Ramadan Recipes: Beef, cheese pull-apart buns

Ramadan Recipes: Beef, cheese pull-apart buns
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Updated 21 April 2022

Ramadan Recipes: Beef, cheese pull-apart buns

Ramadan Recipes: Beef, cheese pull-apart buns

Pull-apart buns are a popular choice of baked bread that can be flavored to suit sweet or savory tastes.

Also called monkey bread, the buns traditionally consist of a stack of rolled dough dipped in butter and baked in a pan.

In a blog, food writer Tori Avey said the style of bread was popularized in the 1940s in southern California, initially as a savory staple.

It was not until the 1970s that sugar and other ingredients were added to the mix, and it was given the names Hungarian coffee cake, and golden dumpling cake.

The most common version of the pull-apart bread involved rolling the dough, dipping it in butter, and then rolling it in a mixture of cinnamon, sugar, and brown sugar, which would then caramelize while baking to give a crunchy top to the otherwise soft dough.

However, beef and cheese pull-apart buns are now popular and perfect for the iftar table. For the dough, mix together 150 milliliters of milk, 5 tablespoons of clarified butter, and one egg. To the wet ingredients add 1-1/2 teaspoons of yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar. To activate the yeast, set the mixture aside for 10 minutes.

Mix a pinch of salt with flour and then combine it with the wet ingredients and knead the dough, either with your hands or paddle attachment. Cover the dough with a tea towel and place it in the warmest place in your kitchen for it to proof for an hour.

In a pan, add one onion and saute until it is golden, add 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 400 grams of minced beef, and all the spices, including 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1-1/2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning, 1 teaspoon of dry oregano, ½ teaspoon of chipotle powder or hot smoked paprika, and salt and pepper. Let the minced beef cook until tender.

Then add half of a red bell pepper diced and cook for another five minutes. Set aside the mixture to cool completely. Prepare 150 grams of grated red cheddar cheese.

Once the dough is proofed and the mixture cooled, portion the dough into balls of whatever size desired. Fill each ball with the mincemeat mixture and grated red cheddar cheese and make sure each ball is completely sealed. Place the dough balls in a greased dish, cover it with a tea towel, and proof for another 20 minutes. Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with toppings of your choice, although black and white sesame seeds are recommended.

Place your buns in an oven and bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes. Serve hot.


Recipe for Success: Saudi chef Rakan Al-Oraifi shares a dessert recipe for Saudi National Day

Recipe for Success: Saudi chef Rakan Al-Oraifi shares a dessert recipe for Saudi National Day
Updated 23 September 2022

Recipe for Success: Saudi chef Rakan Al-Oraifi shares a dessert recipe for Saudi National Day

Recipe for Success: Saudi chef Rakan Al-Oraifi shares a dessert recipe for Saudi National Day
  • The Saudi chef mastered his culinary skills in California and is now in Paris to perfect his pastry techniques
  • Rakan Al-Oraifi shares a special dessert recipe for Saudi National Day

DUBAI: Rising Saudi culinary star and TV presenter Rakan Al-Oraifi was one semester into getting his masters degree in marketing when he decided he wanted to pursue his lifelong love of food more seriously. A culinary diploma from California later, Al-Oraifi returned to Saudi Arabia to take the local food scene by storm.

Among the many accolades he has received, Al-Oraifi was hailed “Best Saudi Chef” at the 2018 Saudi Excellence in Tourism Awards and has worked in several international restaurants over the years. He has also taken part in several international cooking competitions, including “Top Chef Middle East” season two.

In his work, Al-Oraifi especially likes to explore traditional Saudi cuisine, but infused with modern elements. His earliest memory of cooking goes back to making dolma with his mother. “It is a dish I have been preparing since I was six. It was challenging to prepare it as a young kid, but I would always prepare it with my mom over the years and eventually learned to prepare it on my own,” said Al-Oraifi in an interview with Arab News.

Deep Fried Date Salad. (Supplied)

While he was last executive chef at Maiz in Diryah Gate, the 33-year-old is now in Paris to perfect the art of making pastries.

To celebrate Saudi National Day, Al-Oraifi will feature in an online cooking series for Fatafeat where he will use his experience with Middle Eastern cuisines to share recipes with Saudi flavours at their heart.

Here, Al-Oraifi talks to Arab News about his favorite cuisines, his go-to quick-dinner fix and restaurant faux pas.

When you started out as a professional, what was the most common mistake you made when preparing/cooking a dish?
A common mistake is copying the techniques of other chefs, which could get confusing at some point. You can get inspired, but it is important to find your own culinary style and technique.

Baked Qursan. (Supplied)

What’s your top tip for amateur chefs cooking at home?
It is important for every chef to have a sharp knife. Aside from making the cooking preparation process easier and smoother, it is less likely to injure you. Dull knives are actually more dangerous.

