Monthly Archives: October 2012

Fatty Dab’s Burger Shack Review- By Farah and Mira

Looking for a great burger in Amman? Well look no further than Fatty Dab’s Burger Shack in Abdoun. This is the place to go for fat authentic American style burgers, thick creamy shakes and warm gooey homemade cookies. The menu features a good selection of unique burgers, with unique toppings not usually offered in Jordan. The burger meat is organic from their own farms in Madaba.  We went on a beautiful sunny day, and took advantage of the small outdoor seating area., a much needed extension to the small limited indoor area. Even so, be prepared to wait to wait for a table as the place is usually crowded, for good reason! However things move smoothly and the best feature of this American style burger place is the American style service. We were given helpful suggestions on what to order, the waiters were friendly and happy, and we even scored a couple of warm cookie sundaes on the house, which is basically our favorite Amman dessert so far.

The burger came stacked high, with lots of fresh toppings and sharp flavorful cheeses. The bacon was recommended to us, and we were glad to find a crispy piece of bacon, instead of the floppy boiled piece of meat that so often passes for bacon in the middle east. The meat was juicy, but some of our party found the standard medium-well was too pink, so be sure to specify if you like your burger more cooked. We tried the Classic, the Fatty Dab’s and the Chicago, and the Sunrise (burger connoisseurs would love this perfectly cooked egg with runny yolk) each has its own unique mouthwatering flavor.The burgers come with crispy skin-on rustic fries and a drink, which is a good deal considering most places nowadays consider these sides as extra orders. The meal is a bit pricey at 8JD plus tax, but we can honestly say it was worth it, far superior to other cheaper burger places in Amman.  If your feeling more diner-ish, try a shake with your meal, they are thick, creamy and out of this world! May we suggest the cookie dough milkshake, which comes with chunks of cookie dough and hot fudge ribbons.
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Don’t leave before you get dessert, all the ice-cream used in the shakes and sundaes is homemade, we observed as real vanilla beans were incorporated in the ice cream batter, and the cookies are baked fresh, so expect a 10-minute wait for the cookie sundae, one of the best desserts you will find here. The result is a warm cookie which is gooey in the middle, crispy on the edges and topped with cold, sweet vanilla ice cream and drizzled with hot chocolate sauce. The perfect end to the perfect meal.
 
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Grilled Eggplant and Pepper Rocca Salad

As you can probably tell by the recipes on this blog, I really like roasted/grilled eggplants.  It just so happens we got a crate of fresh eggplants just waiting for me to use them up in delicious recipes.  I wanted to make a hearty and filling salad that was also really healthy and tasty.  This is what came to mind!  The combination of the grilled sweet peppers and the smokey eggplant with the saltiness of the feta cheese and the bite that comes from the rocca resulted in one of my favorite salads that I’ve made or tried.  Use whatever ingredients you have, experiment, and enjoy!
Grilled Eggplant and Pepper Rocca Salad (everylittlecrumb original)

Ingredients:

3 large eggplants

2 each of red, yellow, and green bell peppers

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

3 cups rocca (jarjeer)

Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsalmic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

Pinch of salt and pepper

Method:

Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices and set aside.  Quarter all of the bell peppers, or cut them into 1/8ths if you want a less chunky salad.  Toss all the above vegetables with the olive oil in a bowl, salt and pepper then using a large grill pan, grill eggplants first about 8 minutes each side or until golden brown and grilled throughout.  Repeat with the bell peppers in batches until all the vegetables are grilled.  As an alternative, you can roast all the vegetables on a baking tray in the oven at 400 degrees F (200 C) until golden brown and roasted, about 15 minutes a side.  When grilled/roasted vegetables have cooled, put all the washed rocca in the salad bowl you’ll be serving in, then scatter the vegetables on top.  Crumble the feta cheese on top, and top with the toasted pine nuts.  To make the dressing, add the olive oil gradually to the vinegar while whisking.  Whisk in the honey, and season with salt and pepper.  Top the salad with the dressing and toss to distribute.

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Filed under everylittlecrumb original, Healthy, Main Meals, Salads

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Quite a mouthful.  Both the title and these yummy little squares themselves.  I wanted to make a dessert for a game night and I needed something quick and with ingredients available at home. My thoughts immediately gravitated towards chocolate chip cookies, because there is no limit to which my love for chocolate chip cookies can reach.  However, I didn’t want to take all the time scooping out dough for individual cookies and alternating batches, so I decided to make a bar form.  This is an everylittlecrumb original, and browning the butter in the dough was something I was really glad I did.  The browned butter, if you’ve never done this before, gives a toffee like taste to the batter which just enhances the brown sugar that is already there.  Browned butter is a little gourmet touch that a lot of desserts and some mains benefit from, and once you learn how to do it it’s easy!  First timers, follow the instructions in this link.  In a nutshell, you’re going to want to keep melting the butter until it starts to bubble and change color, while either whisking or shaking the pan constantly until it starts to reach a nut brown color.  Make these and hide them until you need them because they will finish fast!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars:

