mediterranean flavours is to achieve recipes that are bursting full of regional flavours. The most convincing thing about this recipe is that these delicious Mediterranean Roasted Eggplant Boats come together in less than 20 minutes! Now that is worth a try, don’t you think?

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a look at the nutritional contribution of the ingredients used in this recipe...

Nutritional Value of Ingredients  

  • Eggplant is a great meat substitute when you are trying to keep your protein macros in check.
  • Mediterranean spices such as oregano and sumac are antioxidant powerhouses.
  • Tomatoes goes well in a Keto recipe as they are extremely low on carbs and are a great source of Vitamin C & K, Potassium and Folate.
  • Bell peppers are low on carbs and high in antioxidants. They are also a good source of Vitamin A, C & B6.
  • Feta cheese is rich in protein, calcium and beneficial fatty acids yet low on carbs.
  • Olive oil offers both saturated and mono-saturated fat, as well as the essential fats, Omega-6 & Omega-3.

Eggplant is a Keto friendly vegetable and is widely used in Mediterranean cuisine as well. Seasoned with Mediterranean spices such as oregano & sumac, and topped with chopped tomatoes, assorted bell peppers and feta cheese, you’ll have the delicious oven roasted eggplant boats that are perfect for a side dish or a light vegetarian dinner.

Recipe Card

  •  Number of Servings - 2
  •  Preparation Time - 10 minutes
  •  Cooking Time - 10 minutes
Ingredients Quantity
Egg plant, cut in half 2 nos
Tomato,  deseeded and chopped 1 no
Bell peppers, assorted, cut in chunks            50 gm
Olive Oil 4-5 tbsp plus more for drizzling
Oregano 1 tsp
Sumac 1 tsp
Salt and pepper To Taste
Feta cheese, crumbled 100 gm
Fresh parsley, finely chopped 2 tbsp
Pomegranate seeds for garnish 20 gm

Method of Preparation

  • Toss the eggplant in olive oil, seasoning, sumac and oregano and mix. Roast at 180 degrees Celsius for 8 - 10 minutes or till done.
  • Toss the tomato and bell peppers in olive oil, herbs and seasoning as well and roast at 180 degrees Celsius for 8- 10 minutes or till done.
  • For assembly, top each half of the boat with 2-3 tablespoons of the roasted vegetable mixture.
  • Top with crumbled feta cheese, pomegranate seeds, finely chopped parsley and drizzle with Olive Oil on top. Serve it hot.

nutrition facts-01

 

Chef Victoria Andrade 

Victoria is one of those culinary professionals who believe that you can be as passionate about fitness as you are about food. She always tries to come up with interesting flavour combinations keeping nutrition as a priority without compromising on the taste aspects of it. Her perspective about food has always been about making something that is as appealing to your palate as to your waist.

Hailing from Argentina, Victoria started her culinary journey from her home country working at some of the prominent properties of the region. After gaining some years of experience, her passion for French cuisine took her to France where she explored the French culinary scene.  

Her culinary pursuit in France continued for a few years working at several eminent properties such as Marriott Group, Manoir de la roseraie and many more. In 2017, Victoria moved to Dubai and worked for the Ritz Carlton group of hotels before joining ICCA Dubai as a Hot Kitchen Chef Instructor. 

 

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