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Dec 01, 2015
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Posts Tagged ‘Middle Eastern’

By the Book: “Cairo Kitchen” by Suzanne Zeidy

Friday, November 27th, 2015



Being a sucker for beautiful food photography, there were at least six dishes in each of the nine chapters in Suzanne Zeidy’s Cairo Kitchen that I wanted to make for this final round of the Middle Eastern cookbook battle. I had to narrow it down. I considered that in the next few weeks there will be many potluck dinners and parties to which I will need to bring a side dish. With an eye toward keeping it somewhat light and healthy, I wisely settled on the Honey-Spiced Carrot Salad.

The recipe came together in a snap and only required about 15 minutes in front of the stove to boil water and blanch carrots. The rest of the ingredients were easy to procure, and I had most of the required spices and dressing ingredients in my pantry already.

The end result was a bright salad with a touch of warm spice from the cinnamon and nutmeg. although the texture may have been less grainy had it been have whisked together first instead of dressing the carrots with individual ingredients then mixing. Lemon juice provided an acidic balance to the honey and olive oil, while the carrots and raisins kept the salad pleasant but not overly sweet. Heads up to anyone inviting me for dinner: I’m bringing this salad.

Skill Level: Beginner to intermediate. The directions are thorough and easy to follow.
This book is for: Anyone wanting to feast on beautiful pictures and try beautiful food. The recipes vary from fried street food to hefty stews to sunny salads.
Other recipes to try: Oven-roasted Vegetables, Almond Semolina Cake
The Verdict: While the Honey-Spiced Carrot Salad came together well, it was not as complete and cohesive as last week’s eggplant. For this By the Book battle, Zahav takes top prize.




Honey-Spiced Carrot Salad
4 to 6 servings

500 g. carrots, peeled and sliced
50 g. raisins
2 Tbsp. walnuts, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh coriander, plus extra leaves to garnish
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. allspice
2 Tbsp. honey
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. olive oil

• Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and prepare a large bowl of iced water. Blanch the carrots in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and place in the iced water to stop the cooking and retain the bright color.
• Meanwhile, soak the raisins in lukewarm water for 15 minutes until softened, then drain.
• In a large bowl, mix together carrot, raisins, walnuts, the chopped coriander and dill.
• Season with the cinnamon, allspice, honey, lemon, olive oil and salt, to taste. Toss all together and garnish with fresh coriander.



The Scoop: Middle Eastern restaurant Leila to open in former Flavors space in The Grove

Monday, February 6th, 2012

020612_hummusThe space at 4317 Manchester Ave., in The Grove has been vacant since last fall when Flavors BBQ Sports Bar & Grill shuttered. In a matter of weeks, however, doors should open again. This time plates will be piled with Middle Eastern eats instead of smoky ‘cue.

The restaurant, to be called Leila (LAY’-lah), will offer fare such as falafel, hummus, kibbe, kabobs, and the typical “oush”-es – baba ghanoush and fattoush. According to building owner Amy Gill of Restoration St. Louis, the new tenants signed the lease on the property last week and hope to have the restaurant up-and-running within four weeks. More as we learn it.

The Scoop: Ya Hala to bring Middle Eastern eats to Bridgeton

Monday, September 12th, 2011

091211_mezzeThe city of Bridgeton will soon be home to Ya Hala, a restaurant and hookah bar to be located at 12434 St. Charles Rock Road in the space formerly occupied by Culpepper’s. Owner Ahmad Abuelawi told The Scoop that his restaurant will serve Middle Eastern cuisine, with 35 percent of the menu devoted to Lebanese eats; the remainder will be a selection of Jordanian, Turkish, Israeli, Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi specialties.

Ya Hala will serve lunch and dinner daily, and Abuelawi expects to open doors on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Abuelawi also hopes to secure a downtown location on Washington Avenue next month for a second Ya Hala. He declined to provide the exact address. A website and Facebook page for Ya Hala are currently being developed.

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