#COOKING: MAQLUBA RECIPE
Maqluba | Maalouba | Maqlooba | Makloubah. Loved by the likes of DJ Khaled and Dua Lipa. Let’s celebrate friends of Middle Eastern heritage! The dish containing stacked layers of vegetables, meat and rice, is served flipped-over resembling a gorgeous, colourful tower. It’s healthy, clean and comforting! Adapted from LinsFood.
1 lb ground beef
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice, washed and drained
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 eggplant, chopped in half-circles
1 zucchini, chopped in thin strips
1 tomato, cut to 6-8 slices
1 stalk celery, minced
1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped in sections
1/2 white onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsps allspice
3/4 tsp saffron
3 tbsps olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup plain yogurt
3 tbsps pine nuts, toasted
Cilantro or parsley, chopped
1. Bake cauliflower and eggplant with 1 tbsp olive oil, in oven at 375°F for 25 minutes. Set aside.
2. Sautée onions for 3 minutes in 2 tbsps olive oil. Add celery. Once onions caramelize, add beef. Season with salt and pepper to taste, with allspice. Cook till browned, medium-high heat.
3. Drain all liquid from pan and pat beef dry with paper towels.
4. Grease a large pot with olive oil. Line bottom with tomato slices. Add salt and pepper.
5. Pat down beef firmly, seasoning with a bit more salt and pepper.
6. Add layer of cauliflower, patting firmly. Add salt and pepper.
7. Add eggplant, patting firmly. Add salt and pepper.
8. Add red pepper, patting firmly. Add salt and pepper.
8. Add zucchini, patting firmly. Add salt and pepper.
9. Add rice, levelling evenly. Prop a small saucer over middle and ladle stock over. This will prevent a hollow from forming in middle. Add salt, pepper and saffron.
10. Cook on high heat 3-5 minutes or till you see some bubbling through the rice.
11. Cover lid, cook low heat 45 minutes. At halfway mark, gently scoop moistened rice to the top. Remove pot from heat once done.
12. Place platter over top of pot. Carefully flip pot over the platter and gently lift pot off, revealing your Maqluba.
13. Garnish with cilantro/parsley and pine nuts. Serve with plain yogurt.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#COOKING: SZECHUAN EGGPLANT RECIPE
Szechuan Eggplant. I’ve received requests for eggplant recipes and what I love about Oh, Aubergines is that it is substantial enough to be a main course. Topped with mounds of garlic, chilli, with the freshness of coriander and green onion, you won’t miss meat for a meal when your veggies are done right like this. 🍆🌶️
I’m all for reducing our carbon footprint and eating a bit cleaner, so enjoy this recipe if you’re looking for a flavourful break from meat proteins.
4 Japanese Eggplants
2 garlic bulbs, minced
2 red Thai chillies, minced
2 stalks green onion, minced
4 tbsps soy sauce
2 tbsps sesame oil
1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tsp 5 Spice Powder
Sea salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven at 410°F.
2. Cut each egg plant in half vertically. Using knife score criss-cross grid pattern across flesh of each eggplant.
3. Sautée garlic till just about caramelized.
4. In bowl, mix fish sauce, 3 tbsps soy sauce, 1/2 tsp 5 Spice Powder, 1 tbsp sesame oil and 1 tbsp olive oil. Brush half of mixture over eggplant. Bake 15 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and brush with remainder of soy mixture. Bake 15 more minutes.
6. In bowl, mix garlic, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp 5 Spice powder, 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp sesame oil. Season with salt, to taste.
7. Scoop garlic on-top of eggplant. Bake 10 minutes more or till skin of eggplant begins curling-up.
8. Sprinkle chillies, coriander and green onion on-top and serve.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong)