Tuesday, September 29, 2009

40% Kabab Koobideh with Sangak

Kabab with Sangak by ng @ Whats for Dinner?My mom asked me for a Kabab recipe. I didn't have a recipe for her as I have never made Kababs before. My first try was 100% yummy, but only 40% Iranian.
Sangak by ng @ Whats for Dinner?A few days ago I started to make the bread to go with the Kabab. It is called Sangak. I had a hard time finding a recipe online, but Sangak is a sour dough so I made a starter. When my starter was ready I mixed up the bread and baked it on some dry beans. Sangak gets its name from stone and should be baked on small stones. The bread was nice, but not Sangak. Beans do not work in place of stones. I will try again.
Kababs in Foil by ng @ Whats for Dinner?I used this Kabab Koobideh Recipe from the Iranian Chamber Society:
500 grams ground lamb or beef
2 large onions (grated)
1 large egg (beaten)
4 medium tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sumac (optional)

Mix meat, onions, egg, salt and pepper well and leave in the refrigerator overnight (or for several hours).

Press the meat around long, thick metal skewers and shape evenly. Thread whole tomatoes on another skewer. Barbeque each side for about five minutes, turning frequently. If skewers are not available or barbequing is not possible, kabab-e koobideh can be shaped into long, thin portions on aluminum foil and grilled at high temperature in the oven. The oven should be pre-heated and kabab-e koobideh should be placed as high as possible near the source of the heat.
Kabab and Tomatoes by ng @ Whats for Dinner?I used organic Irish ground beef. But it was too lean for this dish as the dripping from the meat are used to soften the bread. Also foil stole what oil that did come out of the meat. Next time I'll use the BBQ and not the foil. My husband wanted more salt and spice.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Local Strawberries

Irish Strewberries by ng @ Whats for Dinner?
No its not spring here, but the Irish strawberries are still going strong.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Barbari Bread

Barbari Bread by ng @ Whats for Dinner?Barbari is a popular breakfast bread in Iran. It can be severed with hot tea and anything else egg, herbs, cheese, walnuts. My husband has been searching online, watching videos of this bread. So I decided to make some for him. I used this recipe:
I was happy with this recipe but I added more flour, less yeast, whey instead of water and topped with poppy seeds. Next time I will top with sesame seed. I watched this video to get an idea about shaping.

Carrot Jam or Morabaa Haveej

Carrot Jam or Morabaa Haveej by ng @ Whats for Dinner?My husband was talking about carrot jam last week, so I searched and found a nice Iranian recipe for Morabba Haveej. The recipe I chose was from a website that I really like, however the recipes are not from the same part of Iran my husband is from and he is often shocked to see a dish he had never heard of before. (like green bean pancakes KooKoo-yeh Loobia-Sabz) Not sure if he would like this version of carrot jam, I cut the recipe down to size. The original can be found here: http://www.farhangsara.com/moraba-havij.html

I used:
4 grated carrots
1 cup jam sugar
1 1/2 cups water
Bring to boil for 20 min until thick.
2 Tbs rose water
Cook 2 more min and then jar.
I left out the lime juice because the jam sugar has citric acid in it already.
Carrot Jam by ng @ Whats for Dinner?This jam was so good, sweet, sour and rosy. I think when I make it next time i will use normal sugar and less of it. My husband thinks its too rosy, but likes the sweetness. But then he was eating it right out of the jar, so it has to be good!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Egg Sandwich

Frittata by ng @ Whats for Dinner?
I wanted to make an egg salad sandwich, but I hate peeling hard boiled eggs. So I made a frittata and used it to fill sandwiches with. Anything can go into a frittata even mortadella, but this one is mushroom.

Frittata for 6 pitta sandwiches:

Non-stick pan on med heat
1 tsp oil
1/4 of an onion chopped
6 chestnut mushrooms sliced
1/4 of a red pepper chopped
Salt, Pepper, turmeric
Cook until the onions start to brown.
6 sliced olives
1 tsp pesto
3 eggs beaten with 1tsp milk or yogurt
Top with 2 tsp of feta cheese.
Pop under the grill (broiler) until the egg is set and is pulling away from the sides. About 2-3 min.

Pitta Egg Sandwich by ng @ Whats for Dinner?Toast the pitta and fill with egg. We added tarragon. Yummy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Butternut Squash and Beet Salad

Butternut Squash and Beet Salad by ng @ Whats for Dinner?A simple fall salad. No need to cook the butternut squash. Its great raw!
Serves 4
2 cups washed spinach
1/2 cup grated butternut squash
1 roasted and peeled chopped beet
12 walnut halves
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Toss all the veg together, top with the walnuts and dress with olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.
It is best to use the top thin part of the butternut in this salad, peel the outside and then grate like cheese. To roast the beets wash and wrap in foil, cook for 30min at 300f. The skins will come off easily.
Feel free to add some feta, roast the walnuts or substitute with pecans.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Organic Lasagna

Making Cheese by ng @ Whats for Dinner?While we were gone, Ireland had its annul organic week. We made it back just in time to get half off our groceries. We would normally buy one liter of milk, but with the sale ending soon we got four. What do I plan on doing with four liters of milk? Yogurt? No, I made ricotta. I have a cheese making kit that I got from www.cheesemaking.com . It comes with directions and everything you need to make cheese, just add milk.

Homemade Organic Ricotta by ng @ Whats for Dinner?I used 2 liters of milk and made 2 cups of cheese and 1 liter of whey. Ya Irish Milk! It would be fine to buy Ricotta.

Ricotta Filling:
1 cup ricotta
2 cups spinach blanched and chopped
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Organic Irish Beef cooking by ng @ Whats for Dinner?Meat Sauce:
2 onions chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1tsp oil
Brown over med heat.
1 package Organic Irish Beef
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 cans tomatoes
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 fresh bay leafs
Salt and pepper

Cook for 20 min.

I never cook the pasta first so just layer in the the normal way. Top with cheese and bake for 20-25 min at 200c.

Organic Lasagna by ng @ Whats for Dinner?

Friday, September 18, 2009


HafezRue Saint-Michel 15, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium

We enjoyed a very nice Iranian lunch while in Belgium. There are a few different Iranian restaurants but this one was in the city center and easy to find as it is on the same street as Place Des Martyrs and right off a major shopping street.

Yogurt Drink or DourYogurt Drink (Dour: French pronunciation)
I loved loved loved this Drink. Ice cold salty sour.

Yummy From the top left: rice and kebab (chelow kabab koobideh), Meat and tomato stew with dal (khoresht gheimeh), Meat stew with herbs and beans (khoreshte ghormeh sabzi), and yogurt and cucumber and mint powder (maast va khiyar).

We asked what was good, and then ordered one of each. Everything was great. The host/chef was friendly and we would go there again.

Sweet Brussels

ChocolateWith only one afternoon to explore Brussels we spent our time in and around the Grand-Place. But what would a trip to Belgium be without chocolate!

MacaroonsAlso enjoyed Pistachio Macaroons.

Trash for Paul anyone???

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Street food in Maastricht

Maastricht is a city of street food. If people aren't sitting outside a cafe eating, than they are standing outside a take-away eating. It's the sunniest city in the Netherlands so I guess they want to make the most of the weather. These are a very hot cone of fries with curry ketchup.

On Wednesday there was a market. It was mostly cloth. Along with the normal flowers and veg there where fish and ice cream vans.

I went to the fish van and got some kind of smoked fish. It tasted smokey and raw. Yummy with pickled onions.

The Dutch have Oliva. Which is an Iranian potato salad. This one had smoked Salmon in it.

Whats the best thing to eat in Maastricht? Caraway seed cheese.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Whats for dinner in Maastricht?

We have been in Maastricht (in the Netherlands) for the last few days. It is a very clean and relaxed city filled with bicycle, shops and cafes.

The city center has a few nice squares connected by twisted streets. This one the main squares where we sat here for hours drinking hot chocolate and people watching. The food was not nice.

There were also lots of candy and ice cream stores which had the best smelling waffles.

There was licorice everywhere, not just in the candy stores, but also in the grocery stores and pharmacies.

This is my cute bag of licorice, that is until I eat it all!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

(Vegeterian Kabab) کباب گیاهی

Lentils by ng @ Whats for Dinner?

