Saturday, March 27, 2010

French Salad

French Salad

2 large Potatoes
1 Beet
1 large Carrot
1/2 Cucumber
Deli meat any works.
1can of peas
Salt to taste

First peel your beet and boil till soft. Peel and chop your your potato french fry style. Fry them till very crispy.
Chop cabbage, carrot, cucumber, beet and deli meat julienne style. Arrange the chopped veggies around your plate, in the center add a little mayo and put your peas on top. ( As shown in the pic.) Gives a great presentation and looks pretty on your dinner table. Before serving mix with salad forks add mayo and salt as needed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Qurutob is a vegetarian dish that consist of layered crispy bread, yogurt, tomatoes and onion.

Dough for the bread
Flour as needed
tbsp salt
1 1/2 cups-2 cups water
2 sticks butter
First mix water and salt slowly add flour until you form dough. Let you dough sit for about 20 mins till soft, make sure you cover it. Separate them in to 2 balls and let sit again for 10 mins till soft. On a floured surface roll the first dough out very thin. Melt 1 stick of butter till soft and rub dough with butter. Next cut dough into about 5 strips. Take the first strip of dough and roll it very tight. Take that first strip of dough and place it at the end of the 2nd strip of dough. Roll that piece in the 2nd strip of dough and very gently keep stretching the dough to keep thin. Take the 2nd strip and roll into the 3rd strip and so on until you have them all rolled into each other. Now place the dough up right so the swirly end is facing up. With your hand smash the dough down. Let this dough soften for about 20 mins so you can flatten it. Do same process with 2nd ball of dough.
Next grease your pan and preheat oven to about 350. If your dough is soft you can flatten it into a round shaped bread. Not to flat. Take a fork and poke holes in to the bread so it cooks through out. When oven is ready bake bread till the outside and the bottom are crispy and flaky. The center is softer.

Qurutob filling
Plain Greek yogurt large container
2 yellow onion
2 green onion

While bread is baking, in a saucepan take yogurt and cook it on med continuously stirring add about 1/4 cup water. Try not to make it to watery.  Salt to taste. Make sure you keep stirring well because it will get chunky.  Cook for about 30 mins.

When you bread is ready break it apart into smaller pieces on a large deep serving platter. When yogurt has thickened put it on warm. In a frying pan on med-high cook 3-4 tbsp oil and fry chopped yellow onion until soft. (salt onion a little)  Now the trick to very yummy Qurutob is to keep your oil hot and pour your yogurt mix all over your bread platter. The oil in your frying pan should be soo hot that when you pour it on your platter you should hear a sizzle. After that dice some tomatoes, green pepper and cilantro to garnish the top.
Traditionally people in tajikistan eat Qurutob with their hands.

Send me an email if you have any questions this can be a difficult dish to make.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Musakhan chicken bread wraps

Traditionally Musakhan is made just with chicken sumac and onions but I spice it up with a few extras.

Murquq bread (can be found at your neighborhood international store, or you can make your own just google it)
Chicken with or without bone. I prefer with bone.
red sumac
olive oil

  • Cut the chicken into up into two breasts, two thighs, two legs, and two wings. Salt and pepper the chicken.
  • In a large, deep casserole, heat 1/ 4 cup of the olive oil, then lightly brown the chicken on all sides over a medium heat, about 20 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add the remaining 1/ 4 cup olive oil to the casserole and cook the onions until translucent, about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sumac and cook for 2 minutes to mix.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Cover a 9 x 12-inch baking dish with two overlapping halves of the Arabic bread or 2 sheets of marquq bread. Spoon half the onions over each, then arrange the chicken on top of the onions and cover with the remaining onions and the juices from the casserole. Cover with the two remaining half leaves of bread or sheets of marquq bread, tucking in the sides crusty side up and spray with water. Bake until the chicken is very tender and almost falling off the bone, about 1 1/ 2 hours. Before the top cover of bread begins to burn, spray with water again or cover with aluminum foil.
I love to serve this with a nice soft spicy cheese and you can break the chicken apart and wrap it with the cheese and onions in you marquq bread. I also garnish it with cilantro and fresh garlic