What one ingredient can instantly improve any dish?
Salt is a fundamental ingredient because it enhances and elevates the flavour of any dish.

When you go out to eat, do you find yourself critiquing the food? What’s the most common mistake/issue that you find in other restaurants?
I am usually critical of food temperature because it also indicates the efficiency of the service. For me, the most important thing is getting my food warm and freshly made. I do not like it when I receive the food cold.

When you go out to eat, what’s your favorite cuisine/dish to order? 
Usually, I like French and Japanese cuisine, and some restaurants do a fusion of both, which is even better. French cuisine involves a certain technique while Japanese cuisine requires a particular skill, and I think these just mesh well together.

Meleyaha Wrap. (Supplied)

What’s your go-to dish if you have to cook something quickly at home, say in 20 minutes? 
Pasta is a go-to for me. Even when you create the sauce and pasta dough from scratch, it normally doesn’t take more than 30 minutes. It also offers flexibility and versatility, you can customise it as you want, with your choice of creams and cheese, for example.

What request/behavior by customers most annoys you? 
Because I know the amount of time and effort that goes into every dish, I’m not a fan of customers who dine hastily and do not take the time to enjoy the food. In my opinion, you need at least 60 minutes to appreciate and enjoy your meal, especially if it’s a three-course dining experience.

As a head chef, what are you like? Are you a disciplinarian? Do you shout a lot? Or are you more laidback?
I’m cool 80 percent of the time. Keeping a level head is important in managing a kitchen properly and dealing with customers. You’ll just have better judgment overall.

What’s the most difficult dish for you to get right (whether on your current menu or not)?
Pastry is actually tricky for me. Unlike cooking dishes where you can be spontaneous and rely on your own senses and feelings, pastries require specific measurements and strictly following techniques. Because of this, I am currently in France to study the art of French pastry and improve my skills.

DESSERT ERYKAH RECIPE FROM CHEF RAKAN AL-ORAIFI

(Supplied)

INGREDIENTS
2 cups wheat flour
2.5 cups water
5 gm salt
50 gm ghee
50 gm honey
30 gm brown sugar
30 gm butter
10 gm soft dates
20 gm honeycomb

INSTRUCTIONS
1. In a dough mixer, add the dry ingredients with wheat flour and salt, then mix gently.
2. Pour room temperature water. Keep mixing until thoroughly combined.
3. In a hot pan or flat grill, melt ghee, then pour the mixture using a 200 ml ladle.
4. Let it cook for a few minutes until the front side bubbles.
5. Flip the dough and cook it for a few minutes; the texture must be very soft. 
6. Mix the bread in a dough mixer until you reach a hard, smooth texture.
7. Shape them using your hand, then stuff them with date paste.
8. Melt ghee and honey, then pour it over the bread. 
9. Garnish with a small piece of honeycomb then serve.


Where We Are Going Today: Cafe Bateel - premium desserts

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Updated 20 September 2022

Where We Are Going Today: Cafe Bateel - premium desserts

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  • The base is pistachio sauce, and inside the panna cotta is cherry coulis, topped with a cherry jelly cover, decorated with Chantilly cream, cherries and pistachios

This month is the perfect time to visit Cafe Bateel because of their creative menu selection for Saudi National Day, available throughout September.

Their celebratory items include the beef brochette salad using date sauce, and refreshing sparkling cucumber drinks that represent the iconic color of the Saudi flag, made with honey, ginger, lemon, mint, cucumber, and soda water.

The premium desserts include the l’or noir vanilla gateaux, made with a crispy duja base, vanilla biscuit, black vanilla cremeux (active charcoal), and vanilla mousse, and the pistachio and cherry panna cotta, made with pistachios from Sicily, cherries from Bologna, fine French cream and milk, and Tahitian vanilla.

After my first bite of the panna cotta, I was transported back in my mind to the ancient trade routes that traversed the Arabian peninsula, which made the area a hub for cultural exchange.

The base is pistachio sauce, and inside the panna cotta is cherry coulis, topped with a cherry jelly cover, decorated with Chantilly cream, cherries and pistachios.

Cafe Bateel does not forget Saudis’ love for good coffee, either, with which it met my expectations with the coco lavender latte, using coconut milk and lavender syrup — served hot or cold — along with Bateel’s ma’amoul biscuit.