I was thinking about making veggie burgers when I thought what about a veggie kabab. This recipe is not perfected. But the taste was unbelievable.

1 cups dry green lentils in a pot with salt, bring to a boil cover and let set for 30- 60 min.

2 small red onion chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp hot red pepper
salt and pepper

Add to the onions:
The drained lentils.
1/2 cup bulger wheat
1 cup tomato juice

Cook until the lentils and bulger are soft, and the liquid is gone.
Cool and add 1 egg.

Blend in a food processor.

Line a pan with baking paper, spoon the mixture onto paper in Kabab like shapes.

Cook for 20 min at 200c.

Vegeterian Kababs by ng @ Whats for Dinner?
These where so good. We had them on Shawn Naan with yogurt and salad. Note the kababs did stick to the baking paper. I think if i had used bread crumbs instead of bulger this would not have been an issue or if I had fried them!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Banana Carrot Muffins

Black Bananas by ng @ Whats for Dinner?

Bananas that look like this can only be one of two things: ice cream or bread. Paired with carrot and green cardamom these bananas became yummy muffins. But oil free and with just a bit of sugar, these may not be for everyone.

Heat the oven to 150c.

2 cups flour (can use 1/2 whole)
1/4 cup shredded almonds
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground green cardamom (seeds only)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
dash salt

3 mashed black bananas (no peels)
1 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Mix the wet into the dry. Spoon into muffin paper liners (they are a bit bigger than cup cake liners). Cook until golden brown tops (20-25 min).

Banana Carrot Muffins by ng @ Whats for Dinner?
Makes 9. Great with my mother-in-laws sour cherry jam.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Baked Pasta with Chicken and Veg.

This is the story of two kinds of canned milk and how never ever to use them.

Key Lime Pie by ng @ Whats for Dinner?
What happens if you make Key Lime pie with evaporated milk when your recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk? A friend of mine tried it yesterday and sadly it did not come out well. Too bad, because that person (who is still nameless) makes great pie!

It got me thinking about evaporated milk. My whole life there has been an opened can in my parents frig waiting for my father's morning cup of coffee. What I just learned is that his 'can milk' habit was inhered from his mother. My Grandma puts it in coffee, mash, mac and cheese and just about everything else she makes. What if one day I stared to cook with it? Maybe I would use cream of mushroom soup or broccoli and cheese too! Worried about my fate I decided to make an anti-can pasta bake.

Chicken and Veg by ng @ Whats for Dinner?Take:

1 leek sliced
2 cups mushrooms sliced
2 chicken breast (optional)
2 bay leaves
fresh thyme

Cook until the mushrooms stop giving off water.


1 broccoli crown chopped

Cook for 3 more min. Remove the veg and return the pan back the heat and start the rue.

2 Tbs butter into the pan and let melt
2 Tbs flour stir into the butter for about 1 min
Finish with
2 cups of milk stirring until thick ( I also added mustard and nutmeg at this point)

Salt and Pepper


Everything together with 3 cups cooked pasta. Top with cheese and into the oven (200c) for 20 min.

Baked Pasta with Chicken and Veg by ng @ Whats for Dinner?


Figs by ng @ Whats for Dinner?
Look what I am not going to cook for dinner! I already had one and it was perfect.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Breakfast Naan

Naan Dough by ng @ Whats for Dinner?

Breakfast is whats for dinner today. Even on a busy morning there is time for homemade bread. Keep your pancakes, this is our breakfast of choice.

The night before make some dough. I use Shawn bread most days, which is a bread that my friend Shawn started to make a few years ago. The recipe is so easy to remember. It takes me no more that 1 min to pull it all together.

Shawn Bread
3 cups flour (can use 1 cup whole wheat and 2 white)
1 cup wet (water, whey, yogurt)
drop of oil
dash salt
dash yeast (I never use much because it will have hours to rise)

Mix, kneed, cover and leave to rise overnight. Its really cold here so I left mine on my yogurt maker to keep it warm. But outside of Northern Europe and Alaska the counter should be fine. I use 1/2 cup water and 1/2 yogurt for this batch.

In the morning turn your oven up its highest heat. Pull off egg sized balls of the dough, roll out with alot of flour. Add onion seed, herbs or whatever you like to the top. Right into the hot oven on to a pan or pizza stone. 5-10 min and the bread will be cooked.