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tajik Osh

Tajik Osh ( Pilaf)

2 cups of rice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 bags of carrots peeled and cut julienne

2 large onions chopped
2 bullion cubes
1 1/2 pound of meat. Steak meat or lamb is preffered
cumin powder and seed.
garlic powder
1 can of chick peas

Now we do not have the kinda of special pan here in the US but the closest thing that I have found is a wok
 make sure its a deep one and round with lid is ideal. This funnel shape is important, so don't use a stock pot.

In your pan heat oil on high to frying temp. Add your meat salt, pepper, garlic and cumin powder the meat. Let it fry till its not pink any more. Reduce heat to med-high add your chopped onions. Cook onions until very soft. Try not to burn onions or meat if med-high is to hot reduce to med. Add all your chopped carrots. fry them till soft. Add more cumin powder just a pinch. When everything is fried you will add your water. This is very important do not add to much. Add about enough to barely cover meat carrots and onion. Add boullion and salt to taste. Let this cook for at least on hour do not cover. About 20 mins before that is done cooking soak and wash your 2 cups of rice.  When meat carrots and onion are done add your can of chick peas. let that cook for about 15mins. Make sure you salt it well it should have a strong cumin flavor and be a little bit salty. You will not be able to salt it after you put in rice. Okay time to add your rice. Drain the water from your soaking rice and pour the rice on top of the meat onions and carrots. Flatten it so its even every where.
You should have enough water and oil to barely cover the rice, if not add a little more water. Let the rice cook for about 20 mins until the rice has absorbed most of the water. Form the rice into a pyramid shape and make holes for the water to steam the rice. Cover tightly on warm for about 20-30 mins. Making it tight is important because the steam cooks the rice. When its done mix rice with the carrots and meat. Cut the meat into small pieces and place them on top of your plate of rice and carrots.

Osh tips
1. Carrots are sweet so add enough cumin to balance it out.
2. Don't cut the meat to small before cooking
3. Layer you lids. When I steam I put as many lids on to keep the steam in.
4. Carrots give color, the more you add the colorful you osh will be
5. Oily osh is good osh

Here is a video that some guy put on youtube he does a few things different than I do but at least you have an idea.

Serve with tajik salad It is in my January archives.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Napoleon Cake

Okay first let me warn you this cake is not so hard but it is time consuming. It is preferred to make this cake the night before it should sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Napoleon Layer Cake

2 sticks of unsalted butter cold
2 cups flour
1/2 cold water

Cut the butter into small pieces. Add flour and keep cutting till they are mixed well. Add cold water and make dough. Separate them in to 8 balls. Roll and bake one by one. If you roll them all they will stick to the counter. So with alot of flour for rolling take one ball roll it flat till about a 8 inch pan will fit to measure in side the dough like a cookie cutter. Preheat oven to 350 and place dough carefully on baking sheet. Bake until golden. When dough is golden get your 8 inch round cake pan and place it upside down and cut around the edges to form a perfect circle.Save the scraps and put aside for later. Do this same technique on the 7 other balls but make sure you poke holes in the prebaked dough so the cream can soak through. The first one without holes is for the bottom of the cake.

5 eggs
4 cups milk
1/3 cup flour
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Mix eggs sugar flour vanilla and 1 cup milk well till there are no more flour chunks. In a sauce pan. Cook the 3 more cups of milk until warm. Add the egg mixture to the saucepan once the milk is warm. Stir vigorously so it doesn't become lumpy. After the mixture boils it should start looking thick. Once the cream is thick put your cake layer with no holes down first cover it with cream. Be careful not to use to much you wanna make sure you have enough for the top of the cake. Keep doing this until you get to the top, add the rest of the cream make sure all the crispy layers are covered. Take the layers scraps that we put aside and crumble them around and on top of the cake. Remember let it cool in the fridge for a least 4 hours. Enjoy. Post a comment if you have any questions.