Thursday, April 15, 2010


So the past few days, as I've been lying around on the couch, I've realized that I have basically accomplished nothing these past few months. I've decided to make my blog more productiive, and take a new approach to it. NOW before all my fans go crazy don't worry, I'm still going to post recipes, BUT I'm also going to start writing litarary reviews / criticisms of books I'm reading. I feel like that will work my brain a little bit. Sometimes I feel like my brain is oozing out of my ears. I think this will stimulate it a lil bit. =)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sakeena Lo Mein

So I just made some DELICIOUS Lo Mein, courtesy of Sakeena Ahmed. =)

Here's the recipe she gave me:

Ok, so here's the recipe.  It's a recipe for Vegetable Lo Mein, but you can easily add chicken/beef/shrimp to it if you want.

  • 16 oz. lo mein noodles, uncooked
  • 1 cup vegetable broth/chicken broth/beef broth (depending on what you are making)
  • 1 Tbspn corn starch
  • 3 Tbspn soy sauce
  • 2 Tbspn thick soy sauce (available in Oriental stores)
  • 1 Tbspn sesame oil
  • 2 Tbspn peanut or olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 1/2 tspn black pepper
  • 1/2 tspn dried crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 3 stalks scallions, coarsely chopped
Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 3 minutes.  Rinse, drain, and set aside.

Mix the sauce: broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, thick soy sauce, and sesame oil; mix well and set aside.

Preheat a wok or large nonstick pan with the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and stirring constantly until the garlic is light brown about 1 minute.  [If making beef/chicken/shrimp, add now and stir fry until cooked.]  Add the carrot and mushroom and turn the heat high; stirring constantly for 1 minute.  Add the snow peas, salt, black pepper, and red pepper; continue stirring for another minute.  Add the sauce, stirring well and bring to a boil.  Add the noodles and stirring well for 2 minutes.  Add scallion, stirring well and serve hot.  Serves 6-8.

* I made it with chicken, so I marinated the chicken in some cornstarch and sesame oil before I cooked. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

We're Back to Stuffing

The halabi bug has bit me once again. I feel an urge to stuff something. This time, I've decided to stuff indian eggplants. Indian eggplants are the cute babies of the eggplant world.

 I searched online to see why they are called Indian eggplants. This is all I could find:

"The Indian eggplant is known for its tenderness and sweet flavor. It is small and round with smooth skin and a red-purple color. The skin does not need to be peeled; it can be used interchangeably with the American eggplant. Another variety, the Indian paint eggplant, has white stripes. It is more fragile, but are perfect for stuffing and baking

So I didn't find out why its called an indian eggplant. Maybe it was discovered in India. 

So I went all over town  trying to find some indian eggplants, and they have disappeared off the face of pittsburgh. They are usually really easy to find. I finally found some yesterday @ the veggie market in the strip district. My mom is known for this dish. All her recipes are yummy, but her fetat al magdoos is Amazing. Anytime she has a dinner party and she makes it, people talk about that dish the most. So here we go:

 For the Yogurt:
1) 1 container of Greek yogurt.
2) 3 tbsp of tahini
3) 5 freshly squeezed lemons
4) 1 clove of garlic, smashed

For the Sauce:
4) 1 small container ( 6 oz)  of tomato paste
5) 2 Tablespoons of vinegar
6) 1 teaspoon of pomengrate syrup
7)  sliced onions
8) 1 tablespoon of butter
9) Two beef bouillon cubes
10) 1 package of pita bread ( make sure its yummy, not that nasty supermarket brand)

For the Eggplants:
11)  half a pound of ground beef
12) around 3 tbsp of pine nuts
13) 9 Indian eggplants ( just enough to cover the top of your casserole)
14) One sliced onion

15) Some chopped parsley

- This recipe is easy, but has alot of steps, so I'm going to divide it up. First lets start with the eggplants.
- The eggplants need to have the insides removed, and I usually use a special tool called a Ma'wara. You can usually find it in the arabic store. It looks like a knife that is a half circle, so you just cut off the top of the eggplant and then clean out the insides. Make sure you dont make the skin too thin, it needs to stay thick because the skin is really yummy, just hollow it out a little bit so you can stuff it.
- Now, take the pine nuts and roast them in a saute pan. After your done take them off.
- In the same saute pan, melt about half the butter and saute half the onions. Add the ground beef, and cook till finished. Once it's done, add the pine nuts. And there you have it, its the stuffing for the eggplants.
- Take the eggplants and stuff them.
-  Take a pot, and fill it with some frying oil ( I use peanut). Now, you need to fry the eggplants in the oil, but You only put enough oil so that it doesn't cover the eggplant. You just have to saute the eggplants in the oil, so your not deep frying. Take each eggplant and saute it in the oil, and keep turning it around in the oil till its cooked. It's about 5 minutes an eggplant, and the skin needs to be soft. Make sure none of the oil gets in the stuffing though, so you put half an inch of oil in the bottom of the pan.
- Your done with the eggplants! That's the most labor intensive part. Now, all you need to do is make the tomato sauce.
- Take the rest of the butter, and saute the onions in a pot.  Then, add about 5 cups of water, the jar of tomato paste, the pomengrate syrup, the vinegar, and the bouillon cubes, and some salt. Let it boil for about 30 minutes till all the flavors are combined.
- Take the eggplants and soak them in the sauce for about 5 minutes when the sauce is done and then take them out. 
- Take all the yogurt ingredients and mix them together in a bowl.
- Now, chop up your pita bread into squares and bake them in the oven until they are crisp.


- Take a casserole dish and layer it with pita bread.
- Take the tomato sauce and soak the bread with it.
- Then, take the yogurt mixture and pour that on top.
- Then, take the eggplants and put them on top, and garnish with parsley.

AND your done! Enjoy doing the dishes though, bc theirs ALOT! But its worth it, because it is so yummy.  If you want to make it fattening, take some pinenuts and almonds, roast them in butter, and pour it on top of everything before you add the parsley. =)