Cut up some cheese, tomatoes and herbs (Mint, basil, coriander).

Tomatoes, Cheese and Herbs by ng @ Whats for Dinner?
Just wrap the bread around the veg and herbs. So tasty and fast.

Hot Naan by ng @ Whats for Dinner?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mashed Carrots and Dal Pie with an Almond Crust

Irish Carrots by ng @ Whats for Dinner?
Carrots. My favourite way to eat carrots is in a raw salad, but tonight I wanted them to be a warm main dish. I started to think about a quiche, but I hate when the way the egg settles between shredded or sliced carrots. I was almost really to give up on a quiche when I remembered my mom's savoury sweet potato pie. Made from mashed sweet potatoes this smooth and spicy this Thanksgiving classic from my childhood is perfect for Tuesday night dinner that is after I change the whole recipe. Mashed carrots and dal pie with an almond crust. Filling: 1/2 cup chana dal (yellow spilt lentil) soaked overnight or in covered pot of boiling water for 30min +. Drain the dal and bring to a boil in fresh salted water. Cover and lower the heat. 2 cups peeled and chopped carrots Once the dal has started to soften add the carrots in. Cook for 10 min or until carrots are soft. Drain the most of the water, but save some and mash with the carrots. Dal and Carrots by ng @ Whats for Dinner?

2 eggs
1/2 cup thick Greek yoghurt
1/4 cup sharp cheese (I used a local one called Gubbeen http://www.gubbeen.com/ )
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried fenugreek

Blend until smooth.

Fry in 1tsb oil:
3 sliced green onions
1 clove finely chopped garlic
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper powder
Salt and black pepper

Stir into carrots.

2/3 cup toasted almonds Grind almonds in food prosser.

1/2 tsp curry powered
1 Tsb tihini
Blend until it starts to clump.

Line a pie pan with baker's paper. Push the dough into pie shape with wet fingers. Blind bake for 10 min at 200c. Fill the pie and bake for 45 min at 150c or until the pie is set. Add 1/4 cup more of cheese and put it back in the oven to melt.

Mashed Carrot and Dal Pie with an Almond Crust by ng @ Whats for Dinner?

Garnish with coriander and enjoy with a salad.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cabbage and Rice

Veg by ng @ Whats for Dinner?

I had a half head of cabbage in need of cooking and we haven't had rice and a few days. So I decided to make Kalam-Polow or cabbage and rice. Normally this would be made with some ground beef or lamb, but tonight I used lentils and leftover roast beef. Also forgot to buy onions so I'm using leeks. Since my husband isn't going to believe this hybrid is Iranian I figured why not add an apple too! So Kalam-Polow meets Himmel und Erde (Haven and Earth) is what's for dinner.

1 cups basmati rice, soaked for at least two hours with salt
1/2 cup brown lentils in a pot with 2 cups boiling water pored over, dash salt covered. They need to sit until soften (30min+) drain excess water.

Brown the following with the lentils:
1/2 small head green cabbage finely chopped.
1 leek finely chopped 1 portabella mushroom
1/4 cup beef
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs tomato juice
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp oil

Take off the heat and add a thinly sliced apple.

Potato in a pan by ng @ Whats for Dinner?

Thinly slice a potato and line the bottom a rice maker or pot with oil and potato.

Drain soaked rice and bring a big pot of water to boil. Add rice and boil until aledenta about 5 min. Drain the rice and rinse. Layer 1/3 of the rice on top of the potatoes then 1/2 of the cabbage lentil and repeat ending with rice. With the end of a wooden spoon make five steam wholes in the rice. Just stick the spoon in the rice! Put 1 tsp oil over the top. Wrap a clean kitchen towel around the lid of the rice maker or pot and pop on top. Steam the rice for 30 min. I have a non-stick rice maker so my rice comes out like one nice cake. When using a pot use a non-stick one, or make life easy and just make normal rice and put the cabbage on top!!!

Cabbage and Rice Cake by ng @ Whats for Dinner?

Here is my lovely cake of rice! Smelled so good and was well worth the effort!

Cabbage and Rice with a Salad by ng @ Whats for Dinner?

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