Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mozzarella Cheese Kunafa Recipe

Mozzarella Cheese Kunafa
Mozzarella Cheese Kunafa

A not-so-authenic cheese kunafa made with everyone’s favorite mozzarella cheese! Crunchy shredded pastry filled with an ooey gooey mixture of mozzarella and a secret ingredient that keeps the cheese from hardening even after it cools. A rose and orange blossom water scented sugar syrup, sweetens and perfumes this scrumptious Middle Eastern favorite.

Author: Cleobuttera

Serves: 1 (12"/ 30cm or up to 14"/ 35cm) round kunafa


For the Scented Sugar Syrup:
2½ cups (1 lb 1oz/ 500g) granulated sugar
1¼ cup (300ml) water
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon (15g) rose water (more or less according to taste)
1 tablespoon (15g) orange blossom water (more or less according to taste)

For the Semolina Pudding:
1½ cups (350ml) milk
¾ cup (180ml) heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons (37g) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons (30g) semolina
1 teaspoon (3g) cornstarch
1 teaspoon (5g) water
1 teaspoon (5g) rose water

For the Cheese Filling:
600 grams/ 1lb 3oz mozzarella cheese, shredded (preferably fresh)
3 tablespoons (37g) granulated sugar (omit if your cheese does not taste salty) (*see note)
2 teaspoons (10g) rose water

For the Kunafa Crust:
1lb/ 500g kunafa or kataifi/kadaifi pastry, fresh or frozen. If using fresh, freeze for an hour for easier cutting. If using frozen, thaw slightly
1 cup (8oz/ 227g) ghee or butter, melted and slightly cooled

Pistachios, for garnish


To make the Scented Sugar Syrup: (Can be made up to a week in advance)

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine together the sugar, water and squeeze of lemon juice. Set on a stovetop over high heat. Try to avoid stirring it as it heats to prevent crystallization from happening, but if the sugar is not dissolving, then help it out with a few stirs. Once it comes to a boil, STOP stirring.
  2. Bring to a rolling boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for no longer than 10 minutes. Set a timer! The syrup will thicken slightly, and have a consistency similar to pancake syrup. If it simmers for longer it could thicken too much and become candy-like.
  3. Remove from heat, then stir in the rose and orange blossom waters. Transfer to a medium bowl, liquid measuring cup or gravy boat and allow to cool to room temperature before using.
To make the Semolina Pudding:
  1. In a small saucepan, combine together the milk, heavy cream, sugar and semolina. Dissolve the cornstarch in the 1 teaspoon of water and add to saucepan.
  2. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a boil, and continue cooking until the mixture thickens into a bachamel-like consistency; about 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the rosewater. Allow to cool slightly while you prepare the kunafa.
To prepare the Cheese Filling:
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the mozzarella cheese, sugar (if using) and rose water.
To prepare the Kunafa:
  1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat oven to 200C/ 390F.
  2. Heavily grease a 12"/ 30cm round cake pan with ghee or butter. A larger pan size (like a 14"/ 35cm deep dish pizza pan may be used, but note that the kunafa will turn out thinner) Alternatively, the kunafa could also be split over 2 (9"/ 23cm) or 4 (6"/ 15cm) pans. You could bake one now and freeze the other(s) for later.
  3. If using fresh, extra thin, Arabic-style konafa dough, it is preferable to use only the butterfat in the melted butter, leaving behind the milk solids or just use the full amount of ghee instead, to ensure a crunchy, evenly browned crust. If using thicker, Greek-style frozen kadaifi/konafa, you can use the butter in its entirety; milk solids and all. Unlike thin, fresh konafa, thicker/frozen kadiafi dough can handle the extra moisture, while still crisping up. To separate the butterfat from the milk solids, let the butter sit for a few minutes after melting. The milk solids (the whiter substance) will sink to the bottom and the butterfat (the yellow liquid) will float up. You could now simply pour the butterfat, being careful to leave the white bottom layer behind. It's OK if a little of the milk solids get poured in as well. (Get more details about clarifying butter here).
  4. Over a large bowl, shred the konafa/kataifi dough into 1inch/ 2.5cm long pieces. I've found that cutting the kunafa while semi frozen, makes for the easiest way to break it. So even if using fresh kunafa, stick it in the freezer for about an hour before cutting it.
  5. Pour the melted ghee evenly over the kunafa. If using butter instead of ghee, for fresh, extra thin konafa dough, just pour the yellow liquid (butterfat) of the melted butter, leaving behind the white layer (milk solids). If using thicker, frozen konafa/kadiafi, just pour all the butter in. Mix the butter evenly with you hands, into the kanafeh shreds, making sure it gets well coated and every strand is glistening.
  6. Transfer two-thirds the amount of konafa in the prepared pan and firmly press it on the bottom and up the sides. Make a wall with the konafa around the sides of the pan; this will help contain the filling during the baking process and prevent it from burning. Pack the konafa as tightly as possible. Use the bottom of a cup or measuring cup, to help pack it tightly and smooth out the konafa.
  7. Pour in half of the cooled, semolina pudding and spread with a spatula into a thin layer. Top with the cheese mixture and pat down into an even layer. Cover with the remaining semolina pudding.
  8. Scatter on the remaining third of the konafa over the cream filling, lightly press it on to adhere.
  9. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top and sides of the konafa are deep golden brown in color. Use a knife to push the side of the konafa, to check the color. The longer it bakes, the crunchier it gets. So bake it for less time if you prefer a softer crust.
  10. Remove the konafa from the oven and immediately pour on about ¾ of the scented syrup, starting from the edge and moving towards the center, in a circular motion, making sure to cover the entire surface. Reserve leftover syrup for drizzling over individual servings.
  11. Let the konafa rest for 5 to 10 minutes to allow for the syrup to soak in, then flip on to a serving platter. Decorate the edges with halved pistachios, or for a more traditional look, Cover the entire surface with ground out pistachios.
  12. Cut into wedges and serve right away, while still hot, passing along extra syrup, as desired. Kunafa is best enjoyed warm, while the filling is still gooey, but it still tastes delicious at room temperature and the filling will still be soft but not gooey. Leftovers maybe stored in the refrigerator, then rewarmed in the oven or microwave.
*This recipe will also make 2 (9"/ 23cm round) kunafas, or 4 (6"/ 15cm round) ones.

