Author: DeeDee Ostrowska-Abdulhusein

Our Eastern Kitchen - Vegetarian Iraqi Biryani - Recipe - Food Photography

Iraqi Biryani

Name and pronunciation: البرياني [biryani]Description: our favourite vegetarian version of Iraqi biryaniType of cuisine: Arabic — Iraqi biryani is the first dish my husband cooked for me and it is sill one of my favourite tastes. It differs from the original, Indian version. It has much more rich and complex flavours and textures. There are many different ways to make biryani and we make it vegetarian, but you can opt to add some meat as well. — Approximately 4-6 people • Cooking time: about 60 minutes — Tips: 01All ingredients are quick and easy, but need to be prepared separately, so it is better to be organised and have everything ready in advance 02Feel free to use the same oil to fry all the ingredients. You will need a little more oil than usually. It is not exactly deep-frying, but you need about ½ good quality olive oil. Use a draining spoon to remove one type of ingredient, before adding another one. — Ingredients: ✽ medium potato✽ 1-2 medium carrots✽ 1 medium onion✽ ½ cauliflower✽ 2 cups rice (best to use …

Our Eastern Kitchen - Rich Chocolate Cake - Recipe - Food Photography

Rich Chocolate Cake

This is by far my son’s favourite cake. He asks me to make it for him for his birthday every single year, without a fail. It has a rich chocolatey taste, but it is not too sweet and has a very soft, brownie-like consistency and texture. It is also so easy to make! — Preparation time: about 30 minutes • Baking time: 35-40 minutes — Ingredients: Cake: ✽ 1 cup flour ✽ ¾ cup sugar ✽ ½ cup milk ✽ 100 g baking chocolate ✽ 80 g butter ✽ 2 eggs ✽ 1 baking powder ✽ pinch of salt ✽ topping of fresh fruit and/or orange, lemon or lime zest (optional) Ganache: ✽ 100 g dark chocolate ✽ 100 g butter (could be a little less) Lime whipped cream: ✽ 250 g mascarpone ✽ 250 ml crème fraîche ✽ 1 lime — Method: 01In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Be careful not to burn it, so as soon as it has melted take it off heat and add the chocolate. Keep stirring and hot butter will melt the chocolate safely and turn it …

Our Eastern Kitchen - Delicious Pierogi with Cottage Cheese - Recipe - Food Photography

Delicious Pierogi with Cottage Cheese

Name and pronunciation: pierogi z serem [pee-yeh-ro-ghi z seh-rem] – there is no need for the “s” at the end so often used in English. “Pierogi” is already a plural form. Description: dumplings with dry cottage cheese Type of cuisine: Polish — This is a true taste of my childhood. My late maternal grandmother made the best pierogi with cheese. This recipe is based on how she made them. — Approximately 40 pieces • Preparation time: about 60 minutes • Resting time: 30 minutes (optional) • Cooking time: 1-2 minutes — Tips: 01With fresh pierogi, you have a choice between serving them just cooked, or frying them. After cooling or freezing, you should fry them. 02Both fresh and fried pierogi with cottage cheese are perfect when served with fried onions or sour cream. — Ingredients: Dough: ✽ one portion of pierogi dough Cottage cheese filling: ✽ 250 g Polish dry cottage cheese  ✽ 250 g potatoes ✽ 1 large onion ✽ 1 teaspoon salt (to taste) ✽ 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (to taste) ✽ 2 teaspoons black seed (Nigella Sativa, to taste) — Method: 01Make a portion of dough and …

Our Eastern Kitchen - Pierogi Dough and Making Technique - Recipe - Food Photography

Pierogi Dough and Making Technique

Name and pronunciation: pierogi [pee-yeh-roh-ghi] – there is no need for the “s” at the end so often used in English. “Pierogi” is already a plural form.Description: dumplingsType of cuisine: Eastern European — It is a very basic recipe, but it works every time. I like this dough for its elasticity. It makes making pierogi easier, it does not tear and they do not stick to each other during cooking. — Approximately 40 servings • Preparation time: about 15 minutes • Resting time: 30 minutes (optional) • Cooking time: 1-2 minutes — Tips: 01Perfect pierogi need a specific filling to dough ratio. This means the dough cannot be too thick. Make sure you roll the dough enough and if it is still too thick, stretch it out a little in your hands before adding the filling. 02Do not forget to add oil to water, it will prevent pierogi from sticking to each other. In fact, when you are placing them in water, try aiming at oil patches. 03Pierogi can be eaten straight after cooking or fried. In my family, we always fry them …

Our Eastern Kitchen - Polish Cottage Cheese - Recipe - Food Photography

Polish Cottage Cheese

Name and pronunciation: twaróg [t-fah-rook]Description: cottage cheeseType of cuisine: Eastern European — Twaróg is dry variety of quark very popular across various Eastern European cuisines. In Polish, another name for this kind of cheese is simply “white cheese” ser biały [seh-r biah-we]. It is delicate, crumbly and slightly sour. Unfortunately, it has to easy replacement in local shops, but you can get in any Polish shop. It is worth the trip! — Uses: Pierogi, pierogi leniwe (lazy pierogi), sernik, traditional Polish pancakes, pasta, cheese spreads. — Tips: 01There are few types of cottage cheese. You can choose between full-fat 10%, semi-skimmed 5% and skimmed 0,5%. I always choose full-fat option. It is creamy and it is truly best for cooking and baking. 02If you are planning to bake a traditional Polish cheese cake, look for an option that is pre-ground cheese available in 1 kg buckets. Otherwise, you will have to do it yourself three times! — Enjoy!