1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar (Can use dark or light only if that’s what you have available)
1/2 cup butter (113g) melted and browned
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Depending on how chocolatey you want these)

Heat oven to 350 degrees (175 C). Grease a 9 by 13 inch pan and set aside. Melt the butter over medium heat and continue whisking as the butter starts to change color. You’ll start to see little brown flecks in the pan. Keep whisking until it reaches a nut brown color and immediately remove from the stove, still whisking until it reaches desired color (It will still darken off the stove since the pan is hot.

I take it off the stove when it’s this color.

Pour butter into bowl, add all the sugar, and blend well. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add flour gradually a little at a time while still beating on low speed, add baking powder and salt. Mix well, and stir in chocolate chips. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes until set and light golden brown on top. Don’t overbake! You want these super chewy in the middle. Cool and cut into squares.

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Filed under Bars, Cookies, Desserts, everylittlecrumb original

Mama Mira’s Famous Lasagna

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I promise this is the only lasagna recipe that you will ever need. Its the perfect cheesy, meaty, hearty lasagna. Stuffed full of garlicky tomato sauce and creamy smooth béchamel sauce, it’s a super comforting dish, that gets requested more than any other dish I make. Its worth it to get the good parmesan, not the powder that comes in a can because it will give a great taste to the béchamel.

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Ingredients:

1 pack of lasagna noodles

shredded mozzarella

For the meat sauce:

  • 1/2 kilo ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2- 8 oz  (227 grams) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

For the béchamel:

  • 1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, saute onion in the vegetable oil until soft and translucent. Add the beef to brown.  Add the all spice, cinnamon, black pepper, and garlic. Once the beef is cooked through add the salt. Pour the tomato sauce, tomato paste, italian seasoning, garlic powder and brown sugar over the beef. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the water and simmer for 30 minutes.

To make the béchamel: melt butter with flour in a medium saucepan and stir until mixture becomes golden color (about 3 minutes). Pour the milk and cream into the pan (milk and cream should be warm), whisking continuously. Add the garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk until the mixture has just began to thicken up, then turn off the heat and add the parmesan. (The sauce will continue to thicken up off the stove).

To assemble: Coat the bottom of the pyrex with a little of the béchamel so that the noodles wont stick. Then put one layer of noodles, top with 1/3 of the meat sauce, and then 1/3 of the béchamel. Put another layer of noodles, meat sauce and béchamel, then the final layer of noodles, meat sauce and béchamel. Top with the mozzarella cheese and bake in a 180C oven for 20 minutes. In the final 10 minutes  turn on the broiler to brown the top.

Enjoy!

-M

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by | October 23, 2012 · 10:00 am

Pumpkin and Sour Cream Puddings

Remember the pumpkin recipe roundup I did a few days ago?  This is one of the recipes off my pumpkin to try list.  My mom is the type that eats all the filling of a pie and leaves the crust intact (I know! The crust is the best part), so she’s the one who asked me to make this recipe.  It’s very similar to a pumpkin pie filling, enhanced by the addition of a tangy baked sour cream topping.  This is a great gluten-free dessert to make during this autumn baking season for anyone to enjoy, and for anyone who needs to get their crust fix (like me), you could add some crushed graham cracker or digestive biscuits mixed with a little bit of melted butter to the bottom of each ramekin before baking and you’d get the equivalent of little mini pumpkin pies.  Enjoy!

Baked Pumpkin and Sour Cream Puddings adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 7 to 8 half-cup puddings

Pudding
1 3/4 cups (from a 15-ounce can, 415 grams) pumpkin puree (unsweetened; not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (237 ml) whole milk
1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Topping
1 cup (227 grams) sour cream
1 tablespoon (13 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F (175 C)

The quickest method: In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the pudding ingredients.

For creamier, silkier pudding: Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds. (I did this, takes only a little more effort and results in a more uniform texture) Transfer to a saucepan and heat over medium-high. Once glurping and simmering in the pot, cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The mixture will thicken and get a bit darker. Reduce heat slightly and whisk in milk and cream. Off the heat, slowly whisk in eggs.

Both methods: Divide between 7 to 8 (I had just shy of enough to make eight 1/2-cup puddings) ovenproof 6-ounce pudding cups or ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until puddings barely jiggle when shimmied. Try not to overbake.

