Archive for the ‘Side Dishes’ Category




(~28 croquettes)


-1 and 1/2 pounds of potato (about 8 mid size)

-2 eggs

-3 tbsp flour

-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

-1 tsp salt

-black pepper to taste

-5.3 oz Mozzarella (150 g)


-1 egg 

-1/4 c milk

-1 c flour

-1 c breadcrumbs



In a saucepan, heat about 3 inches of oil. This height depends on how big your croquettes are. You prefer to have enough oil in your pan for croquettes to float in it. 


Put the boiled and peeled potatoes into a large bowl and mash. Stir in eggs, flour and cheese. Mix well and  season with salt and pepper.


Cut Mozzarella into slim long slices.

Pour flour onto a large plate and the breadcrumbs onto another large plate. Whisk  1 egg with the milk and pour this mixture into another large plate.


Starting with a ball of potato mixture of the size of a small egg, form your croquettes using your hands (it helps to cover your hands with some of the flour to avoid a lot of sticking). They should look like fat cylinders. Put Mozzarella sticks in the middle. Dredge the croquette in flour, then the egg mixture, and finally, the breadcrumbs. Continue until all potato mixture is finished.


Carefully place your croquettes in the hot oil and fry until a deep golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Continue until all croquettes are fried. Serve immediately.


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For the dumpling dough

– 2 cups(about 10 oz) unbleached all purpose flour (plus extra for flouring kneading surface)

–  3/4 cup of water at room temperature

***This amount of dough would make about 20 to 30 wrappers. However, if it is your first time making dumplings from scratch, increase the dough amount by at CHINESSE DUMPLING

least 30%, that will give you room to practice and reduce the pressure to make perfectly thin wrappers.

For the Fillings( makes around 30 dumplings)

 – 2/3 lb ground beef, or any type of ground meat you like

–  5 cups of chopped green squash. The volume will shrink by 50% after you salt it.

–  2 tablespoon olive oil

–  1/2 teaspoon black pepper

–  1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

 – 1 chopped onion



Clean the Green squash and chop them.

Toss the chopped squash in a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon salt, set aside for 15 minutes. Water will start pooling at the bottom of the bowl. Squeeze out as much water as you can, and the squash will be reduced to half the volume from before.

Next add olive oil, onion, salt and black pepper to the ground beef. The filling should be shiny, fragrant, and it should hold together. Next add the squash and stir until everything is combined.


Pre-made wrappers can be used to save time. When you want to indulge yourself and loved ones, handmade fresh wrappers are worth a try. =)

Keep some plastic wrap handy to cover your dough and wrappers from drying out, and flour them lightly to keep from sticking. Start with 1/2 lb of the dough; roll it into 12″ long and 1″ wide log, cut it into 12-15 pieces. Press to flatten each piece.

Take one disk, and start rolling from edge to center with a small rolling pin in one hand, and rotating the disk with the other hand after each roll. Keep rolling until you have a disk about 3″ in diameter.

This technique helps to create a wrapper that is thinner towards the edge and thicker at the center. So the dumpling is strong enough to hold lots of fillings, yet delicate and not too doughy.


Filling and Shaping Dumplings


Cook the Dumplings

Now it’s only minutes away from biting into a luscious dumpling! Boiled dumplings taste more refreshing, and fried ones taste richer.

To fry the dumplings, place a non-stick skillet over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl. Place the dumplings in, try not to have them touching each other. After 1 or 2 minutes, you will hear a sizzle sound starting to happen, add 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup of water and cover the lid. Lower the heat to medium and let the dumplings steam for about 5 minutes. By now the water will have evaporated. Remove the lid; check if the bottoms of the dumplings have formed a nice golden crust. If not, let them cook uncovered a little longer.

To boil the dumplings, bring a big pot of water – about 3 quarts, to a rapid boil, drop the dumpling gently into the pot, keep the high heat, stir gently so the dumpling don’t stick to the pot, and wait till the water comes back to a boil. Now pour a cup of cold water (0.5 cup if you are using a smaller pot with less water) into the pot and let it come back to boil again. This gives more time for the filling to steam inside, while not over cooking the wrapper. Repeat this step one more time, and when the dumplings float to the surface, and 5 to 7 minutes have passed, scoop them out onto a strainer and transfer to a plate.

