2019 Cooking Ends: 2020 Cooking Begins

Samsung 870I created a Cookbook folder on my computer back in 2009. Since then, I have added my recipe creations and saved recipes for inspiration.

I am almost done working on my Cookbook. Hopefully, I will have it ready by January 2020.

I originally planned to publish my cookbook back in 2016. But, along came the thoughts and ideas for the Vampire Dancer Saga series, after seeing 3 bats in my house.

I LOVE planning my meals in advance!Samsung 871

That way, there is no excuse to order Pizza Hut, when the fridge or pantry is empty.

I try to plan my meals 1 to 2 weeks in advance, to allow “smart” shopping versus “impulse” shopping.

This week was Epic Tuna and later on, Pork Chops on Croissant Rolls. I love Salad as my side dish for dinner.

Samsung 866I am also prepping the Catfish Nuggets for tomorrow. For breakfast, during work days, I love eating Cottage Cheese with Diced Peaches.

I used to love eating a Bacon, Egg & Cheese sandwich for breakfast. Or a Spam, Egg & Cheese sandwich, or a Sausage, Egg & Cheese sandwich. I am cutting out a lot of bread to lose weight. But I will take a break on my diet to make a Biscuit, Sausage, Country Gravy, Hash Brown, Egg and Cheese Quiche for Christmas.

Ground LambMy Christmas main dish will be a Surf & Turf Spazghetti with Truffle Alfredo Sauce, Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Anchovies, Shrimp Scampi and Cream of Shrimp Condensed Soup. I even have Shrimp Bouillon cubes to boil the spaghetti pasta in. This will be epic!

For a lighter meal next week, I have a can of Baked Beans and I can chop and fry Polish Sausage to cook with it. A “Grown Up” version of Pork & Beans.

My lunch break during work days is only one hour. So I love to cook in advance and eat leftovers during the week. And then freeze the rest, when I get sick of eating it.

Samsung 862I like to make Black-eyed Peas & Cornbread for New Year’s Eve, or a pot of Chili. I plan on making Middle Eastern Chili On December 30th or 31st. The Ground Lamb is so expensive, but since it is a holiday, I will splurge.

If I know that I am planning a meal in advance, I also buy things on sale. I plan on making Meatloaf, and I have some of the ingredients now that can be used for other meals, in a pinch. For example: diced tomatoes. can be used in Spaghetti, Chili or Meatloaf. So I try to buy them on sale and stock up.

I ran out of Mirepoix, so I have to wait to make the Macaroni & Cheese with Cream of Mushroom Soup. Boo!

Samsung 864Along with the Surf & Turf Spazghetti, that is way too much pasta. But I still kept it in the picture with the Catfish Nuggets for my Happy Vance Day on December 21st. TODAY!

 

Check out the sample and get your copy here:  Audible.com The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 Audiobook

The Vampire Dancer Saga Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all Audiobooks now available at  Audible.com and iTunes (click the word Audible or iTunes to open link to store).

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

SHALIMAR ALI BOOKS AT AMAZON

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 @ Amazon Kindle (June 13, 2016)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 3 by Shalimar Ali (Apr 13, 2014)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2 by Shalimar Ali (Dec 11, 2012)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga by Shalimar Ali, Shalimarali and N/A (Jul 25, 2012)

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Learn to Belly Dance Textbook & Certification Program: Dance Lessons & Choreographies For Students, Troupes, Performers… by Shalimar Ali (Aug 17, 2011)

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GARLICKY GREEK LEMON CHICKEN

Greek Chicken Dinner 029The Umami Flavor Bomb!

On cooking show competitions it is always a compliment to hear that your food has Umami. You, know, that bold flavor bomb that comes from strong ingredients like garlic, bacon, onion, cheese, pepper, anchovies or lemon/lime, AKA the 7 wonders of the food world. u·ma·mi /o͞oˈmämē/noun: Umami

  • a category of taste in food (besides sweet, sour, salt, and bitter), corresponding to the flavor of glutamates, especially monosodium glutamate.

I love food with Middle Eastern flavors such Sumac, Feta and Greek Chicken Dinner 026Greek Yogurt. I used to Belly Dance at the Kabob House. One of my favorite dishes was their Lamb Kabob and Rice, seasoned with Sumac. So here is my take on a baked chicken, marinated with Sumac and Greek Yogurt. Opa!

GREEK CHICKEN INGREDIENTS:

1. Chicken fresh bone-in, such as thighs or breasts, 2-3 ½ lb. (or use Frozen Chicken that you can defrost over 3 days)

2. Stubb’s Chicken Marinade Mix Citrus & Onion, 1 oz

3. Sumac, recommended Zamouri Spices, 2-3 tablespoons

4. Greek Yogurt Traditional Plain, recommended The Greek Gods, 8-16 oz.Samsung 309

5. Anchovies, recommended Crown Prince, 2 oz.

6. Feta cheese chunk, recommended President, 4 oz.

7. Feta cheese crumbles, recommended President, 4 oz. for garnish

8. Olive Medley (Kalamata pitted, whole and sliced, Green Salad sliced, Black Olives sliced) ¾ cup

9. Capers non-pareil, recommended Crosse & Blackwell, ¼ cup

10. Lemons, 2 (slice one and dice the other into 4 chunks)

11. Tomato, dice into 4 chunksGreek Chicken Dinner 014

12. Garlic, 5 cloves

13. Vinegar (your favorite, Red Wine, Apple Cider, Balsamic, etc.)

14. Rosemary Leaf, ½ teaspoon, divided

15. Tarragon Leaf, ½ teaspoon, divided

16. Naan Bread, 1 per meal

17. Truffle Oil, 1 teaspoon or less for Naan

GREEK CHICKEN INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Garlic Greek Chicken 015Fresh Chicken (add to Ziplock bag and cover with Sumac and Chicken Marinade). I was not baking my chicken that day, so I froze it.