Our Eastern Kitchen - Beeswax Food Wraps Covers - Recipe - Food Photography

Easy to Make Beeswax Food Covers

I cook and bake a lot, so our fridge is usually full of food and fresh ingredients waiting to be used. I do my absolute best to make our kitchen as environmentally friendly as possible, so I choose not to use tin foil or cling film (plastic wrap) to keep it all fresh, but beeswax covers. They are handy, versatile, last very long and you can make them as beautiful as you want. I have tested store-bought covers, but I find them quite pricey, so I decided to make my own. It is much easier than you might think! — Tips: 01Generally, every health store beeswax is suitable for making your beeswax covers, but the finer it is, the easier it will be to spread it evenly. From my experience, the whiter sort which has been pre-exposed to air and light beforehand, is more flexible and sticky afterwards. If you can find white, very fine wax, it is definitely the best for this. 02Yellow beeswax in a lentil shape will also be fine, it just …

Our Eastern Kitchen - Polish Sour Cream - Recipe - Food Photography

Polish Sour Cream

Name and pronunciation: śmietana [sh-me-eh-tah-nah] Description: sour cream Typo of cuisine: Eastern European — In Polish cuisine, sour cream is so important. It is not often used as an actual ingredient, but it is not a mere garnish either! There are some dishes that are just not finished without sour cream. In fact, if you ask for “cream” in Poland, you will get sour cream as a default. — Uses: Different sorts of dumplings (pierogi, leniwe, kopytka, etc.), potatoes (young, boiled potatoes, potato pancakes, etc.), soups, sauces and salads instead of greek yoghurt. — Tips: 01In Polish, śmietana means sour cream, but by śmietanka (“little cream”) we mean crème fraîche. 02Buy Polish sour cream if you can. I always look for local replacements when it comes to cooking abroad, but Polish sour cream really is different. First of all, we have a choice of fat content, but the most popular ones are 12% and 18%, which is rather uncommon in Luxembourg. Also, it is slightly more sour and creamier than the Luxembourgish counterpart. 03If you do not have …

Our Eastern Kitchen - Simple Chocolate Crackle Cookies - Recipe - Food Photography

Simple Chocolate Crackle Cookies

My family loves these simple cookies. They are chocolatey, but not too sweet. You need to plan them a little in advance, since the dough has to harden in a fridge for at least few hours. — Approximately 30 cookies • Preparation time: about 30 minutes • Cooling time: at least 2 hours, could be overnight • Baking time: 12 minutes — Tips: 01If you can prepare the dough the day before, do. It can be chilled in a fridge overnight, no problem. If the dough is not cold enough, icing sugar will melt into the cookie and you will lose the nice crackle effect. 02If cannot chill them for more than 2 hours, do not worry. It should be enough, just split the dough in few pieces, this way it will chill more quickly. — Ingredients: ✽ 225 g baking chocolate✽ 110 g butter✽ 1⅔ cups flour✽ ⅔ cup sugar✽ 3 eggs✽ 2 teaspoons vanilla✽ ½ teaspoon baking powder✽ pinch of salt✽ powdered sugar for rolling — Method: 01Melt the butter and chocolate in a small pot. Use my tip to …

TIP: Melting Chocolate

Beginner bakers often overheat and burn chocolate, but there are two easy ways of melting it into a perfect, silky cream without using water bath (too much hassle and dishes for me). 01If you melt only chocolate, simply weigh the amount you need, break it into smaller pieces and place it in a pot. Set the temperature to the highest setting and once chocolate starts properly melting (after about a minute), switch it off completely and stir. The remaining heat from the pot and the already melted chocolate should be enough to finish the process, but it will not burn as you are not adding any more heat. 02If you need to melt butter and chocolate together, it is even easier. Weigh both, but start from melting butter. It melts much easier and keeps the temperature, so heat up the pot at the maximum heat, melt the butter, then add the chocolate and switch the heat off. The butter will melt chocolate without burning it.

Our Eastern Kitchen - Easy Sourdough Bread - Recipe - Food Photography

Easy Sourdough Bread

Name and pronunciation: chleb na zakwasie [h-leh-p • nah • zack-fah-sheh] Description: sourdough bread Type of cuisine: Eastern European — There are many different recipes for a sourdough, some more difficult than others. This is a perfect one to start your wild yeast adventure. Sourdough bread always takes a while, but this method does not take a lot of effort, just time, which is a great advantage. — Approximately 1.5 kg loaf (or two smalls ones) • Preparation time: about 30 minutes • Resting time: 3 x 12 hours • Baking time: 45 minutes — Tips: 01I find it easier to bake two smaller loaves than one large one. 02To bake, use any cake form, but bread crust needs moisture and high temperature, so I get best results using cast iron pots. 03Always line your forms with parchment paper. 04If your oven does not have a steam function, place a bowl of hot water next to the forms. 05Use bread flour of any kind you like. I usually mix white and whole-wheat flours 50/50, but you can also add …