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Upright Roasting Rack for Chicken and Small Poultry

One of the most useful tools I have in the kitchen for roasting chicken and other small birds is this upright roasting rack that actually folds away for easy storage. Once you put the pieces together, you basically just plop the bird down in their by placing its hollow cavity face down onto the rounded middle section. The pointed...

Steaming Basics

Steaming Basics | My Halal Kitchen
Steaming is universally known as a healthy method of cooking because little fat, if any, is needed in the process. One of the oldest known methods of cooking, water vapor produced during steaming is even hotter than oven heat because steaming transfers heat so efficiently. It’s also one of the quickest cooking methods at our disposal. Two Types of Steaming Water...

Sejouk (Spicy Sausage)

Sejouk (also known as sudjuk, sujuk, or merguez) is a spicy version of sausage that is common in Middle Eastern cuisine, stemming from places like Morocco, Algeria, Turkey, Bosnia, Albania and more. They are not made from pork, but typically beef and sometimes a lamb-beef mixture with an addition of spices like smoked paprika for flavor and color.

Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons | My Halal Kitchen Pantry
If there's one ingredient that says "Moroccan cooking" it's preserved lemons. They're smaller than most lemons found in the U.S. and also sweeter. Traditionally preserved in salt and lemon juice, they are used in tagines, stews and other dishes after the lemons have had time to sit in a tightly sealed jar for several weeks. Once the jar is opened...

Ostrich Eggs

Ostrich Eggs | My Halal Kitchen Pantry
Ostrich eggs might not even be on your radar as anything other than what you might see at a zoo, but kid you not they are available if you seek them out. I found these at Chicago's Green City Indoor Market in the winter (2011) and was amazed at the size and the seriousness of the vendor selling them-...

Pot Roast

Pot Roast | My Halal Kitchen Pantry
To make a pot roast, you will need a boneless cut of beef that's commonly referred to as chuck roast, pot roast (top blade) or rump roast. Approximately 5 pounds will make a nice roast and serve 6-8 people (thinly sliced). I like to cook it slowly with vegetables like carrots, onions and potatoes in a Dutch oven, as...

Hen Eggs

Hen Eggs | My Halal Kitchen Pantry
Hen eggs, a.k.a. chicken eggs, are the most commonly consumed eggs in America, but not all eggs are the same. Depending on the type chickens and the way they are raised, quality can vary greatly.  Choose free range eggs whenever possible, as hens who are able to roam freely and forage in a natural habitat with exposure to natural...

Pakistani Dundicut Peppers

Pakistani Dundicuts Halal Pantry Item My Halal Kitchen
I was pleasantly surprised to find these dried hot peppers at Penzey's Spices in Cleveland near the famed West Side Market. I had never seen or heard of them before but was intrigued by their origin and the fact that they looked very much like many of the dried Mexican hot peppers I commonly find in the grocery markets...

Linguine with Spinach, Mushrooms & Garlic

quick, easy recipes, linguine with mushrooms and garlic
If there is any one pasta dish you should make this week, it's this one. Whether you're a Meatless Monday subscriber (or any day of the week you plan to go vegetarian) or a strict vegetarian, this dish is savory, delicious and filling. Perhaps the trick is using fully aromatic Crimini mushrooms whose texture is full and meaty, giving your...

Baked Salmon in Papillote

baked-salmon
Salmon is one of the easiest types of fish to make on a regular basis. It's thick texture stays together nicely when cooking, so whether you're frying, grilling or baking it, it tends to stay together really well.  This is great news for novice cooks or those who are a little intimidated to cook fish at all.  And winter...

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Soup Recipe | My Halal Kitchen
Chicken Noodle Soup is arguably a winter necessity because the flu is hitting a lot of people hard right now. On the local news here in Chicago, we've been told that area hospital emergency rooms are swamped with people being treated for the flu- heavy coughing and sneezing that they just can't shake off without medical attention, yet flu...

Slow-Roasted Moroccan Mechoui

I'm really thrilled to bring you the next 'Eid ul Adha recipe from Christine (Amina) Benlafquih, a journalist, wife and mother living in Morocco since 2000 who writes everything you want to know about Moroccan food at About.com. She has so many wonderful recipes, tips, and insights about Moroccan cuisine and culinary traditions that if you're interested in this part of...