2. For fresh chicken, add the Yogurt and marinade for ½ hour or longer

3. For frozen chicken, add the Yogurt to the bag and thaw in refrigerator for 3 days

4. Preheat oven to 325 when ready to cook

5. Season lemon and tomatoes with ¼ of Rosemary and Tarragon Leaf

6. Add chicken to baking dish and cover with Anchovy oil

7. Put the Anchovies beneath the chicken pieces and top the Anchovies with GarlicGreek Chicken 003

8. Add the Olive Medley with Capers between pieces and cover with Feta Cheese Chunk slices

9. Cover chicken with Lemon slices

10. Pour vinegar over the chicken

11. Cover with ¼ of Rosemary and Tarragon Leaf

12. Cover with foil

13. Bake at 325 for 1 hourGreek Chicken 006

14. Remove foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes

15. Add Truffle Oil to lemon and tomato chunks

16. Grill Lemon and tomato chunks

17. Remove and grill Naan bread for 2 minutes per side to get grill marks

SAFFRON RICE INGREDIENTS:

  1. Yellow Saffron Rice, recommended Mahatma, 5 oz.
  2. Turkey Broth and/or water 1 ½ to 2 cups
  3. Chicken Bouillon Cubes, 2Greek Chicken Dinner 001
  4. Feta cheese crumbles, recommended President, 4 oz. for garnish
  5. Greek Yogurt Traditional Plain, recommended The Greek Gods, 2 tablespoons
  6. Saffron, recommended Sun Brand, 5 to 10 strands
  7. Truffle Oil, 1 teaspoon
  8. Truffle Zest, ¼ teaspoon
  9. Butter, 2 pats, separated
  10. Rosemary Leaf, ½ teaspoon
  11. Tarragon Leaf, ½ teaspoon

SAFFRON RICE INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add Truffle Oil, Truffle Zest, 1 Butter pat, Rosemary and Tarragon and heat for 2 minutes in your sauce pan
  2. Prepare according to Rice package directions.
  3. Add Bouillon Cubes and Broth/Water to pan and bring to a boilGarlic Greek Chicken 011
  4. Add rice, cover pan, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Stir in Yogurt, Feta Cheese crumbles and 1 Butter pat

I am out of Tzatziki sauce at the moment. However, you can whip one up using Yogurt, Lemon juice (from the grilled lemons), Garlic and Dill. Perhaps, I will make that tomorrow, using my mini Chop Blender.

The baked Feta Cheese chunk slices mimic Greek Flaming Cheese: Saganaki! Even though it was baked, it did become crisp and benefit from the Olive Tapenade, Balsamic Vinegar and Anchovy Umami. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saganaki

  • In Greek cuisine, Saganaki (Greek σαγανάκι) is any one of a variety of dishes prepared in a small frying pan, the best-known being an appetizer of fried cheese. Garlic Greek Chicken 004
  • The cheese used in cheese saganaki is usually graviera, kefalograviera, halloumi, kasseri, kefalotyri, or sheep’s milk feta cheese. Regional variations include the use of formaela cheese in Arachova, halloumi in Cyprus, and vlahotiri in Metsovo. The cheese is melted in a small frying pan until it is bubbling and generally served with lemon juice and pepper. It is eaten with bread.
  • Other dishes cooked in a saganaki pan include shrimp saganaki (Greek: γαρίδες σαγανάκι, garídes saganáki), and mussels saganaki (Greek: μύδια σαγανάκι, mýdia saganáki), which are typically feta-based and include a spicy tomato sauce.
  • In many United States and Canadian restaurants, after being fried, the saganaki cheese is flambéed at the table (sometimes with a shout of “opa![2]), and the flames then usually extinguished with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. This is called “flaming saganaki” and apparently originated in 1968 atGarlic Greek Chicken 005 The Parthenon restaurant in Chicago‘s Greektown,[2][3][4][5] based on the suggestion of a customer to owner Chris Liakouras.[6].

That was the best and most flavorful rice I have ever made in my lifetime. It might be just as good as the Kabob House, but it will be just the Umami I need for dinner! Opa!

Check out the sample and get your copy here:  Audible.com The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 Audiobook

The Vampire Dancer Saga Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all Audiobooks now available at  Audible.com and iTunes (click the word Audible or iTunes to open link to store).Greek Chicken Dinner 025

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

SHALIMAR ALI BOOKS AT AMAZON

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 @ Amazon Kindle (June 13, 2016)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 3 by Shalimar Ali (Apr 13, 2014)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2 by Shalimar Ali (Dec 11, 2012)

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The Vampire Dancer Saga by Shalimar Ali, Shalimarali and N/A (Jul 25, 2012)

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Learn to Belly Dance Textbook & Certification Program: Dance Lessons & Choreographies For Students, Troupes, Performers… by Shalimar Ali (Aug 17, 2011)

SOCIAL MEDIA

TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/Shalimaral

FACEBOOK:
http://www.facebook.com/shalimar.ali.9

YOUTUBE:
https://www.youtube.com/user/Shalimarali

BLOG:
https://learnbellydancewithshalimarali.com/

LINKEDIN:
www.linkedin.com/pub/shalimar-ali/3a/5a9/8a4/

INSTAGRAM
https://www.instagram.com/shalimarali5/