Anyone who visited ex Soviet countries tried this soup for sure. Although this soup is cooked with meat, vegetarian version of it is even tastier. It is very light, full of flavor, color, taste ...you name it. It is very easy to make.
Ingredients (for a medium pot):
- 2 beetroots
- 1 carrot
- 1-2 potatoes
- 1/4 of a small cabbage
- black pepper
- tomato paste ( I prefer Heinz)
- bay leaf
- sour cream (for vegans you can use tofu sour cream)
1) Cut potatoes into sticks, put in the water and start the fire.
2) Cut beetroot and carrots into sticks and put in the sauce pan. Add 2 table spoons of tomato paste, 2 tea spoons of vinegar, a bit of water, add dill and start the fire. Make sure it simmers nicely for about 5 minutes. Do not make the fire too high. Squeeze 2 garlic cloves, add 1 tea spoon of sugar and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Add some black pepper.
3) When your potatoes start to boil, add the veggies from the sauce pan into the pot with potatoes. Add salt. Add shredded cabbage (Don't make the soup too thick). Add bay leaf.
4) After potatoes and beets become soft- your soup is ready. Wasn't it easy? Serve with sour cream.
Bon Appetit my Glam Chefs
I think this must be the diamond of Lebanese cuisine (although tabbouleh exists in other countries, but for me it is Le-Ba-Ne-Se).. Making tabbouleh isn't difficult at all, but you gotta understand the taste of it to make it right. My tabbouleh is pretty known among our family and friends-indeed it is flawless, no complaints so far, only positive words. I found that perfect "harmony" in it.. The key to success- correct choice of veggies and oil you use. I will try to be as detailed as I can to make your life easy. One more thing-tastes are different: some people like it juicier, some like it dry, some like it lemony, some like it spicy. I am posting MY recipe which hasn't failed me once.
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 4 bunches of soft parsley (we calculate 1 bunch per person). Soft parsley is a must here.
- 4 medium RED tomatoes (I prefer buying Armenian tomatoes from Art Lunch Café in JLT Armada 1 cluster P) or Lebanese tomatoes from Lifco. Proper tomatoes will make a big difference. If you get tasteless not-so-red ones, your tabbouleh won't be as great.
- 3 lemons (roughly! all depends on your taste)
- fine burghul (1 table spoon). Although it is a must, but once my mother-in-law made tabbouleh without it-it was amazing, so I stopped using it. However it IS a must in every recipe
- 1 red onion
- sweet pepper (bhar helou). This is a Lebanese spice which can be found in Lebanese stores. It's not too easy to find it even in Dubai, so if you don't have it-just drop it.
- olive oil (we buy real olive oil which is sold in cooperatives- the one which is dark green color. If you cannot get it -use regular extra virgin olive oil)
- lettuce for décor
- fresh mint
1) If you are using burgul, put 1 table spoon of burgul in a cup, cover it with boiling water and add one tea spoon of olive oil. Let it cool. Then strain it and press on it well to remove extra liquid.
Cut parsley and mint finely. Cut tomatoes and onions into small squares (onions should be very finely cut). Add soaked burgul with the herbs, place tomatoes with juice on top (we do it to avoid clotting of burgul)
2) If you are using sweet pepper, add 2 tea spoons over chopped onions. Squeeze 3 lemons, keep the pulp-it will add a nice kick. The next steps you need to do right before serving:
Add half of the juice to your tabbouleh. Add around 6 table spoons of olive oil and 1.5 tea spoons of salt. Mix it well. We mix tabbouleh with our hands!!!! Taste it: does it have enough juice? maybe more lemon? maybe it is too dry? Keep adding ingredients to get that right taste!
Decorate tabbouleh with lettuce. I hope now you can impress your guests...and, of course, your mother-in-law.. Knowing how to make a good tabbouleh is a must my loves:)))))
Bon Appetit My Glam Chefs!
All of us buy cheese in the supermarkets. Very convenient. Once I decided to check the content of most commercial cheeses-well, there are lots of preservatives. My granny used to make cheese at home all them time because there were no supermarkets or even regular shops in the village. Homemade cheese is different in taste, but how delicious and soft it is.. yummy! Excellent for your kids' lunch boxes. Do you know that it is extremely easy to make it? Look how...
