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Hummus & Spicy Beef Bites

hummus

As much as it pains me to call hummus a dip, for the sake of this post let’s just say it is. I’m sick of the same old boring chips and dip options.

So, this Superbowl, I’m making this little crunchy suckers. Hummus with spicy beef and toasted pine nuts on cabbage chips.

They are very tasty, and it doesn’t hurt that they are very healthy either.

I’ve posted on “how to make hummus” before. So, make your hummus in advance, and make sure it’s nice and creamy.

It’s pretty quick to put together. Dice up some onions, throw them in a pan with some oil and sautee till soft. Then add the ground beef. Let it all cook. Add some paprika and chili powder. Make it as spicy as you like.

While it’s cooking, take some cabbage leaves and cut some squares out. Spoon some hummus on top.

The ground beef should be done by then, add it on top of the hummus, sprinkle some toasted pinenuts and paprika. Drizzle some olive oil, and serve!

Pumpkin Brussel Sprout & Potatoe Fritters

Latkes2

These are so simple to make. An idiot could make these. Seriously. But one thing is for sure, these are damn delicious.

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Thinly slice brussel sprouts and shred equal amounts of potatoe & pumpkin. Mix them together, add salt & pepper & crack an egg on top in a bowl. Mix it all together. Once mixed, sprinkle flour on top. Start with a 1/4 cup, and add more as needed. Add just enough flour for the liquid to be absorbed.

Heat a pan, heat some oil and add a spoonful of the mixture. Fill the pan, but don’t let them touch. Make sure that both sides are browned and flip them as needed.

I served them with a labneh sauce seasoned with zaatar. Utterly delicious.

Square egg anyone?

squareegg

A play on a brick of cheese. A square egg looks pretty close don’t you think?

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I used a ramekin, two egg whites and one yolk. I made sure to liberally oil the ramekin before steaming the egg.

I dressed it up with a basket weave of shaved asparagus and some smoked salmon.

Eggplant Stew For Happy Tummies

EggplantStew

One of my favorite vegetables is the eggplant. It’s very underrated in my book. It’s not just meant for eggplant parm at the local Italian joint on the corner.

eggplant

This stew is very easy to make and is best served with white rice.

Sautee some ground beef, once browned, add some salt, pepper and pomegranate molasses. Peel & dice the eggplant, add it on top. Add a can of stewed diced tomatoes and let it all simmer. That easy!

To make it even yummier, brown some pine nuts in butter, and sprinkle on top.

Enjoy!

How To – Pina Colada Food Photography

I have been playing alot with “styling” photos and food. Food photography is so intriguing to me, and lighting is always a battle. I wanted to create a “mood” so, I only lit the scene from right. I bought a Lowel Ego light a few months back, and the lighting has made a huge difference in my photos.

I painted the wood planks myself, to create an interesting back drop. I painted them a few coats of blue-grey, and then went over them with a dry brush with some white paint on it ever so lightly, just to create the contrast in the grain. I love it so much, I’m going to do this in several colors and post a how-to.

Yellow and grey is one of my favorite color combos. I purchased the twine and straws from one of my favorite shops on etsy: In the Clear. The mason jar I had on hand and decided it would be “cooler” than a traditional cup. So, what do you think?

Roasted Cauliflower & Pomegranate Tahini Sauce

I love roasting vegetables. It is my favorite way of consuming natures bounty. If you don’t like cauliflower I will bet that you will love this dish. That’s how good it is! It’s also very quick and easy. Traditionally in Lebanese cooking cauliflower is deep fried and then eaten with lemony tahini sauce. This is a healthier play on that with no frying.

To start take a whole cauliflower head and cut off the stem. Slice apart the florets and half any huge ones. Place them in a bowl and generously coat them with vegetable oil and a sprinkling of Kosher salt. Put them in a pan and place them in a 475 degree preheated oven. Cook them for around 4o-45 min with occasional flipping. You could also initially cover them with aluminum foil for the first 20 min and get them tender fast. You just need to make sure it doesn’t “steam” till the end. They need to be roasted so make sure there is enough oil on them to bring out the sweetness. They should be a bit firmer and slightly darker when you pull them out. Sometimes I just stop here, add some salt or a squirt of lemon and I’m good to go. But this time, the sauce is madness, so lets keep going…

While the cauliflower is cooking, its on to the sauce which is really what this dish is about. It’s very easy. All you need is some Tahini paste (the sesame paste normally used in making hummus), pomegranate molasses and some water.

Pomegranate molasses has a tacky texture and is dark in color. It is sweet and sour at the same time and is a great addition to any vinaigrette. You can usually find Tahini at Kroger now, but I’m not sure about the pomegranate molasses. It is a staple in middle eastern stores if you have one near you. If not, your best bet is to order some online.

Take 4 large tablespoons of Tahini and 2 of the pomegranate molasses then a few tablespoons of water to it and whisk. You may adjust the amounts as you like. If it is too nutty for you add some more pomegranate, just be careful it’s not too sour. Adjust the thickness via the water. It needs to be similar to that of maple syrup. I cannot give an exact measurement on the amounts because each pomegranate molasses has a different thickness and the recipe should be adjusted to taste. If its too sour for you try adding a little more tahini and water.

Once its just right and the cauliflower is done, just drizzle it on top and serve! This can also be served cold and is great wrapped in pita bread sandwiches. The natural cauliflower sweetness that comes out in the roasting pairs beautifully to the nutty & slightly sour sauce that it sits in. So good. You absolutely must make this. The flavors are like nothing you have had before. Enjoy!

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