Mozzarella Cheese Sticks-Ramadan Specials #10

 
Ramadan is coming to an end and so is my ramadan recipes series. I am closing this series with my all-time favorite appetizer, mozzarella cheese sticks. The cheesy gooey goodness inside a cruchy, crispy coating….whoaaa…irresistible! 

  
These are very simple to make and takes verrry less prepation time. I already had a seasoned flour mixture ready which was a left over from the blooming onion recipe.  So i prepared these sticks in no time. 

  
I have used the japanese style panko breadcrumbs for this. If you haven’t used this before, let me warn you that you might become addicted to this stuff. You can use it in many different dishes, in place of the usual breadcrumbs and be prepared for that extraordinary crunch. 

  
Dip these sticks in a nice sauce, just any kind of sauce you like and enjoyyy!  

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 5 pieces string cheese
  • Oil for deep frying

For the flour mixture:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper/ red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt

For dipping:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk

For breading:

  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 3/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  
NOTES:

✔️ If you cant get string cheese, just cut up the block mozzarella cheese into sticks and use. 

✔️ You should be very careful when frying the cheese sticks as there is high chance that the cheese will melt and ooze out into the oil and create a mess. It only takes few minutes to fry them. Just when the breadcrumbs get that light golden color, take them out. Don’t keep in the oil for long. 

✔️ The freezing step is important as this will help them stay together better and when its time to fry, it will keep the mozzarella from melting too quickly from the hot oil. 

✔️ Fry these sticks in batches, do not overcrowd the oil. 

✔️ Serve these warm or else the cheese won’t ooze out and will be hardened. 

✔️ You can double dip the cheese in egg and breadcrumbs to make sure that the cheese stick will stay together. 

Method:

  

  1. Unwraps cheese sticks from pack and cut them in half. 
  2. Mix all the ingredients for flour mixture in a bowl
  3. In another bowl beat egg in milk and keep aside. 
  4. In a third bowl, mix all the ingredients for breading. 
  5. First dip the cheese sticks in flour, then egg and then finally breadcrumbs. 
  6. Freeze these prepared sticks for 20-30 mins. 
  7. Heat oil for deep frying on medium high flame. 
  8. Deep fry and serve warm.  

  

Mango Ginger Lemonade-Ramdan Specials #9

  

Ramadan is almost coming to an end and i was just thinking that i didn’t post any drinks recipe yet. So here is the recipe of a very refreshing and delicious mango lemonade with a nice kick of the ginger. 

   
  
Hot summer days call for this mango ginger lemonade. I love icy cold lemonades along with the twist of fruits. So perfect and energizing they are to quench our thirst. This drink also has mint leaves in them which really awakens you after just one sip. 

  
The best part about this drink is that you can make this few days ahead and refrigerate. All you have to do is mix the sugar syrup with mango puree and ginger juice and refrigerate. When you want to drink it just add water and sip up. 

   
 Do make this drink and enjoyyy! :)

Serves 3

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup mango puree (i used 1 big mango)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp ginger juice strained
  • Mint leaves
  • Lots of ice
  • 2tsp rose water (optional)

For the sugar syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

  
NOTES:

✔️ To make the mango puree, remove the skin of mango cut it and grind it to a smooth paste. Strain it through a strainer and use. 

  

  

 Method:

  1. Make the sugar syrup by heating water and sugar, till sugar dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
  2. In a large bowl mix together the mango puree, lemon juice, ginger juice, sugar syrup and rose water if using. 
  3. You can refrigerate this and use it when you want by adding the 2 1/2 cups of water. 
  4. For serving in a glass add lots of cruhed ice, add in some broken and crushed mint leaves and pour in the prepared lemonade. 

  
  

Halawat el jibn- Ramadan Specials #8

 
Ooooh i soooo love this dessert. I can easily say that this is my most favorite dessert in world, like, seriously!! I had been searching for the recipe of this Arabic sweet for a long long time, and just last week my darling sister shared the link for this recipe. I was soo excited and happy, that i couldn’t wait to make this at home. I made it the very next day and it turned out SOOOO good. My husband luvd it too. 
  
  
Halawat el jibn is a staple in my home, back in Dubai during Ramadan. There is an Arabic sweet shop named Damascus beneath my building In Dubai, its still there. They have such amazing knafe, kataif, baklava, halawat el jibn and many many other sweets. So we all had to get something from there for iftar. Without their sweets our iftar table would seem incomplete. 

   
 
After i moved here in kuwait, one thing i used to crave the most is Damascus style halawat el jibn. Thankfully, i was fully satisfied with this recipe. It is almost 80% close to the original one. 

  
Ok, now most of you might be wondering what is this dessert. Halawet el jibn means ‘sweetness of cheese’. Just as the name implies, it is a dessert based on cheese. A dough is made of cheese, typically akawi and semolina. The cheese dough is rolled out and filled with a thick cream. It is then rolled like a cigar, cut into small pieces, drizzled with a fragrant simple syrup and chopped pistachio. But i have used mozzarella cheese instead of the akkawi, as it is easily available everywhere. 