Creamy Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Creamy Pasta with Roasted Vegetables | My Halal Kitchen
A day in the life of recipe testing goes a lot like this: Creamy Pasta with Roasted Vegetables  -shop for fresh ingredients and bring them home to sort out -wash and dry fresh herbs and produce -chop everything -get out the camera, notebook and pen and jot down the step-by-step procedure of each recipe -take a snapshot at every interesting point That's mostly before all the...

5 Tips for An Easy ‘Eid Party

home-garden
This Ramadan has been so much fun. I've had a great time soaking up all the great ideas for home décor, party ideas for kids, and meeting the creative women and men behind design inspiration that caters to the way we Muslims celebrate and value our holidays in a colorful and beautiful way.   Rana Bacaloni is one of those women....

Culinary and Cosmetic Uses of Argan Oil

Culinary & Cosmetic Uses of Argan Oil | My Halal Kitchen
Have you ever tried argan oil?  It is some really amazing stuff that is great for cooking as well as making yourself beautiful on a budget...not that you need any more beautifying, of course.  In the past year I've been using it in my cooking and even more so on my sensitive skin (the cosmetic grade) in a massive...

Violet Rice Pudding

Uzma Sharif is a Chicago-based chocolatier and owner of Chocolat Uzma, both an online shop and a brick and mortar one  in Chicago. I just love supporting women in business, and those running a specialty food business at that. Her chocolates are infused with the exotic aromas of South Asia and made so beautiful you need some time to enjoy...

Pistachios and Walnuts: A Deeper Look at the Most Widely Used Nuts in Syrian and Middle Eastern Desserts

Nadia Hubbi of Sweet Pillar & Co. gives us her take on how two of the healthiest and most traditional nuts of the Middle East stack up in food history, health benefits and culinary use. It's an interesting look at both walnuts and pistachios, some of the most widely-used nuts in traditional Middle Eastern cooking that are making big...

Tips For Celebrating Ramadan In Style

celebrating-eid
I am so delighted to bring you this article by Jomana Siddiqui, founder of modernEID.com who creates some of the most beautifully designed 'Eid decor for the home, something I've been in search of for years now. I asked Jomana to give us some of her best tips on how to celebrate Ramadan in style and bring the beauty and...

The Story Behind Patchi Chocolates

Last year during Ramadan I introduced you to Patchi chocolates because I fell in love with their quality and taste. I had all but given up on ever finding the taste of real chocolate mixed with real nuts like hazelnuts, pistachio, and almonds that I grew up enjoying whenever someone in my family came to visit from Italy bearing gifts...

Are You Ready for Ramadan Cooking?

Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic calendar (lunar) and the holy month of fasting is approaching quickly. There is so much to prepare and it can be quite overwhelming if you think about it all at once. For those of you who are new to My Halal Kitchen, you may not realize that there are lots of organizational...

Grilled Eggplant and Pepper Salad

Summer food is equivalent to grilling, right? Well, in the intense heat we're feeling here in the Midwest I'm not sure everyone is so excited about firing up the grills all the time. I mean, it's really hot- even in the evenings I've seen temps at 98° F. That said, with all the amazing summer produce to be found...

Icelandic Haddock in Lemongrass Basil Simmer Sauce

Unless you have an amazing Asian store nearby that sells fresh ingredients from the East, it’s pretty hard to find things like lemongrass, real coconut and interesting chili peppers to cook with, unfortunate because when combined they make for such an exotic and flavorful combination like what's been prepared for us in one of the latest simmer sauces by Saffron...

Chicken Rogan Josh with Potatoes, Peas and Cilantro

Rogan Josh is a north Indian curry dish that is typically served with lamb. The word rogan is Persian for oil and josh mans hot or heat (some also say it means passionate).  Despite the name or meaning, I've not ever had this dish at the multitude of Indian restaurants, weddings or gatherings that I've attended, and I thought I had tried just...

Chicken Sausages with Heirloom Tomatoes

Chicken Sausages with Heirloom Tomatoes | My Halal Kitchen
On a recent trip to our local butcher, I inquired about the homemade merguez they always used to have on hand. He said they weren't making any more of it because folks weren't buying much of it, for some reason. I always thought it was delicious so I must've sounded pretty bummed out to hear that. He did, however, have some chicken sausages...