It was a very classy way to celebrate Saudi National Day for me. Cafe Bateel is located at Le Prestige Mall, Jeddah, and has branches in Riyadh and Alkhobar. The cafe also has branches outside the Kingdom, in Muscat, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

 


Oncologist hails Saudi blood cancer drive during awareness month

Dr. Ayman Alhejazi, Assistant Professor of Hematology/Oncology at King Saudi bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences
Dr. Ayman Alhejazi, Assistant Professor of Hematology/Oncology at King Saudi bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences
Updated 18 September 2022

Oncologist hails Saudi blood cancer drive during awareness month

Dr. Ayman Alhejazi, Assistant Professor of Hematology/Oncology at King Saudi bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences
  • Patients, carers can receive support to ease emotional and financial burdens, says Dr. Ayman Al-Hejazi

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is using Blood Cancer Awareness Month in September to raise awareness about leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and Hodgkin’s disease, support patients affected by blood cancer and raise funds for research, a Saudi oncologist has said.

According to a GLOBOCAN 2020 report issued by the World Health Organization, Saudi Arabia had 4,326 new cases of blood cancer, including 1,698 patients who were detected with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, 1,676 with Leukaemia, 687 with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and 265 with multiple myeloma.

Speaking to Arab News, Dr. Ayman Al-Hejazi, assistant professor of hematology oncology at King Saudi bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences in Riyadh, said: “Raising blood cancer awareness is becoming increasingly important in Saudi Arabia. There are three main types of blood and bone marrow cancers: Leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

“In addition to the disease’s malignant nature, blood cancer treatments and management affect patients and caregivers financially and emotionally. People living with any form of blood cancer are impacted in their ability to perform daily activities. A strong emotional impact on people living with the disease includes worry about their future, their treatment and the possibility of relapsing.”

He believes that there is relatively low awareness about blood cancer around the world.

Al-Hejazi, who also spearheads the Saudi Adult Hematology Fellowship Training Program at King Abdulaziz Medical City and serves as the program director, told Arab News: “Awareness is important, and I believe that the government of Saudi Arabia is making tremendous contributions toward raising it through various programs and initiatives.

“However, I equally believe in the importance of collaborative work between governments, healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies that offer innovative treatments in creating the most efficient treatment strategies, disease management approaches, and most importantly, post-treatment care plans designed to extend patients’ remission.”

He said that at least nine major national cancer centers provide treatment to patients in Saudi Arabia.

All types of blood cancer affect patients on various levels, and raising awareness to ensure early cancer detection and treatment can save many lives, and improve the quality of life for those undergoing treatments, in remission or their latest stages of recovery as well as those undergoing repeated therapies.

Dr. Ayman Al-Hejazi, Assistant professor of hematology oncology, King Saudi bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences

While the Kingdom is considered a high-income country, cancer treatment drug shortages remain a significant challenge around Saudi Arabia as well as in other developed countries.

“One of the solutions to this challenge would be focusing on treatments and disease management strategies that extend remission periods and optimize drug admission. Novel agents in addition to the introduction of more convenient initiatives like the on-body drug delivery systems for cancer therapeutics can reduce overall disease costs,” said the oncologist.

Discussing the different types of blood cancer affecting people in the Kingdom, Al-Hejazi said: “All types of blood cancer affect patients on various levels, and raising awareness to ensure early cancer detection and treatment can save many lives, and improve the quality of life for those undergoing treatments, in remission or their latest stages of recovery as well as those undergoing repeated therapies.

“All types of blood cancer are dangerous and patients in the Kingdom are frequently diagnosed with all of the types. Multiple myeloma is considered to be the second most common hematologic malignancy,” he added.

Multiple myeloma — most frequently diagnosed in people aged between 65-74 — is a cancer of plasma cells, which are types of white blood cells found in bone marrow. However, in the Kingdom, many cases are detected at a younger age, with less than 7 percent of population being older than 65.

Commenting on common symptoms and diagnostic strategies in different stages of blood cancer, the oncologist said that some of the common symptoms of blood cancer include weight loss, bruising or bleeding, lumps or swellings, shortness of breath, drenching night sweats, persistent, recurrent or severe infections and high fevers. Multiple myeloma symptoms can also include bone pain that is persistent or recurrent, fractures, persistent tiredness due to anemia or kidney failure as well as nervous system disorders.

Initial blood cancer diagnoses may include a complete blood count test that measures the amount of each type of blood cell in a sample, as well as a bone marrow biopsy to confirm multiple myeloma, Al-Hejazi said.

First treatments are likely to include a formula of different drugs. Chemotherapy is often thought of as the only treatment option, but a range of cancer drugs are also available in the Kingdom.

A majority of people newly diagnosed with blood cancer receive emotional support and care from family, but many patients still feel isolated even when surrounded by relatives and turn to the internet for help, said Al-Hejazi.

Family members are more likely to give multiple types of care, such as helping the patient in their general housework. Carers can often be highly impacted by their role, affecting them psychologically, socially and financially. Meanwhile, cancer patients can develop mental health conditions and most commonly experience depression and fear.

