Similar to its Greek cousin, Tzaziki, Jajeek is a super quick and easy salad/dip to make. With four basic ingredients of yogurt, cucumber, mint and garlic, you’ve got a cool, refreshing dish with a flavorful punch. It’s delicious with pita chips, on top of kabob, […]
Month: February 2019
It’s hard to eat just one potato chop. Once you bite into these spiced meat potato patties you will understand why. In the first bite, you sink your teeth into the crispy exterior of the fried potato, then encounter the silky potato interior, and finally, the spiced meat mixture with a touch of parsley to provide a fresh kick. Delicious! It is the perfect appetizer or snack to accompany a cup of tea.
In learning how to make these, we knew we needed to contact the pros all the way from South Carolina – Auntie Layla, Ferial, Jena and Jalila. Luckily, they were in town recently, and we got to spend some time with them. What we learned is when you ask your Aunties how to make something, be prepared to write instructions down quickly. One said they add onion, the other said they don’t, one said they add pinch of breadcrumbs the other said “No, no add more!” But, this is the way cooking has always been when passing from generation to generation. Its always a pinch of that, a splash of this and somehow it always turns out perfectly. You learn to cook by color, by touch, and by taste. There is no sense of intimidation – these ladies (and men!) own it in the kitchen! Watching their hands move in creating these potato chops was like magic. The time it took us to create one, Auntie Layla had already formed three perfectly. This expertise comes from years of practice and time spent in the kitchen. All we can say is nothing beats cooking at home, sipping chai together and chatting while we created these. So, gather up your friends, siblings or Aunties and make these at home too!
- 2 lbs ground meat (80% meat, 20% fat)
- 1 large onion, minced
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp bahar (all spice)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 5 lbs Idaho potatoes
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 4 tbsp bread crumbs
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- Wash potatoes. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Boil potatoes until al dente. You should be able to puncture the middle of the potato with only slight resistance. Peal skin of potatoes.
- Place boiled potatoes through a meat grinder or potato masher to mash.
- Add cornstarch, bread crumbs, salt, and eggs to potato mixture. Mix until it appears like dough.
- Heat oil in a skillet. Add onion and cook until translucent.
- Add meat, bahar/all spice, and salt to skillet. Cook meat until browned.
- Once meat is cooked place in bowl. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then mix in the fresh chopped parsley.
- Coat hand with a little oil to prevent potato from sticking to hands. Take about a golf ball size of the potato mixture and roll into a ball.
- Flatten ball to a disk about the size of your palm.
- Make a well shape in the middle of the disk and place about 2 tsp of the meat mixture in the center. *
- Bring edges of potato mixture over the meat mixture to enclose. Flatten to create the shape of a plump disc.
- Fill a 3-3.5 quart pot with vegetable oil. Heat oil until thermometer reads about 325-350F or until sizzling hot. Place 2 potato chops in the oil and fry for about 2.5 minuets until golden brown.**
- For best taste, enjoy shortly after frying!***
Pot Roast is a great dish to make for your family and an easy starter dish for beginner cooks. It doesn’t take too much preparation, and all you need is a bit of patience while the roast cooks during the day.
The first time I made this dish was for a dinner party with my parents and my boyfriend’s parents. It was the first time our parents were meeting each other. My boyfriend thought it would be a great idea for us to make dinner instead of going out to eat, but I was left trying to figure out the best meal to cook for the event…I never really hosted a dinner party before! As always, Mom came to the rescue and suggested that I make daube, as it is a flavorful main dish not requiring too much work. It gave me the opportunity to prepare sides and appetizers while the roast cooked in the slow cooker.
Besides waiting for this dish to cook, the most time consuming part is gathering the spices; all certainly necessary to give this roast the Iraqi twist. The collection of spices equates to the smell of all I know to be Middle Eastern cooking and always reminds me of the smell of my Tata’s (Dad’s mom) condo’s hallway leading up to her front door.
This roast can be cooked using a Dutch oven or slow cooker. I just got a Sous Vide for Christmas, so I am tempted to try it with that as well. I’ll provide instructions once I get the opportunity to try that. But for now the slow cooker or Dutch oven work perfectly!
Iraqi Pot Roast (Daube)
- 2 1/2 lbs chuck roast or top/tip sirloin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Dutch Oven Ingredients
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp whole cloves
- 1/4 tsp whole cardamom seeds
- 1/4 tsp Iraqi baharat*/ allspice
- 1/4 tsp whole peppercorns
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup low sodium beef broth
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 325 F
- Rub roast generously with salt and black pepper
- In a pan, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Sear roast on all sides to a light brown color
- Add all Dutch Oven Ingredients to the Dutch oven and mix ingredients together to combine
- Place seared roast into Dutch oven. Mixture should cover a majority of the roast. If needed, add more beef broth and wine
- Cover the Dutch oven and place into the oven
- After 1 hour, reduce oven heat to 275 F. Remove from the oven after a total of 3.5 hours. The roast should be tender and ready to serve