While they bake, combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. When the puddings are cooked through, transfer to a cooling rack on the counter and leave oven on. Spoon 2 tablespoons of sour cream mixture onto first pudding and use a small offset spatula, butter knife or spoon to quickly (it will get melty fast) spread it over the top of the first pudding. Repeat with remaining puddings.

Return puddings to oven for 5 more minutes, then cool completely at room temperature, about 1 to 2 hours. Chill until ready to serve. Eat with a gingersnap.  I’d also sprinkle some crushed gingersnap crumbs on top next time for an extra kick.

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Pecan Pie

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My sister’s pie mood was infectious apparently. Ever since she posted the all-butter crust, I had been craving a good old fashioned slice of pie. With all the pumpkin recipes floating around, I decided on a rich, satisfying.. pecan pie. Ha! Why not? It’s just as seasonal, and probably even more delicious. Now pecans are a little hard to find in Jordan, you will need to go to one of those places that sells nuts and spices and ask for raw pecans, although sometimes the larger supermarkets will have them. This pie is fantastic, with crunchy nuts overlying a sweet candy-like filling. Start with a small slice as it can be super rich. I went with a very classic recipe as that is what pecan pie to me should be like, sweet and simple.

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Pecan Pie (adapted from Food Network Kitchens)

Ingredients:

For the crust: use Farah’s all butter crust recipe, it will give you the most amazing flaky crust.

*tip: I didn’t roll out the crust, I just put big chunks of it in the tart pan I was using, and patted it down with my hands, it worked out perfectly

For the filling:

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Prepared the crust as instructed, and press into the tart pan (I used a 9 inch)

In medium saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stirring constantly, continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans and the vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. (If the crust has cooled, return it to the oven for 5 minutes to warm through.) Whisk the beaten eggs into the filling until smooth. Put the pie shell on a sheet pan and pour the filling into the hot crust.

Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 40 to 45 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil half way during baking.) Cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.

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by | October 21, 2012 · 1:11 pm

Chocolate Pudding Pie

Here is that pie recipe I promised you…it consists of a baked pie shell filled with the creamiest most indulgent homemade chocolate pudding contrasted nicely with slightly sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings.  The pudding is delicious because it is not overly sweet, and it gives this amazing dark chocolate taste that lends it some class.  This is not your kids average jello pudding!  I’ve been toying with the idea of making a chocolate pie for some time now, and was torn between chocolate silk pies, a chocolate pie with an oreo crust (which I will definitely have to make sometime soon) and this recipe which I got from Smitten Kitchen.  Smitten Kitchen won out, as it usually does.  I’m glad I went with this for the end of a foodie meal (recipes coming soon) because it was a real crowdpleaser, and an easy recipe to pull together to conclude a day of cooking.

Chocolate Pudding Pie adapted from Smitten Kitchen (who adapted it from Gourmet)

Chocolate Pudding Pie
One single pie crust after it’s been wrapped and chilled for at least 30 minutes

Pudding filling:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not more than 60% cacao), finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chilled heavy cream

Bittersweet chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)

Prepare pie dough: Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into an 11-inch round, then fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under and crimp edge decoratively. Prick bottom and side of shell all over with a fork, then chill shell 30 minutes. While shell chills, preheat oven to 375°F (190 C) with a baking sheet on middle rack. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights*.

Bake on baking sheet until pastry is set and edge is pale golden, about 25 minutes. Carefully remove weights and foil, then bake shell on baking sheet until pale golden all over, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool shell.

*NOTE, I used Deb’s technique of baking the pie crust without using pie weights (the reason pie weights are usually used is to prevent crust shrinkage) and it worked like a charm! I’d suggest using it, find it below)

Make pudding filling: Whisk together cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, two minutes (mixture will thicken). Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth.

Pour filling into cooled shell and chill, its surface covered with wax paper (if you want to prevent a skin from forming), until cold, at least two hours.  Mine didn’t solidify much, it was classic pudding texture which made for some messy cutting but yummy eating.  This pudding makes a great stand alone pudding recipe if you don’t want to make the whole pie!

Just before serving, beat cream with remaining two tablespoons sugar until it just holds soft peaks. Spoon onto pie and garnish with bittersweet chocolate shavings to make it look all prettty.  Pie can be made and chilled up to two days. Pie, without whipped cream, can be chilled up to one day before serving. Whipped cream is best added at the last minute before serving.

* Instead of using pie weights, Deb blind bakes pie and pastry shells by freezing the crust that has been rolled into the pie pan for 20-30 minutes until solid, then pressing a piece of buttered foil, buttered side down very tightly against the frozen shell.  You then blind bake according to regular directions (or directions in the first step above). When it is time to remove the weights,  pull back the foil, and press any part of the crust that has bubbled up gently back with the back of a spoon and continue baking the shell until light golden brown.

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Filed under Desserts, Pies