Italian

Peppers & Tomatoes Stuffed with Couscous…and a Drizzle of Lemon Olive Oil

Pre-Cooked Peppers

It’s a common Mediterranean and Middle Eastern culinary habit to stuff vegetables with a variety of grains such as rice or couscous as well as ground meats or nuts like pistachios. That said, this dish is amazingly versatile. If you don’t have peppers, you can substitute zucchinis or eggplants instead; if you don’t have couscous, try cooked rice or meat ... Read More »

Caramel Sesame Candy

caramel sesame candy

Though I’m not particularly a fan of candy, I do love anything with sesames seeds or honey. Additionally, it’s a common traditonal sweet  in both Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine, two of my favorites. This recipe is my version, which is softer than the harder candies found at ethnic grocers. While watching an episode of Lidia’s Italy, I got a pretty good idea of ... Read More »

Lemon-Lime Granita

With so much produce left over from the cooking demonstrations I conducted at the ISNA convention over 4th of July weekend, I had to come up with ways to use and preserve the goods. This lemon-lime granita is just one of the ways I used over 80 limes and 60 lemons left from our beautiful display. Granita, similar to a ... Read More »

Mediterranean Spiced Grilled Chicken

This is such a quick summer dish. Use herbs that are ready for picking, which come perfectly paired with grilled chicken. You can use dried herbs for this dish, but the flavor will not be as intense as using the fresh ones. Serves 4-6 Ingredients 1 lb. thigh or breast boneless, skinless chicken (5 pieces) 3 cloves garlic, minced juice of 1-½ ... Read More »

Insalata Caprese (Tomato and Mozzarella Salad)

The summer season is when I truly crave this dish because it reminds me of being in Italy during the summer time. Hot, arid days in Sicily bring out the best in Roma tomatoes, my favorite for this type of salad.You don’t need to be Italian to enjoy this incredibly flavorful salad, but you can feel like you’re on the ... Read More »

Gelato at Trattoria Oliveri

Do you ever just have a craving for a nice cold gelato after a long walk? Recently, after exploring our nearby forest preserves and parks (we have some great ones in Chicago) I thought a gelato would be a perfect way to end the walk and relax on a warm spring day. The only problem was finding one. We headed to downtown ... Read More »

Corrallini Pasta with French Beans and Cherry Tomatoes

corralini pasta

This is such a light pasta, perfect for warm early spring or summer days. Bring home fresh vegetables from the garden or farmer’s market and come hone to enjoy cooking a quick and easy meal. If you can’t find corrallini pasta, which is a tiny, bite-size pasta, you can use ditalini or any small noodle instead.  Corralini Pasta with French ... Read More »

A Recipe for Spring: Asparagus Burgers

Asparagus Burgers Recipe | My Halal Kitchen

Sunday we took a trip out to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, just to capture the budding spring flowers on trees and, of course, the beautiful, colorful tulips. We also saw asparagus, which reminded me of my mom’s recipe for asparagus burgers, which is one of my favorite dishes.  Here’s the beautiful purple asparagus plant I spotted on our last leg of ... Read More »

City Hall Bake Shop: Home of “Cake Boss”

Italian Flag Cookies by Cake Boss

  Many visitors to Manhattan miss out on the great opportunity to visit nearby Hoboken, NJ.  I have done the same on past trips to The Big Apple, but my most recent trip afforded me the great pleasure and impetus to try visiting the bustling bakery of Buddy Valastro (a.k.a. “Cake Boss”) and his family. Cake Boss is a reality ... Read More »

Simple Foccacia Bread

Foccacia dough doubled in size

Ever since the devastating earthquake in Haiti, I’ve felt it quite frivolous to go about daily tasks such as recipe developing, recipe testing and writing about the intricate details and characteristics of food while an entire island nation of people suffer from lack of the most basic necessities: shelter, water food and medical attention. As I write this, people are ... Read More »