**Kunafa freezes really well before baking. Assemble the kunafa in the pan, don't bake, and cover with a double layer of plastic wrap and 1 layer of foil. When ready to bake, let it thaw, then bake as normal.

***The amount of sugar added to the mozzarella filling, depends on how salty the cheese tastes. If using fresh mozzarella, you may choose to leave out the sugar sugar because its not salty. So taste your cheese and you be the judge of how much sugar needs to be added. I use pre-shredded mozzarella, not because its the best choice, but rather because its the most easily accessible where I live. It's slightly salty, so 3 tablespoons is perfect to balance it out.

****In non-Middle Eastern countries, Kadaifi/kataifi/konafa dough can be found in the frozen Greek section of most big supermarkets, or in Middle Eastern speciality stores.

Semolina pudding recipe adapted from Embers Mezze Bar.

Source: http://cleobuttera.com

Kanafeh/Künefe (Sweet Cheese Pastry) Recipe

Kanafeh/Künefe (Sweet Cheese Pastry)
Kanafeh/Künefe (Sweet Cheese Pastry)

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes Servings: 12

A pastry consisting of hot cheese in between layers crispy shredded phyllo dough in a sweet syrup that is common in the Middle East.


1/2 pound shredded phyllo (called: kataifi or kunefe), thawed as directed on package
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
2 cups feta (soaked in water for an hour) or goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup simple syrup or 1/4 cup apple and/or pear sauce


  1. Break the pastry apart into one or two inch long pieces, separating the strands. (A few pulses of a food process helps with this.)
  2. Mix the butter into the pastry with your hands in a large bowl until coated and press half of it into the bottom of a greased metal baking pan in a thin layer.
  3. Pulse the cheeses in a food processor until the mixture reaches the consistency of a coarse meal and press it into the dough in the pan.
  4. Press the remaining dough onto the cheese and bake in a preheated 350F/180C oven until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
  5. Serve warm covered in syrup or topped with apple and/or pear sauce.
Note: Top make the simple syrup, simmer 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar until the sugar has disolved and let cool.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 280, Fat 18g (Saturated 11g, Trans 0.3g), Cholesterol 57mg, Sodium 489mg, Carbs 20g (Fiber 0.3g, Sugars 9g), Protein 9g

Source: Closet Cooking

Monday, July 11, 2016

Green Beans in Seasoned Tomato Sauce Recipe

Green Beans in Seasoned Tomato Sauce
Green Beans in Seasoned Tomato Sauce

Prep 15 m | Cook 35 m | Ready In 50 m

50 m 8 servings 72 cals


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 tablespoons chopped garlic, or to taste
salt to taste
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (such as San Marzano®)
1 (12 ounce) bag thin green beans, trimmed
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat; cook and stir onion, garlic, and salt in the hot oil until onion is softened and browned, about 15 minutes.

Mix tomatoes and green beans into onion mixture. Add sugar and cinnamon to mixture; bring to a boil, lower heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until green beans are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Cook's Note:

Time to prep may take longer if you buy beans that haven't been cleaned yet.

