Category Archives: Recipes

Strawberry Grapefruit Compote

In moments when you’re pining for decent Mexican food, bagels, pho, or other near-impossible-to-find foods, or when you’ve had one too many bucket of koshary, or when Egypt’s cuisine is just getting you down, it helps take a minute to ruminate on one thing that Egypt has definitely got going for it foodwise: delicious, fresh, bursting-with-flavor fruits and vegetables – for cheap. Strawberries certainly find themselves on my list of favorite fruit, especially here – no where else have I tasted strawberries so sweet and so flavorful.  Yet even with such a sweet spot for them, I have a hard time finishing a tray before the mold starts creeping in… especially now, at the end of the season, when the fruit doesn’t seem to last as long before going bad.  So as a way to salvage fruit that is otherwise soon headed for the bin, we offer a quick, easy compote recipe.  Of course you do have to start before your fruit has gone off, so don’t wait too long…

Recipe after the jump.

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Just Like Tom Yum Blues

True to our word, we’re back at you with the first of some Thai dishes.  The lemongrass and tamarind we found at Alfa last week were just begging to be put to good use, and we were all to happy to oblige.  Loosely based off this recipe for Tom Yum soup, we found plenty of useful suggestions for substitutions at Thai Kitchen, but were able to get our hands on a surprising number of the ingredients.  The great success of this soup, however, was the broth – spicy, sour, fragrant – and all from scratch.  We have a love-hate relationship with Maggi bouillon cubes, as of course we want our soup broth to taste like something (hopefully something delicious, and definitely like more than water), but the grimy residue left in pots and bowls after a Maggi-based soup has been devoured is…. unappealing, to say the least.  So we took a stab at making the broth ourselves, and were pleasantly surprised with the results.

Even with all the lemongrass and lemon rind and lemon juice in this recipe, we couldn’t get enough of that citrus tang, so we paired this soup with limoncello. Second good decision of the night.

Oh, and did we mention this soup is vegan?  Don’t let that let you think it’s not delicious.  It’s vegan, vegetarian, and delicious.

Recipe after the jump.

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Honey Stella Bread

Inspired by Bisoux at The Great American Breakfast Quest (former Cairene, by the way), I decided to try a Cairo twist on her recipe for Agave Beer Bread.  While she suggests the bread as a perfect activity for those snowed in on the East Coast of the US, ideally paired with blanket fortresses and Scrabble extravaganzas, I didn’t think I could wait till I see snow again to try this creation.  I’ll also have to wait to try her Guinness, Vermot Wheat Beer, and Pennsylvania Lager variations, but that just can’t be helped, so until then, I’ll settle for Stella.

This recipe is for those of you who simply can’t get enough Stella for all the Baladi Bars in Cairo, those who claim Stella runs through your veins, who scoff at foreigner friends’ inquiries of “Oh, do you mean Artois?” – and also for those of you who have admitted to yourself that, garnished with a lemon or not, you’re just holding out for those beers from home, and perhaps “The Taste of Egypt” will taste better baked in the oven.

The advantages of this bread, as Bisoux enthuses, are that it takes just an hour to make – no kneading, rising, or entire afternoons needed.  “It’s a good way to use up those extra bottles of beer leftover after a party. Oh, and it’s pretty much foolproof!”  The crust to this bread is simply divine: thick, crusty, and obviously blessed by the Stella Fairy (surely it’s not due to the amount of butter drizzled on top pre-baking!). The bread itself is somewhere between a traditional savory loaf, and a sweeter, more cake-y bread like banana bread.  Try it with cheese (Egyptian Cheddar is always a good choice), jam, or more butter, perhaps graced by a sprinkling of cinnamon & sugar.

Recipe after the jump.

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“Whitey” Bulgur Kefteh

Howie Carr is a horrible person, but the story of the Bulger brothers is fascinating.

Al-Masri al-Yum readers clamoring for healthful alternatives having reached an all time high, we reached out to our correspondents to provide them with that for which they’ve been clamoring. “Members Only” Jaquette here offers a healthful (and vegan, for those keeping track) alternative to al-Masri al-Yum’s usual fare.