The most important objective, however, should be to extent progression-free periods, with the ultimate treatment goal for multiple myeloma being to minimize patients’ and caregivers’ economic burdens, said Al-Hejazi.

The term blood cancer is a general description of various hematopoietic cancers. Our blood flows through blood vessels to supply all tissues in the body with nutrients.

In about five liters of blood circulating in our body there are billions of blood cells that carry out various vital functions. All blood cells originate from hematopoietic stem cells.

Hematopoietic stem cells are known as mother cells and are able to renew and replace other cells that die.

Blood cancer is an abnormal proliferation of cells in bone marrow, especially white blood cells. Cancer cells flood the blood and drive out healthy cells.

As a result, the blood can no longer perform its basic tasks, such as transporting oxygen and protecting the body from infection.

 


Where We Are Going Today: The Waterfront Kitchen in Jeddah

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Updated 16 September 2022

Where We Are Going Today: The Waterfront Kitchen in Jeddah

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  • The restaurant serves one of the best black Angus T-bone and sirloin steaks, but an option not to be missed is the grilled tuna steaks

A visit to The Waterfront Kitchen in Jeddah is like boarding a luxury yacht serving up the most delicious food along with a lively ambiance and high-end service.

The restaurant is decorated in a modern and extravagant yacht style, and diners can enjoy an intimate evening with friends and family, relishing the eclectic flavors from the extensive menu.

The highly trained team of chefs is on board to create a wealth of dishes, from hearty bowls to healthy plates. The restaurant has an upper-deck style interior kitchen with live cooking stations.

It offers buffet options for breakfast and an a la carte menu for lunch and dinner.

Bringing global favorites to Jeddah at an affordable price, the breakfast menu includes classic American fare or a plate of eggs benedict or manakish (a flatbread kind of pizza), as well as a special selection of drinks, juices, fruits, cold meats and delicious baked goods.

Diners are spoilt for choice with cuisines from all over the world available for lunch and dinner.

For starters, diners have various options for salads but the must-try is crispy quinoa salad, torched yellowfin tuna tataki, or vegan tostadas. There are different pizza options cooked in the wooden oven. The pizza is made of specially fermented sourdough, which is prepared for more than 36 hours.

There is a range of pastas, as well as a selection of grills cooked on charcoal. The highlight of the grill station is the design of the grill stand, which is in the form of a captain’s wheel, adding a nautical touch. Mashawi, consisting of mixed grill kebabs, chicken shish tawouk, lamb chops, lamb shoqaf served with saffron rice and a mixed vegetable skewer, is a great deal for two people.

The restaurant also serves one of the best black Angus T-bone and sirloin steaks, but an option not to be missed is the grilled tuna steaks.

Striking the right balance on the grill with the right amount of spices, the Indian tandoori station provides the best-flavored dishes, whether it is the chicken malai tikka, the tandoori roasted rack of lamb or the jhinga tiger prawns. The restaurant also serves vegetable seekh kebabs, which take up to two days to prepare and are perfected by the chef to create a delicious texture.

For vegetarians, there is also a wide selection of salads, as well as delicious options such as cauliflower steak, vegetarian “meat” pizza, and different types of smoothies.

Be sure to leave a space for desserts, as a dedicated cake corner and 16 different types of desserts and ice cream are prepared by international dessert chefs.

 


Where We Are Going Today: Reyhana - Authentic Indonesian Nusantara Cuisine

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Updated 13 September 2022

Where We Are Going Today: Reyhana - Authentic Indonesian Nusantara Cuisine

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  • Classic dishes from Java, Padang, Bali and Sumatra include Nasi Goreng, Mie Ayam and Satay

This restaurant in the Ritz Carlton offers mouthwatering, authentic Indonesian Nusantara Cuisine, which is a gastronomic journey into the heart of Asia.

There is a buffet every Thursday from 7 p.m. featuring classic dishes from Java, Padang, Bali and Sumatra including Nasi Goreng, Mie Ayam and Satay.

The food is made under the supervision of an expert Indonesian chef, and there is clearly a great deal of care taken with flavors and textures.

A welcome attraction is the chefs available to prepare dishes at live stations. For example, you can construct your flavor profile for Mie Goreng on the spot with wonderous results.

There is a wide variety of Indonesian desserts including coconut cakes, rice pudding and grass jelly cubes. There are other options from around the world such as macaroons, kunafa and much more.

The ambience is as magical as the food, with each table decorated with bamboo placemats, a leaf, and rocks to pay homage to the cuisine being served.

In addition, you can have your mojitos prepared and topped up at your table.

To enhance the mood even further, a saxophone player waltzes around customers playing some delightful music.

Overall it is a highly recommended experience if you have an appetite for Asian food with some room for experimentation.