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Stefan's Gourmet Blog

Cannoli are Sicilian tubes of deep-fried pastry stuffed with sweetened sheep’s milk ricotta. Traditionally they were prepared for carnevale, but nowadays they are prepared year round and not just in Sicily. The stuffing can be enriched with chocolate chips, candied fruit, or nuts such as pistachios. I served them as dessert for Christmas this year.

Cannoli are made with sheep’s milk ricotta, as there are few cows in Sicily and mostly sheep. Outside of Italy it can be difficult to find sheep’s milk ricotta. Since it is easy to make homemade ricotta, I decided to try to find sheep’s milk instead. Of course you can substitute with cow’s milk ricotta, which will not be traditional but good all the same.

In the Netherlands we do have sheep, but mostly for their meat (lamb, not mutton). There are only a few sheep dairy farmers, and that milk is mostly used…

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Jordanian Matabaqa.. layered onion bread

Chef in disguise

Jordanian Matabqa a wonderful layered bread, filled with  caramelized onions

A new month and another beautiful traditional Arabic recipe for the group Arabic flavor. Our wonderfully talented host Areej chose to take us to the north of Jordan, specifically to the city of Irbid to teach us how to make Matabka.

Matabka or matabqa is a traditional onion filled layered bread, popular in the North of Jordan. What sets this beautiful layered bread apart is the fact that it uses olive oil instead of butter to achieve the flaky layers. That gives it a uniqe earthy nuttiness that is simply irresistible

Biting into this bread is a real treat! The outer layers are crisp and crunchy while the inner layers are soft and chewy. The sauteed onions add a wonderful hint of sweetness that perfectly complements the delicate bread.

Jordanian Matabqa a wonderful layered bread, filled with  caramelized onions


3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds (optional)

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)

1/2 teaspoon anise…

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