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Certain things are predictable: the presence of at least one person you know in Horeyya on any given night, that party boats on the Nile will always be playing the “El-3aineb” song by Saad el-Sagheer (I shouldn’t knock, that’s how I learned my first colors in Arabic), that requests to unsubscribe from Cairoscholars will be sent to the list, and that every couple months I will suddenly lose taste for all the recipes I usually cook. The quest for new flavors usually starts with feverish internet browsing, which leads to kitchen experimentation, which most recently has lead to this gem of a recipe: Bulgur, Pumpkin and Chard Kefteh.

For all you with more savory hankerings than sweet teeth, this recipe is quick, healthy, and delicious – plus none of the ingredients require a trip to Metro, Alfa, or the like. The Cairo version is adopted from this recipe for Bulgur and Winter Squash Kefteh (thanks NYT!) and fulfills a craving for whole grains and dark leafy greens.  Those are the kinds of food cravings I fall victim to, at least.

Recipe after the jump.

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Spinach a le Prince

"You've got the spinach so why don't you cook it?"

Some of our readers have complained in the offline comment section of which our aura consists that al-Masri al-Yum is overly devoted to recipes containing inordinate amounts of sugar or cream and other ingredients that the more healthful and/or philistine amongst us abhor. Before another bout of clothes-renting and assaults on our “I’m not rich but my food is” bumper sticker philosophy, please be advised that we are lining up some contributors that promise much healthier fare, including an adherent to the mysterious cult of raw food currently sweeping Egypt and the world. At any rate, creamed spinach is at least half healthy. It’s a frisson, mayne!

Recipe after the jump.

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Terrorist Fist Jab Cake

The "gesture everyone seems to interpret differently," Fox News' E.D. Hill said: "A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab?"

For a long time we were afraid of baking. But because we have wicked sweet teeth and tire of eating Roz bi-Laban from Abu Tarek and McDonald’s caramel sundaes (not to demean their achievements in their respective fields), we got over our fear of exact measurements and took to the oven. It turns out that baking is not that hard.

But it does require some special equipment, unless you have really strong arms and an iron will. Since we’re 0 for 2, we were exceedingly happy when the reigning queen of Cairo baking bequeathed her mixer (to which some of you might refer as a “hand mixer”) to TBE HQ upon her departure to more blustery climes. To say that owning a mixer has revolutionized our life would be an overstatement, but to say it has revolutionized that part of our life that involves baking would be a patent truthhood. Therefore we suggest that you buy one immediately if you haven’t done so already.

So that’s our baking spiel. Basically it’s a field of cooking endeavor with high fixed sunk costs, but we can almost guarantee that your enterprise will enjoy many happy returns.

With that we turn to today’s featured recipe, which some amongst you may know as pound cake, but which we refer to by the more evocative title given above, since everyone knows terrorists have been trying to get their hands on this yellow cake for years, they hate us for our baked goods, etc.

Our recipe is adapted for Cairo from this one from the Smitten Kitchen, our favorite recipe blog. We made it in this loaf pan, which might not be available in Egypt but if you’re on the market we suggest El-Ebiary.

One additional note: Your correspondent is a notorious lover of rich foods, and even he found this cake rich, since it consists almost entirely of butter and sugar. So a loaf will probably feed more people than one would expect from its diminutivish size.

Recipe after the jump.

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Umm Lady HaSha’s Fuul

"Hmmm... Should I serve it with fried or hard-boiled eggs?"

Al-Masri al-Yum recently attended a brunch, “Brekkie with Mama,” which might more aptly’ve been titled “Much Ado About Pancakes,” but we digress. The pancakes were delightful, though they were, in the final analysis, simply a vehicle for some contraband maple syrup smuggled in from the cold, cold north. (It should be noted that we take a soft editorial line on foods, like pancakes and some french fries, that function as condiment conveyance devices.)

Pancakes notwithstanding, the real star of the brunch, in the eyes of many, was the fuul whipped up by the guest of honor, Umm Lady HaSha.

We understand that some readers may question why one would ever make fuul at home, considering its abundance in the streets and alleys of this fair city. The answer is simple: Unlike people, all fuul is not created equal, and it can sometimes be risky to order fuul from an unknown address. Furthermore, this is not your standard fuul recipe, but a triumph of Iraqi-Egyptian fusion cuisine.

Recipe after the jump.

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