new template

Friday, April 8, 2011

Baba Ga What....

I love food and everything to do with it….
Food brings us all together, it allows for fellowship, conversation and enjoyment.  All big life events involve food; weddings, funerals, birthdays, promotions, holidays and so on.  I loved being a kid and sitting around the table with my family eating dinner… although I was the butt of the joke most of the time, I loved having that interaction and will always cherish those nights.  I think it also sets up an understanding of respect in a family.  My grandfather was always served first when we ate as a family… in Chinese culture, the food is placed at the center of the table and the elder of the family is always served first as a sign of respect.  I honestly think if families still sat around the table for family dinners we would have a lot fewer problems in our society! 

One of my favorite places… Lucy’s Tacos in Akumal, Mexico… Even had these before our wedding!
I also think that is why I enjoyed ceramics so much in college.  The vessel that you serve food out of is passed from one person to the next… everyone interacts with the same pot, everyone shares, everyone enjoys, everyone is connected by something as simple as a bowl full of food.  It is about community, nourishment, love, passing on of tradition, knowledge and family… what can I say… I just love food!
Anyways, I have my staples that I make but I try to go outside of the box at times.  Jon’s palette wasn't the most sophisticated… (He has single handedly prepared me for a two year old with picky eating habits!)  I have worked hard on introducing new flavors and textures and I must say he has come a long way from when I first met him and he only ate chicken wings, burgers and anything fried.  He used to think that seafood came fried in a basket with hushpuppies and now I find him requesting shrimp and wanting to try grilled fish… I must say I am very impressed with his advancement.

Jon trying his First ever Oyster... and Jon hating his Last ever Oyster
(I hate oysters so he impressed me for trying it at least!)

That being said, I was excited to move to a new region and learn about their food!  Honestly I knew nothing about Arabic cuisine before moving to Dubai.  However, I have learned that Arabic food is very similar to Mediterranean food.  Very simple, clean and fresh ingredients make up the recipes.  There was a (I guess locally famous) chef that came to speak to our ladies group last week.  She has a new cookbook that has the basics of Arabic cooking.

So, of course I bought it and last night I tried my first recipe… Baba Ganousj.  Now, I thought Baba Ghanouj ("bob-a-ganoosh") was just a name that Owen Wilson called Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers, but apparently it is a centuries old dish.  It is very simple to make but is very complex in its taste and it helped me find out something new about my husband last night… he likes eggplant… although he admitted he had never had it not fried before.  This recipe called for grilled eggplant, tomatoes, onions, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, mint, walnuts (but I used pecans), salt, red pepper flakes and pomegranate seeds… then you drizzle it with pomegranate molasses or olive oil.

Final product on homemade pita chips!

I made a crap ton so I sent the extra up to Jon’s office for his coworkers to try… they are Middle Eastern so I will let you know if I was anywhere close to making decent Baba Ghanouj. 

I am going to try to make hummus from scratch today… like from dried chickpeas… wish me luck!!!  Happy eating!
Until later…

No comments:

Post a Comment