- 2 packs of President cottage cheese (please look attentively at my ingredients picture. Other cottage cheese will make other types of cheese. If you want the same like I did-do buy this one. It is sold in Choitrams, Carrefour, Spinneys etc)
- 3 eggs
- 100 grams of butter
- sodium bicarbonate 1 tea spoon
- 1.5 tea spoons of salt (you can use more if you like saltier cheese)
- 1 liter of milk
1) Try to use thick pot (I use cast iron pots Le Creuset- they are excellent). Put cottage cheese with milk on the fire. Let it boil. Lower the fire, keep mixing it with wooden spoon for about 10 minutes. The consistency will keep changing.
2) Strain it above a large pot. Do NOT throw the liquid-there is a great use for it (will tell you about it at the end of this post). Make sure all liquid is gone. Add butter, salt, sodium bicarbonate and eggs. Mix it very well and put it back on the fire in the same pot in which it was boiling.
3) Keep the fire low, and keeeeep stirring, don't even leave your cheese-to-be for a second-it will burn. Even if you see some sides burning a bit, don't worry, just keep stirring till you see your mixture starts to look like it is melting. Keep stirring for 5 minutes. Put the fire off and immediately transfer the mixture into a heat proof dish.
4) Press firmly with your wooden spoon on the mixture into the dish. Your cheese will take the same shape as the dish, so you can be creative:) Cover it either with a plate or with a dish cover. Let it cool. Then put it in a fridge for few hours. After it became completely cold, use the thinnest knife to separate it from the walls of the dish, lift it flip it and here we areeee!! Our home made cheese "oppa village style" is ready!
Just take a look at this beauty!
Now.. remember about the liquid left? I didn't even know myself that this liquid in the perfect base for our Russian pancakes. For this quantity of liquid add 2 eggs, a bit of sugar, 1 tea spoon of sodium bicarbonate, 2 cups of white flour and 2 table spoons of cooking oil. Mix it very well. Make those perfect fluffiest crepes for your little ones and the whole family! Details of making pancakes you can find in the Russian Pancakes recipe...
LOVE YOU ALL MY GLAM CHEFS
I noticed that the whole idea of making turkey at home intimidates many. I wouldn't blame you. Turkey usually turns out very dry, even in the best restaurants. I developed this recipe by myself, it took me long time to come up with this perfect turkey, but it was worth it. People who tried it admitted that they have never ever tasted anything better in their life. Believe it or not- it's simple! Yes, it involves a lot of ingredients, but they are very easy to be found. Your turkey is going to be soooo juicy that you will forget any other recipe out there.
- turkey 5-7 kgs (I wouldn't take bigger). I found in Dubai this amazing frozen turkey which is hormone free and raised on a ranch in USA. Can be purchased from Safestway Supermarket on Sheikh Zayed Road next to Mazaya Center
- huge pot where it can fit (alternatively you can use a plastic bag which will need to be tied well)
- 3 green apples
- Dijon mustard
- dried berries
- dried apricots or prunes or both
- spices: garlic pepper, garlic salt, garlic herb, chicken seasoning (any), dry parsley, thyme, rosemary.
- fresh garlic
- 5-7 sweet oranges
- raw brown sugar
- young potatoes
- baby corn
- frozen cranberries
- corn flour
- olive oil
- big syringe
1) My turkey was 6.5 kgs. This is perfect for a lovely dinner. Turkey breast can be used for lunch boxes for kids- what can be healthier! Let prepare the marinade: water (has to cover our turkey) mixed with 1 cup of raw brown sugar, 1 cup of fine salt (roughly..you need to get that sweet salty taste), 7-8 bay leaves, 3 lemons, garlic salt, garlic herb, chicken seasoning, dry parsley, thyme, squeeze 1 full head of garlic. Mix it all well and taste it. You should feel if something is missing. Maybe extra spices? Maybe more salt or sugar? Now put your turkey in this brine breast down (if you are using a pot) or just put his bring in a plastic bag, tie it well and keep it in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
2. Take our your turkey and use kitchen towel to dry it well from inside and outside. Prepare your baking dish. Put some olive oil, place baby potatoes skin on, carrots, baby corn on it, add some salt and dry rosemary. Put your turkey on top breast up. Rub it with olive oil and garlic pepper spice. Mix 2 table spoons of Dijon mustard with 2 table spoons of honey and rub the turkey. (this turkey gets lots and lots of rubs:)
3) Now it's time for my secret trick to make it or break it. Squeeze the juice of 3-4 oranges, strain it to remove the pulp. add 2-3 tea spoons of fine salt and mix it well. Taste it. Has to be something it between.. Buy from any pharmacy a big syringe, fill it up with the mix and start injecting your turkey. You will need at least 3 injections on each side of the breast, 1 injection under the wings, and few injections in the legs.
