• Welcome to Savory Chic !

    I'm Joe. I'm a writer, blogger, photographer, father, and an occasional chef. I live in the middle of a big city, and i love to eat good food.

    My style of food is simple yet scrumptious. I'm not too concerned about the restaurant styled presentation but focus on it's taste. All my recipes are approved by family, friends, and me.

    So let's start this blog journey and please try the foods I present, you'll love them I promise.

Kufteh Sikh

I was recently at my mom’s house having a coffee, and going through my grandmother’s recipes when I came across a recipe for Kufte Sikh. “What’s this?” I asked. “It’s the long kufte with mint in it” she replied. All of a sudden memories came rushing back. I loved Kufte Sikh! and I haven’t had it in well over 25 years. It was one of my favorite foods to eat as a child, I can clearly remember coming home for lunch everyday while in elementary school and my grandmother would prepare lunch for me as I watched the Flintstones. Kufteh Sikh was definitely one of my favorites.

I asked my mother what “sikh” meant and shoe told me it was the arabic word for skewer. Why a skewer? Nevertheless I made a few adjustments such as using oridnary ground beef instead of the habra (will be discussed in a leter post) which is typically used for kuftehs. And it turned out great. Kufteh Sikh will be a regular in our household for years to come. And yes it’s kid tested. They just gobble these up.

Kufteh Sikh

Ingredients:

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 cup bulghor (fine)
2 tbsp crushed dried mint leaves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp Aleppo pepper
1 1/2 cups water
3 tbsp vegetable oil

Directions:

Soak the bulghor in 1 cup water for 10 minutes.

In a mixing bowl add the meat, all the spices, the soaked bulghor and 1/4 cup water. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes until well combined. I prefer kneading the ingredients with a stand mixer, makes things much easier. Add a little more water if you find the mixture too dry.

Take a piece of meat the size of a walnut and shape into a sausage/hot dog shape, dipping hands in water to avoid sticking.

Arrange the kuftehs on a baking tray greased with 3 tbsp oil or so. Coat the kuftes lightly rolling them in the tray. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 then loosely sprinkle 1/4 cup water over the kuftes with your hands and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Serve immediately with yogurt for dipping and a side salad like Tabouleh.

These kuftehs can be easily frozen before or after they have been cooked. Makes for an easy meal or snack.

JD

Kahke (non sweet)

Kahke is an Armenian pastry, cookie, biscuit which is sometimes savory and sometime sweet. There are many recipes floating around but thought I would share one of my favorites handed down from my tante Salpi in California. Note, this is a non sweetened kahke which go great with a home made or store bought halloum cheese, ill be demonstrating the home made procedure in the coming weeks.

Tante Salpi’s Kahke

6 cups – flour
1 cup – water
1 cup – melted butter
1 cup – Mazola (canola) oil
1 tsp – mahlab
1 tsp – salt
1/4 cup – kolongi seeds (sevagendig)
2 1/2 tsp – baking powder
2 tbsp – Arak

Sift the dry ingredients into mixing bowl and with hook attachment add the wet ingredients and mix until the dough forms a ball, it should take a couple minutes.
Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Take about a inch sized ball in your hands, roll and form into fingers, circles or braids.
Egg wash: 1 egg yolk + 1 tsp. milk
Bake in 350 oven for 25-35 minutes or until the tops start to turn a light golden colour.

All the ingredients should be readily available these days. The mahlab and konongi seeds can be purchased at a middle eastern grocery. Arak should be readily available in liquor stores.
Mahlab is an aromatic spice made from the seeds of a species of cherry)
Kolongi Seed (Nigella sativa) also known as sevgendig, fennel flower, nutmeg flower, black caraway, Roman coriander, and also called black cumin.
Arak is a middle eastern, anis flavoured alcoholic spirit.

Enjoy and let me know how you did.

Armenian Manti or Manteh

 

History: Armenian Manteh or Manti is believed to have originated in China as mantou, and was carried across Central Asia to Anatolia by migrating Mongol peoples in the 13th century. Researchers that manti first reached Cilician Armenia and specifically Aintab, (the town of my great grand parents) as a result of the cultural interaction between Armenians and Mongols during their alliance in this period.

A bit time consuming but once you have tried it you’ll be going back to this recipe time and time again. Get some help and make large quantities, the store them properly in the freezer for a quick and tasty supper. It should be noted that im preparing this recipe the way I prefer it, ill refer to the traditional recipe in brackets.

Dough or outer shell
2 large eggs
1/3 cup water
½ tsp salt
2 cups flour

Meat stuffing
½ lb lean or extra lean ground beef, (traditional recipe calls for lean ground lamb)
1/3 cup (1 medium) finely chopped onion
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
mix together in a bowl

Broth
2 cups chicken broth
½ tbsp tomato paste
¼ tsp black pepper to taste
Bring to boil

For the dough, beat the eggs and stir in water and salt, blend in flour and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
Shape into a ball and let stand in a covered bowl for 1-2 hours.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to an approximate  30”x14” rectangle or about 1/16” think. I then use a pizza cutting wheel to cut the rolled out dough into 1 ¼” – 1 ½” squares.
Place approx ½” – ¾’ of the meat mixture in the center of each square. Lightly dab a bit of water to the edge s of the squares and fold each into a canoe shape by pinching opposite corners together.

Grease 9″ x 14” or 12″ round pan with butter and arrange the manti as pictured below.
Bake at 350 for 45 – 55 minutes until light brown.
(traditional variation – bake for 30 minutes, cover the manti completely with 3 cups of chicken broth, then bake for an additional 25 minutes – I personally prefer not to add the broth and enjoy a crunchier shell)
Add a healthy portion to a bowl and add the hot broth as shown, top it off with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkled seasoning of sumac. Enjoy, your tummy will love you.:-)
(some people prefer to mix in garlic with their yogurt, I prefer not to)

Blueberry Crumble

Amazing and delicious! A fresh blueberry, raspberry crumble, and super quick and easy to make.  I use a 10″ cast iron skillet for my crumb, and out of the oven it even presents itself nicely.

Blueberry Raspberry Crumble Baked in your Cast Iron Skillet

Ingredients:
6 cups of fresh or frozen berries,
1/3 cup sugar (adjust the sweetness you want after your first try)
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (i started using the squeeze tubes of pre-grated ginger)
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Topping:
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 stick cold salted butter cut into small cubes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the berries with the sugar, flour and spices. Pour into your cast iron skillet. Rinse the bowl and in the same bowl, mix the topping ingredients, rubbing the butter between your fingers with the dry ingredients until it forms small clumps.  Pour the topping over the berries and bake for one hour or until the filling bubbles and the topping is golden brown.  Let cool for 15 minutes then top with your favoirte vanilla ice cream or, homemade whipped cream.

A savory chic approved recipe:-)