Myth #2: Halal Food Isn’t Clean

The second notion to tackle in our series, Myths About Halal Food, is one that questions the cleanliness of halal foods (including the process of making it). my stewed zucchini and tomato recipe I am completely saddened to hear people say or think that halal food isn't clean and that their experiences with ‘halal’ meat markets or restaurants were horrific. That...

Quick Kidney Beans with Tomatoes, Onions and Cilantro

Quick Kidney Beans in Tomatoes | My Halal Kitchen
It's true, I travel with food. It's not because I'm a food blogger, a halal foodie or averse to outside food. It's because I like to feel good and comfortable by eating what I know is healthy, especially when I have the time to relax and cook (yes, cooking is relaxing to me).   Quick Kidney Beans with Tomatoes, Onions and...

Myths About Halal Food

It’s not too often that I receive direct questions about what halal food is or what’s entailed in the processes that bring halal food to the table. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad thing, but I would hope that if people don’t understand it then they would look to credible sources to get a truthful and thorough...

Spicy Olive Tapenade

Appetizer aren't just for entertaining guests. I've come to learn that keeping homemade appetizers around my house is a great way to eat healthy by avoiding eating outside, eating junk food or not eating until one is ravished with hunger at the dinner table- not pretty. We definitely want to avoid that. So, one of the most recent appetizers I've...

A Simple Way to Jazz Up Your Refrigerator

A couple of weeks ago when my husband was away for a few days, I had some time on my hands to work on a few projects on my 'someday' list. Since moving recently, I really wanted to bring color to my new spaces, whether it was the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or my office. I wanted to really love...

Ruby Red Grapefruit & Blood Orange Juice

One of the ways I try  improve my overall health is by making fresh juice most mornings and sometimes again later in the evenings for a refreshing drink.  Right now (winter season), grapefruits and oranges are at their best so they are absolutely delicious and juicy. My favorites are the ruby red grapefruits and blood oranges, which are almsot the same...

Tuna Pasta with Olives, Capers & Tomatoes

This is a great weekend dish- really healthy, light, and super quick to make. The only ingredient that's actually cooked is the pasta. Chop and prep the remaining ingredients so they're ready to go as soon as the pasta is drained so the they are warmed up and ready for serving. It's still good, but just not the same if...

Saffron Road’s New Line of Vegeterian Entrees

You may have already heard about Saffron Road's new vegetarian entrees, which are making quite a buzz on places like Facebook and Twitter. Vegetarians, vegans and those who are gluten-free are raving about the flavors and quality of these products, and I couldn't agree more. These Manchurian Dumplings photographed above were soft, saucy and had a nice kick of spice to...

5 Tips for Eating Well During Tough Economic Times

tIt's no secret that many people are suffering right now as a result of unemployment, rising costs of food and just about everything else. We're bombarded with news and information about the fluctuating economy and told time and time again that it's wise to save money, while at the same time we're given so many horror stories about what's...

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

Blue Corn for Microwave Popcorn | My Halal Kitchen
I recently heard that it was possible to make microwaved popcorn without buying bags of pre-seasoned, ready-to-pop-into-the-microwave popcorn in a bag. It sounded so much healthier to be able to put whatever I want into my bag so that I know exactly what we're eating, but also not as messy as heating oil in a pan and covering it to wait...

Bon Appétit Magazine Presented Chicago Gourmet

Bon Appetit at Chicago Gourmet | My Halal Kitchen
Last Saturday morning I had the pleasure of attending the Chicago Gourmet event in Chicago's Millenium Park. You know the kind of experience that leaves you in a happy place for the entire remainder of the day, no matter what else happens? It was that kind of experience. How could it not be? With celebrity chefs like Rick Bayless, Chicago food critic Steve Dolinsky...

Cherries and Sunsets on a Wisconsin Peninsula

It's been a long time since I've taken a spontaneous trip, one that's planned the day before heading out for a long weekend to a place I've never visited. Art gallery on a pier and a gorgeous wooden sailboat rocks gently in the wind next to it in Ephraim, WI. Recently we had a long weekend and wanted to go towards the fresh...

Top Chef Contestant Malika Ameen Talks to My Halal Kitchen

It isn't every day that you get to 'meet' a pastry chef like Malika Ameen. If you don't know her already, here's a great chance to get acquainted with one of the country's finest culinary professionals--and we're fortunate enough to have her right here with us in Chicago. Even if you've seen her as a contestant on Top Chef: Just...