4) Stuff the turkey with green apples (cut into pieces), dry berries, raisins, prunes, dry apricots (you can soak these if you want them softer, I like them chewy), almonds. If you like, you can add an extra spoon of honey inside. Cover it well with aluminum foil, put it in preheated oven (200 degrees Celsius) for 3.5 hours.
5) Let's prepare cranberry sauce: 2 cups of frozen cranberries mix with 3/4 cups of water and bring it to boil. Add 2 table spoons of sugar and squeeze 2 oranges. Add fresh ground black pepper. Boil for 8-10 minutes on low fire. Taste it: if you want it sweeter- add more sugar. Mix 1-2 table spoons of corn flour with 2 table spoons of cold water. Add while stirring to your cranberries and boil for another 2-3 minutes. Wasn't it easy?
6) Now it's time to check our turkey. I highly recommend using Weber thermometer for food. It needs to be not below 160 degrees Fahrenheit in the breast. If you feel that your turkey doesn't have enough color, rub it a bit with honey and keep it without foil in the oven for another 15 minutes. Every half a kilo of turkey needs to cook about 20 minutes (that's how you can calculate approximately). Now place your turkey on a serving dish, decorate it with veggies, lettuce, oranges and parsley. Ready to try it??
Look how perfect it is... Bon Appetit my Glamorous Chefs
Who doesn't like pizza? You don't? Maybe you just didn't try a good one? Maybe it's time to?
I would like to say thanks to Food Network and Iron Chef Bobby Flay for the inspiration to make a healthier dough. As you see, I put in the title DIA*- this star means that this dough will still increase your blood sugar but I tried my bet to make it healthier and more suitable for diabetics. Also if you are watching your weight, this one is definitely a better alternative to a regular dough.
1) We will need to be sifting our flour. Please don't be lazy, it does make a big difference, because it makes flour much lighter and makes it easy to mix with other ingredients. Start with sifting 2.5 cups of white and then 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour. You will see large particles lefts after sifting the whole wheat one. Add them as well, but not all (maybe like 60-70%). Add yeast. (usually people mix yeast with warm water first- but this recipe in particular has a different way).
2) Add 1.5 table spoons of honey, 1.5 tea spoons of salt, 2 table spoons of olive oil, 1.5 cups of warm water and mix your dough well. Now take a look at it-too gooey- add more flour, too hard- add a bit of warm water and keep mixing it for about 10 minutes.
3) Check your dough. I use the following method: press with your fingers: if only your arm muscles "moved" - it's a perfect one. If you feel that your body muscles helped- it's too strong.
4) Add 2 table spoons of olive oil to a bowl, put your dough in it, cover with a towel and leave it to raise for about an hour. After one hour mix the dough and leave it for another hour or so. Your pizza dough is ready.
5) Cut this dough into 4 pieces and roll into a pizza shape. Leave the dough to rest for 30-40 minutes after rolling. Enjoy making your pizzas Glam Chefs... (Yes, that peel with pizza IS heavy, you can see the struggle on my face.. but no pain no gain as they say haha)
Sometimes we all get tired of meat... This recipe I learnt from my amazing mother-in-law, she is such a great cook. We were sitting one evening in the woods and I saw her making this eggplant dish. When I tried it- it was love at first sight. This dish is suitable for vegetarians and diabetics.
- 2-3 medium size eggplants
- olive oil
- fresh mint
- red onion
1) Okay! It's really easy to make, I promise.
Burn the eggplants on an open fire. If you have an electric cooker, you can simply bake it till it becomes very soft. after your eggplants are ready, dip them in ice cold water and remove the burnt (baked) skin.
2) Slice the eggplants and mash them with a fork or the same tool as you use for mashed potatoes. Transfer mashed eggplants into a straight dish.
3) Spread your eggplants evenly on the plate. Add some salt all over (not too much). Using table spoon make the following (deeper areas in the middle):
4) Prepare the sauce: Squeeze 3 cloves of garlic, squeeze 2 lemons and mix it with 3- 4 table spoons of olive oil.
5) Cut 2 tomatoes into squares, cut 1 onion into small pieces (or medium- up to you), and cut some mint.
6) Decorate your eggplant as shown in the photos below. Put it in the fridge until it is chilled. Pour the sauce from point #4 all over and enjoy!
I bet you are in love with it already:)
Bon Appetit My Glamorous Chefs