  
These rolls literally dissolves in the mouth with a sweet, creamy and delicate smoothness. You guys should make this, I’m sure you all will love it. 

Recipe courtesy: My little Kitchen

Makes 50

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups grated cold mozzarella cheese
  • 600 gms mascarpone cheese
  • Pistachios for garnish
  • Simple syrup

For the syrup:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tsp rose water 

  
NOTES:

✔️ These rolls are traditionally filled with ashta or clotted cream. 

✔️ If you can’t  get mascorpone cheese, replace it with frimly whipped whipping cream. The cream should be really firm or else the rolls won’t hold it’s shape. But mascarpone tastes best. 

✔️ While making the simple syrup, do not simmer it for long time otherwise it will thicken up and won’t be pourable. 

✔️ Make sure to use the fine variety of semolina flour. If you don’t get it, just grind the semolina till you get powder form. 

✔️ Orange blossom water is not the same as orange essence. 

Method:

To make the sugar syrup:

  1. In a saucepan, combine together the sugar, water and lemon juice. Heat over medium heat till sugar dissolved. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  2. Stir in orange blossom and rose water. Set aside to cool. 

To make the sweet cheese rolls:

  1.   In a saucepan heat together the sugar, water and milk till sugar dissolves. Bring it to a boil. 
  2. Add in the mozzarella cheese and keep stirring it. It will start to melt quite fast. Keep breaking it and mixing with the liquid. 
  3. Once it is quite smooth add in the semolina flour. 
  4. Once semolina is added it will quickly start to come together. Stir it for about 30 seconds till it starts forming a soft lump and separates from the pan.   
  5. Transfer the dough to a surface drizzled with prepared warm sugar syrup. Sugar syrup will not let the dough stick to the counter. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Take one half of the dough to work with and cover the other half of the dough. 
  6. Roll it out quite thin into a 9X13 inch rectangle with a rolling pin. Drizzle sugar syrup over the dough too to smoothen it out. Cut the uneven edges of the dough into a straight line. 
  7. Fill piping bag with mascarpone and cut about 2 cm off the edge. 
  8. Pipe onto the dough on the long side facing you leaving an inch border.   
  9. Roll the dough over the cheese until the mascarpone is covered completely. Using a sharp knife, cut it off the rest of the dough. Now you will have a thin log. Again with a sharp knife cut out 4cm pieces from this log. 
  10. Repeat the same process with the rest of the dough. 
  11. Place in a serving plate and drizzle with pistachios. 
  12. Pour simple syrup before serving. 

  
 

Potato chop- Ramadan Specials #7

  
Potato chops, my dear friends is the cousin of cutlets. Where in cutlets you have the potatoes and chicken/beef/fish/veggies all combined, in these potato chops you have them separate. The potatoes are wrapped around the filling, breaded and deep fried. 

  
It sure is tasty, but yeah it tastes kinda like cutlets. Perfect if you are bored with the same method of preparing the usual cutlets. 

  
I loved this especially because cutlets have always been among my favourites, with every crispy bite so sinfully delicious and ever so satisfying. Serve these with a sweet and spicy sauce and enjoy. Hope you guys will like it. 

   
 Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breast sliced
  • 11/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 medium potatoes boiled with little salt, skinned and mashed 
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ginger chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander leaves chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 egg
  • Breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Oil to deep fry

  

NOTES:

✔️ You will get a very crispy exterior of the chops if you use the Japanese panko breadcrumbs. 

✔️ Do not overcrowd the pan while deep frying or else the potato chops will break apart. 

✔️ You can use any filling for this recipe. 

✔️ Make sure that you make a fairly thin coating of the potato aroung the filling. 

Method:

 

  1.  Marinate the sliced chicken with red chilli pdr, turmeric pdr, coriander powder, garam masala pdr and cumin powder. Mince them finely in a processor. 
  2. In a pan, heat oil and add in the onion along with the green chillies. Sauté. 
  3. Add in ginger, garlic. 
  4. Add in the chicken and mix well breaking them apart. Cover and cook till the water releases from chicken and evaporates. Add more spices if you want to. 
  5. Add in the leaves and keep it aside. 
  6. Mix in cornflour with the mashed potato.   
  7. Take a portion of the mashed potato, say the size of a ping pong ball and flatten it to form a round shape. 
  8. Keep the filling in the centre and enclose the filling by drawing up the sides of the potato. Flatten it a bit. 
  9. Dip each patty in egg wash and then breadcrumbs and deep fry.      

Blooming Onion-Ramadan Specials #6

  Doesn’t this look beautiful? It tastes delicious too. 

  
This is blooming onion, which is a dish with one onion cut to resemble a flower, battered and deep fried. It is surely a very impressive looking appetizer which will be loved and appreciated by all. 

   

Blooming onion is actually a very famous appetizer served at this restaurant named Outback Steakhouse. I never tried it though, but my brother has and he says that he loves it to the addiction level. That restaurant is not there in Kuwait but its there in Dubai, where my family lives. The next time I go there i will definitely visit that place. 