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Ethiopian Spicy Red Lentils




1 medium onion


3-4 tablespoons oil


1 heaping tbsp Berbere spice (less, 1 tsp if berbere is homemade)


1 large TBsp tomato paste


1 cup dry split red lentils


2.5 cups water


1 tsp Salt





Chop onion and sautee in medium sized pot with a few generous tablespoons of oil for about 4-5 minutes until onions are soft. Add in tomato paste and Berbere spice and stir until mixed thoroughly. If mixture is too thick, add about 1/4 cup of water. Cook mixture another 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.




Add lentils, water and salt. Cover, and simmer at medium heat until lentils are fully cooked – about 15 or 20 minutes. If mixture becomes dry before lentils are cooked, add small amounts of water to mixture (so it doesn’t burn). If they are too wet, then take the lid off the last 5 min of cooking time. Serve hot, with Injera on the side. (If you can’t find injera, it goes well with rice too.)

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Icli Kofte (Ground Beef Stuffed Bulhur Shells)




2 cups fine bulgur


2 cups boiled and mashed potato


2 Tbsp pepper paste


1 tsp black pepper


1 tsp salt


½  cup water

½  cup flour –Stuffing—


1 pound ground beef(medium fat)


1 onion( chopped)


½  bunch (parsley )

½  cup walnut


1tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt


*2 cups olive oil to fry





In a large pan or skillet, brown the onions with the beef continuously mixing over medium-high heat for about 15-20 minutes.


When browned and crumbly, remove from heat and add parsley, walnuts, and spices. Mix well and cover.




Soak the bulgur in warm water in a large bowl and cover. Let it sit for 10-15 min. Add all the shell mixture ingredients including the potatoes and start kneading. Have a small bowl of water handy, because you will need to dip your hands in the water while kneading. Keep kneading for 15-20 minutes (longer if necessary) until all the ingredients are mixed well and the shell mixture is soft enough to give a shape.




Take an egg size piece from the bulgur mixture, with wet hands flatten the piece so that it semi covers your palm. Fill about 2 teaspoons of meat filling in the center.


With wet hands close together the sides and encase the filling by molding the shell. Repeat until all the bulgur mixture is gone. STEP 4


Heat the oil in a large pan. When the oil is ready, add the stuffed shells and fry both sides until they are golden brown

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bulgur pilavi




– 5 tbsp corn oil

– 4 tbsp butter

– 1/2 cup vermicelli

– 3 cup bulgur

– 7 cup hot water

– 2 tbsp salt



Step 1

Place the oil in a saucepan or pot and add the vermicelli or orzo. Over low-heat, fry until their color starts changing to golden brown. Do not over fry, as soon as you see the golden brown color  add the butter  and bulgur.


Step 2

Add the salt and close the lid and cook over low heat, until the bulgur absorbs all the water. Meanwhile you can stir once or twice. Let the pilaf stand for about 5-10 minutes before serving.




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– 1+1/2 cup rise

– 1 tbsp salt

– 3 cups hot water

(Soak rice in hot salt  water  for 30 minutes, then rinse and drain)

– 3 cups onion (chopped)

– 1/4 cup corn oil

– 1/4 cup olive oil

– 1/2 cup hot water

– 1 tsp salt

– 1 tsp crushed  red pepper

– 1 tbsp dried mint

– 1/4 tsp black pepper

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Bulghur Pilaf with Dried Tomatoes

2 cups bulghur
1 big onion (chopped)
2 cups hot water
1/2 cup dried tomatoes (petite diced)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp pepper paste
Olive oil
Dried mint
Crushed red pepper

Put dried tomatoes in warm water for a while. Sauté chopped onion in a pan with olive oil, till it becomes golden yellow. Add tomato paste, pepper paste and stir together. Add bulghur, salt, mint, crushed red pepper and tomatoes, stir 2-3 more minutes.
Add hot water and cover the lid. Let it boil and lower the heat. Let the bulghur pilaf cook until it absorbs all the water. Remove from heat and let pilaf stand for ~ 10 min before serving.

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