From allrecipes.com

Broad bean puree with shanklish recipe

Broad bean puree with shanklish
Broad bean puree with shanklish

Serves 6
Preparation 10min
Cooking 15min
Skill level Easy

Angela Nahas


1 x 280 g baguette, thinly sliced
60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
500 g frozen broad beans, thawed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lemon, juiced
oregano leaves and shanklish (see Note), to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Makes 1¾ cups.

Preheat oven to 160°C. Place baguette slices in a single layer on 2 oven trays and brush with 1 tbsp oil. Bake, swapping trays halfway, for 12 minutes or until golden.

Meanwhile, peel broad beans and place in a bowl with remaining 2 tbsp oil, garlic and lemon juice. Coarsely crush beans with a fork, season with salt and pepper, and serve on baguette crisps with oregano and shanklish.

Serve with baked gorgonzola gnocchi and horse and carriage punch a la Simon Ford.

• Shanklish is a hard sheep’s-milk cheese that’s often coated in spices; it is available from Middle Eastern food shops.

As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 16, pg60.

Photography by Brett Stevens

Meat Kebbah Recipe

Meat Kebbah
Meat Kebbah

Try this easy Meat Kebbeh recipe to prepare for all occasions. You can serve as either part of the main course, or as appetizers.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes approximately
Cooking Time: 10 minutes approximately
Serves: 5 persons

All you need

1kg minced lamb meat, lean, divided
250 gm burgul
11/2 tsps salt
1 1/2 tsps al alali Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp al alali Ground allspice
1/4 tsp cumin
2 medium onions, 1 finely chopped, & 1 coarsely chopped, divided
1/2 cup toasted pineseeds (optional)
2 tbsps olive oil
vegetable oil for frying


  1. In a medium bowl, soak burgul for 30 minutes in cold water, remove excess water by squeezing through thick paper towel or cheese cloth
  2. In a medium bowl, mix meat, coarsely chopped onion, 1 tsp salt & 1 tsp al alali Ground Black Pepper. Mix well until dough becomes firm
Prepare Kebbah Stuffing
  1. In a medium frying pan, saute finely chopped onion in olive oil, add pineseeds
  2. Add minced lamb meat and mix.
  3. Add al alali Ground Allspice, salt, al alalai Ground Black Pepper and cumin
  4. Cook until meat is light brown, set aside and allow to cool for 10 minutes
Form Kebbah & Fry
  1. Form a hollow ball from the burgul dough. Add the meat mixture and seal the ball
  2. In a pan, fry Kebbah for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels
  3. Serve hot and enjoy!

Arabian Cheese Sambousek Recipe

Arabian Cheese Sambousek
Arabian Cheese Sambousek

If you are craving a delicious, cheesy Arabian delicacy, here is the perfect appetizer for you. Serve at the start of a meal, or serve it as a tea time snack, take your pick!

Preparation Time: 15 minutes approximately
Cooking Time: 40 minutes approximately
Serves: 8-10 persons

All you need

3 cups flour
Oil for frying
2 grated onions
453 grams of ground feta cheese
1 1/2 cups oil
1 tsp of alali Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp bread spices (yeast, fennel, and poppy seed)


  • In a deep bowl, add flour, bread spices and some oil; mix gently with your fingers
  • Add water and salt to taste, mix until the dough is binding
  • Divide the dough into small pieces, place them on a tray, set aside in a warm place for 1 hour
  • In a frying pan, add onion, oil, salt, cumin, alali Ground Black Pepper and ground feta cheese, cook over low heat. Set aside
  • Roll each piece of dough in circular form of about 1/16 inch thickness. Place one tablespoon of the mixture in the centre of each dough, seal by twisting the edges
  • In a saucepan, heat the oil, deep fry the Sambousek
  • Serve hot and enjoy!
Source: alalali

Mohamara Salad Recipe

Mohamara Salad
Mohamara Salad
It is time for you to start preparing the famous Mohamara salad at home. Prepare it to your family to enjoy the special taste while gaining the benefits of oats!

Preparation Time: 15 minutes approximately
Serves: 4 persons

All you need

1 1/2 cups Ground Walnut
1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
1 cup al alali White Oats
2 tbsps. al alali Chili Powder
1/2 medium onions grated
2 tbsps. al alali Paprika
1 tbsp. al alali Tomato Paste
1 tsp. cumin
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup al alali Tomato Ketchup

  • Add breadcrumbs, al alali White Oats, al alali Chili Powder, onions, al alali Paprika , Tomato Paste, cumin to ground walnut
  • Pour olive oil over the mixture, mix in a blender until smooth and spreadable
  • Garnish Mohamara with walnut and olive oil
  • Serve as an appetizer or with Kebeh and enjoy!
Source: alalali
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