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Friday, 28 April 2017

Mediterranean fig salad


As Munich has been hit by snow again, just as I was settling into spring, I've been trying to sort through some of my millions of food photos!

I came across this colourful beauty & realised I hadn't yet shared it.

I love figs and this salad is a great way to indulge in their unique taste & texture.

This recipe from BBC Good Food was the basis of my dish which I jazzed up with some artichokes & parma ham.

Simply boil the green beans for a couple of minutes before mixing with the rest of the ingredients (in this case: figs, artichokes, mozzarella balls, basil leaves, parma ham & baby spinach).

Then just whip up a quick dressing from balsamic vinegar, olive oil & fig jam and drizzle over the bowl.
Super easy & tasty!

Whilst figs are a sweet fruit & high in natural sugars they are also a good source of dietary fibre and rich in minerals, including potassium (helps to control blood pressures), calcium (promotes boned density), copper & magnesium, as well as vitamins K & B6.

They also contain powerful antioxidants that neutralise free radicals in your body & fight disease.

In studies, fruit fibre has shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, as well as helping to regulate your digestive system.

And, as with most fruits, eating 3 or more servings per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (the main cause of vision loss in the elderly), according to Ophthalmology experts.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Amman, Jordan (8) Sweet treats


As well as the delicious savoury foods available in Amman there are plenty of tasty desserts to get your teeth into as well.


 
For example, Kanafeh.  This is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert which is soft white cheese with semolina dough.  This pastry is heated in semneh (salted butter).



When its cooked, its turned out and soaked in sugar syrup and orange blossom water.

Before being topped with crushed pistachio nuts.

Its a very popular dessert with lots of brightly lit and busy shops around the city.  The mixture of crunchy and creamy as well as salty and sweetness is a confusing but not unpleasant food experience!  
 

I had kanafeh at Nafeeseh Sweets where you can easily watch the huge trays of the dessert being prepared with the regular banging of the server's knives as he dishes up the treat.

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I also bought a box of baklava from this place to take home with me.  I fell in love with this sugary pastry treat in Turkey (read some of my blogs here and here) and couldn't resist stocking up!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Amman, Jordan (7) Rainbow street

Rainbow Street in downtown Amman is a trendy road worth wandering along.


It's home to lots of cafes...

...quirky shops... 


...art...


...takeaway places...

...and Ottoman architecture.


There are also lots of shisha places.

And illegible street signs! 

Monday, 12 December 2016

Amman, Jordan (6) Street food

Of course in Jordan falafel is a very popular street food which you can find all over the city.

But also Shawarma is worth trying - its the Arabic version of Turkey doner kebab or Greek gyros - basically mixed meats grilled on a vertical spit which are shaved off and stuffed into a flat bread along with tabbouleh (tomato, parsley, mint, bulgar and onion).

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We ended up sitting on a roundabout near our hotel tucking into this delicious wrap.


Another yummy street dish I had was from Khubaizeh where I had Makdous.  I'd never heard of this dish before but it's Levantine (Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel & Syria cuisine) and is essentially oil cured tiny aubergines/eggplants stuffed with red peppers, walnuts, garlic and spices.  


You can also grab food from the numerous pavement vendors.



Thursday, 8 December 2016

Amman, Jordan (5) Cooking class at Beit Sitti



From The Blonde Abroad's blog I'd found another must do for Amman - a cooking class at Beit Sitti.  In their own words...

"Beit Sitti is a local and family owned business that aims to empower women in Jordan through hiring local hajjeh’s who have exceptional talents in the kitchen."


It was founded in 2010 by three sisters (Maria, Dina and Tania) to keep their grandmother's legacy alive. We had a class mid-afternoon where 14 of us cooked with a Hajjeh plus a local lady for translation. 


Also one of the founding sisters (Maria) joined us for part of it.


The setting is gorgeous - a large yet cozy house on the hillside with views over a mosque and also the citadel.


The interior is full of interesting pieces and pictures.







We started with a glass of lemonade on the terrace. Its made from blended lemon juice, mint leaves and sugar.




Then we set to work!


We made bread...






...fatoush (tomato, cucumber, parsley salad with fried bread and a dressing of onion, sumac, pomegranate molasses & lemon)...








...lamb kofta with fried potatoes and tahini sauce...













 
...and of course, hummus! 




 Dessert was coconut -semolina cake with sugar syrup (Basbousa).



 



We ate on the balcony terrace overlooking the city with the calls to prayer in the background.






It was great fun making all the different elements with the group.  And the ladies were good at giving us tips - such as rolling herbs around each other to cut.

or adding yoghurt to hummus to make it less claggy...

...or in fact replacing milk with yogurt in cooking where possible to make it fluffier!

Also, when using sumac, you should add it to the salad at the end with a sauce so it doesn't stick in clumps to some of the wetter salad/veggies.

Final tip I recall is use hot sugar syrup with cold cakes and vice versa.

We finished the meal with fresh mint or orange blossom teas.


I highly recommend making time for this when you're in Amman.

 
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