Feta, Avocado & Homemade Mayonnaise Torta

Feta & Avocado Sandwich + A Recipe for Homemade Mayonnaise | My Halal Kitchen
Everyone has some sort of comfort food. Some people love cakes for soothing comfort; others love chicken noodle soup or a hearty chili.  For me, it's always a sandwich (aka torta, in Spanish): thick bread, a bit of mayo and mustard, and always some sort of cheese- extra cheese. Recently, I spent over a month in Cleveland with my family. After...

Chicago’s Green City Market and Roasted Chestnuts Recipe

Saturday was a crisp fall morning perfect for heading out to any farmers' market, even if  just to take a look at all of the beautiful fall colors existing within the produce: bright red beets, crisp green lettuces, orange pumpkins, gourds from green to yellow to orange, and of course apples in every shade of red imagineable. We needed to...

How to Dry Citrus Peels

How to Dry Citrus Peels | My Halal Kitchen
Whether you have tons of lemons and limes around or just a few, it's easy to preserve the outer skin, or zest, for future use in baking and cooking. Did you ever realize how expensive it can be to purchase a jar of this stuff? It's steep. That's why I make my own. I had a ton of citrus fruits...

An Abundant Antipasto Platter for Your Eid Buffet

If you're having people over on Eid day, chances are you're wondering what to put on the buffet for guests. In the hot summer weather, no one wants to be in front of a stove or eat heavy foods, either. Even if you're doing a barbecue outdoors, chances are plenty of people will be inside munching, too. That's why...

Corn, Mango & Chile Cups

Are you craving a light side dish for Iftar or even want to make a salad into a meal? It's just too hot to cook in most parts of the world at this point in the unofficial summer, so why turn on the oven if you don't have to do it at all and still eat well and feel...

Getting Your Home the Halal Way

Have you dreamt up what your perfect home would look like?  And your dream kitchen where you would enjoy cooking up a storm for your family?  How about a lush garden? And a place to eat outside in the summertime? And of course, a place for your children to play safely within your vision?   Lastly, you can’t forget a place to cozy...

Simple Spinach & Egg Noodle Pasta

On these last days of Ramadan, everyone seems tired from the long day of fasting and especially tired of the intense cooking that comes with feeding a hungry crowd. For me, the further into Ramadan, the simpler my food usually gets and that's actually a very good exercise for the rest of the year's cooking, too. Over the years, I've...

Homemade Strawberry Lemonade

In the heat of the summer, sometimes we crave hydration more than food, especially when fasting during a summer time Ramadan. That's why I love to freeze fruits and use them as 'ice cubes' in a variety of drinks and one of my favorite of these drinks is the super delicious homemade Strawberry Lemonade. It's not too sweet (you...

Ramadan is an Opportunity in Culinary Diplomacy

Recipes by Menus | My Halal Kitchen
My First Fast Was Just an Experiment The first time I fasted in Ramadan I wasn’t a Muslim; I was a curious young woman who had recently experienced a very short but very impactful trip to Morocco during the blessed month several years earlier. I learned that the Islamic way of fasting was quite different -- detailed and comprehensive -- in...

Affogato

If you love coffee and ice cream, this quick dessert recipe is for you. Affogato is an Italian word for the super delicious coffee drink with ice cream added to hot coffee- and it's fantastico, especially in the summer when you want coffee but you also want ice cream... Enjoy the video recipe-and thank me later :)

Dates Covered in Chocolate for the Costco Connection UK Magazine

I recently wrote an article for Costco Connection UK Magazine's For Your Table section about dates, which was published earlier this month, just in time for Ramadan. If you have access to the magazine, please give it a read; if not, you may be interested in the recipe below that I shared with the article for Nut-Filled Chocolate-Covered Dates.  They...

Fabulous California Figs for Your Eid Table

By the end of Ramadan, most of us fasting Muslims have completely filled our status quo of date consumption for the month, and perhaps much of the year. It’s that fruit with which we most commonly break our fasts all month long, so they’re typically consumed daily, and in more ways than one. To celebrate the sweet end of the...

Break Your Fast with these Healthy Fruit & Nut Plates

Because it's a Sunnah to break one's fast with dates (something that Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him, used to do), almost all Muslims will follow suit out of love and respect for this tradition.  After breaking the fast with dates, it's common in many cultures to have something fried, savory and salty, which is often very tasty but not always the healthiest...

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