  
I had made this awesome dish for iftar yesterday and me and fadal loved it. I had made a nice honey mayo dipping sauce to go along with it. It was so good that we were dipping all the other appetizers in that sauce too. 

  
Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 cup Vegetable oil

  
For the flour mixture:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne/ red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

For dipping:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg

For dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of salt

  

NOTES:

✔️ If you dont want to fry the whole onion, you can make onion rings with the same recipe. 

✔️ Be very careful when dropping the onion into the oil. Place the onion on a round spoon and carefully drop it into the oil slowly. The oil might spill out if you use a small pan. 

Method:

To slice the onions:

  

  1. Slice one inch off the top of the onion. 
  2. Remove the skin. 
  3. Then slice the roots keeping the stem intact because thats where the onion petals will stay joined. 
  4. Using a thin knife cut out a 1 inch diameter core from the center of the onion.   
  5. Using a sharp knife make four evenly spaced cuts. Make sure you keep an inch space from the root. 
  6. In between each of these four cuts make another three cuts. 
  7. Separate the petals with your fingers.   

Prepring the batter:

  

  1. In a bowl whisk together the milk and egg. 
  2. In another bowl, combine all the ingredients listed under flour mixture. 
  3. Take the onion and dip in the milk mixture.   
  4. Place it in the flour mixture making sure to spread the flour all over the onions. Separate the petals with hand and sprinkle flour in between the petals. 
  5. Double dip the onion back in the milk. 
  6. Again place in the flour mix and spread the flour all over. Shake off excess flour. 
  7. Keep in freezer for half an hour. 

Frying: 

  

  1. Heat oil in a deep heavy bottom pan in a medium high flame. There should be enough oil to cover  the onion. 
  2. Drop the onion cut side down into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes. Then very carefully flip it over and fry for additional 8-9 minutes on medium heat till it turns golden brown and crispy. 
  3. Take out of the oil and drain cut side down ona paper towel. 

For dipping sauce:

  1. Mix in all the ingredients listed under dipping sauce

  


Shawarma Filo Rolls-Ramadan specials #5

  
I love food that give me a nostalgic and warm feeling. A feeling of great satisfaction.   

  
That feeling is exactly what shawarma gives me. Shawarma is no doubt, my comfort food. Being born and bred in the shawarma nation, Dubai, half my life i have eaten and loved this street food. 

  
I usually make homemade shawarma wrap with pita bread during Ramadan for iftar. But this time i wanted to make something different. So i came up with this idea of rolling the shawarma in filo roll and baking them. I tried it and it was really really good. The best part is that you dont have to deep fry it. Even though it is baked, the rolls are super crispy and crunchy. 

  
These are perfect as a snack for iftar and also to entertain guests during parties. Im sure both kids and adults will love it. Try it. 

  
Makes 12 rolls

Ingredients

For the shawarma:

For Marination:

  • 500 g chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp Yoghurt 
  • 1 tsp chilli powder/cayenne
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 3/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Other ingredients:

  • Parsley
  • Onion chopped
  • Tomatoes chopped
  • Hot sauce
  • Pickled cucumbers chopped
  • Pickled green chillies chopped

For assembling:

  • 4 Filo pastry sheets 
  • Garlic sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Melted unsalted butter

  

Notes:

✔️ If filo pastry is not available, you can use spring roll pastry instead. But with that deep frying will be better. 

✔️ Always while assembling cover the remaining filo pastry with a damp cloth once opened to avoid drying out.

✔️ You can add mozzarella, or moutabel  too in the rolls if you like. 

✔️ The amount of hot sauce added can be adjusted according to your preferred level of  spiciness. 

Method:

  

  1. Marinate the chicken pieces in the above mentioned ingredients and let rest for 1-2 hours. 
  2. Heat some olive oil in a pan and shallow fry the chicken pieces till nicely cooked and gets that char on the pieces. 
  3. Chop these chicken pieces further. 
  4. To the chicken, mix in chopped parsley, hot sauce and olive oil to make it moist. 
  5. In a bowl mix in chopped onions, tomatoes, and pickled veggies. Combine the chicken mix in this. Your shawarma mix is ready.   

Assembling:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  
  2. Defrost and thaw the filo pastry well without taking it out of the package. 
  3. Open the package and take out a sheet of filo. Place on a surface and brush melted butter all over it. 
  4. Place a second sheet of filo on top of this and again brush with butter all over. I forgot to take the picture of these two steps. 
  5. Cut into 6 rectangles as shown in the picture. 
  6. Take out one rectangle piece and place the shawarma mix on one end. 
  7. Add in a little bit of garlic sauce. If you want you can add mozzarella too.   
  8. Roll twice and then fold the sides and continue rolling. You can brush more butter on the sides and edges for it to stick well. 
  9. Brush butter all over the roll and then sprinkle some sesame seeds. 
  10. Place the rolls on a lined baking sheet and bake them for 25-30 minutes till golden and crispy.