If you are like me, and are a huge lover of food programs in particular, then you are going to LOVE this challenge. I got the idea from watching programs such as Masterchef Australia and Hell’s Kitchen and I have always wanted to try it. The Taste Test is one of the toughest challenges presented to contestants and chefs would say that a good palate makes one a better chef. The test always looks so simple watching from the comfort of my couch and I always feel like it is a bit like watching trivia game shows. It always appears as if contestants get the simplest of ingredients wrong and at home you always think you can do better. So how hard is the Taste Test really? We Tastebudz are about to find out! Continue reading
Category Archives: Food Challenge
Anyone visiting Lebanon, learns it is a must to try Knefeh: A sort of a cheese (or cream) pie, served in a special kind of bread with syrup.
Knefeh is usually eaten for breakfast, where pastry shops offer it hot on big trays from which they serve their customers.
Knefeh has another variation, made with ashta or clotted cream.
Also, this kind of sweets is pretty easy to make and people have had several versions they make at home. Today I am posting as a challenge Knefeh from scratch; even the dough of it (called Mafroukeh), that represents the crunchy part.
My brother and his family and my sister and hers were invited to lunch on Sunday; it seemed like a great opportunity for me to make the challenge.
I had to triple the recipe, because we were eight people to eat.
Hello fans and fellow Taste Buds! I have really been anticipating my attempt at making this dish since the birth of our blog. My first time trying this spicy treat was actually just a few years ago at an Indian restaurant called the Punjabi Dhaba in a small town near my home. The chicken tikka masala I had there was so impressionable on me that immediately upon trying it I had made up my mind that it was among my all time favorite dishes! I hope some of you will have an equally enjoyable experience with this.
The origin of chicken tikka masala is disputed with some believing it came from the Punjab region of India, while others claim it was the creation of a chef in an Indian restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland several decades years ago. Its similarity to butter chicken gives rise to some of the ambiguity of its beginnings. Tikka literally means “small chunks” and masala is a “mixture of spices.” The chicken goes well with this curry masala, but I have had it with lamb tikka as well with similarly delectable results. I have also heard of other versions made with tofu and paneer (an Indian cheese), but I have not had a chance to try those for myself.
I have decided to make the challenge on Wednesday. I know I am late to post, but between dealing with work and jet lag, I was surprised I was even able to pull it. Especially since it is a baking challenge and our regular readers probably already know how I feel about that.
The people who know me can tell also that I am no picnic when I lack sleep… So the circumstances were not ideal really to even make the cupcakes. Zee also set the standard really high in her post, so don’t expect anything near that perfect!
I have thought a long time about what the next challenge should be for my Taste Buds. With the end of the year festivities, and my work having all sorts of end of year functions, I had decided that this year I was not going to buy gifts, but make them. I then decided to make cupcakes. It dawned on me that cupcakes would be a wonderful challenge because it is so versatile and you can be as simplistic or creative as you want!
I had been a huge fan of Masterchef Australia, watching the omnibus on Saturdays with my mom. One of the contestants, Poh Ling Yeow had made a deep fried meringue. The judges had rated it the best dish of the day, very unique and a stroke of genius. Continue reading
My challenge for my Taste-Buds this time is a recipe that is eaten all through the Middle East, even though if made differently from country to country. The news about it is that it is a totally vegetarian meal that every man I know LOVES! Yep, you heard me right!
I can tell you it is not something you would eat before a date or an appointment: it is rich in garlic and onions, so if you fear their effects then better abstain.
Well people, this time we are making Falafel, Lebanese version (my mother’s version to be exact), from scratch. Yep the whole deal. So lift up your sleeves and get down to work for the best Falafel ever!
Oh! By the way if you cannot find the fava beans you can do with the chickpeas alone, although I personally don’t think it is as good.
Jambalaya has been a favorite dish of mine for years. I enjoy the spiciness the dish delivers in addition to the multiplicity of meats. It was created in Louisiana by Spanish settlers attempting to mimic paella with the new and available ingredients in their new location. The Creole versions and the Cajun versions are similar, the major difference being that the Creole version includes tomatoes.
Jambalaya offers flexibility in its preparation as one can use any combination of meats/seafood they desire and it can be served in combination with either rice or pasta. For a basic recipe, I have included one of Emeril Lagasse’s (which I believe is incorrectly dubbed “Cajun Jambalaya”). This recipe looks similar to the ones I enjoy and should give us a good foundation on which to build. I hope you will find a satisfied palate with this challenge. Bon Appétit !
- 12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
- 4 ounces chicken, diced
- 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning, recipe follows
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 3/4 cup rice
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 5 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced
- Salt and pepper
Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
In a bowl combine shrimp, chicken and Creole seasoning, and work in seasoning well. In a large saucepan heat oil over high heat with onion, pepper and celery, 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Stir in rice and slowly add broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. When rice is just tender add shrimp and chicken mixture and sausage. Cook until meat is done, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning.
Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup