Mediterranean Rice Pudding

Dessert, Recipe

When I researched rice pudding, I found that it is made in nearly EVERY country  in the world in some variety. I also discovered that a recipe can vary greatly between people in the same country. Rice pudding was one of my late father’s favorite dishes, and whenever I make it, I am reminded of my dad which makes it extra special for me. :-)

Rice pudding is made from rice and is usually mixed with water or milk. Different variants are used for either desserts or dinners. When used as a dessert, it is commonly combined with a sweetener.  Rice pudding can be boiled or baked, and it can be thick like a pudding or thin like a drink.

Below is a list of the most common ingredients of rice pudding across the world:

  1. rice (all types- long-grain, short grain, basmati, jasmine, etc)
  2. milk (usually a thick milk such as whole, heavy cream or evaporated, etc)
  3. spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamon, etc)
  4. flavorings (orange blossom water, vanilla, almond, orange, lemon, etc)
  5. sweetener (sugar, honey, brown sugar, etc)

In the US, most rice pudding recipes are based on European immigrants; but more recently, Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American recipes have become more popular.  Below is my Mediterranean Read the rest of this entry »


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Hareesa Recipe or Basbousa

Dessert, Recipe

Hareesa or Basbousa is a sweet cake that is made of semolina or farina that is soaked in a delicious tasty syrup. In the Levant countries of the Middle East, it is referred to as Hareesa, and in Egypt it is called Basbousa. It is also known as Revani in Turkish and Ravani (southern Greece) or Revani (northern Greece) in Greek. In some cultures, this treat is served during special celebrations, funerals or even as a religious offering.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups farina (cream of wheat or semolina)
  • 1 1/4 cups (2.5 sticks) butter
  • 1.5 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup plain yogurt for mixture
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted
  • oil for greasing pan and toasting almonds
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt for smoothing
  • 3 cups of syrup (recipe Below)

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Mediterranean Stuffed Walnut Easter Cookie – Ma’amoul

Dessert, Recipe

Ma’amoul is another holiday treat! It is a VERY tasty shortbread pastry that is filled with walnuts, dates, almonds, pistachios or other fillings. I used walnuts because that is my favorite :-) These cookies are most popular in Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and throughout the Levant.  They can be made by hand or in a special wood mould which helps give it different shapes. I made mine by hand, but I love using the mould to provide a more artistic shortbread cookie. 

Ma’amoul is kept in many homes throughout the year, but they are particularly popular during religious times. Arab-Christians eat them at Easter, Arab-Muslims eat them during Ramadan and Arab- Jews eat them during Purim, Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah.
Makes: 12

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (pistachios, walnuts, or almonds)
  • 1/2 cup milk

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Mediterranean Walnut Date Easter Bread

Dessert, Recipe

 

A traditional Mediterranean Date Nut Bread Recipe for Easter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dates, chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup boiling water

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