My sister and brother-in law visited us during the Eid break this past week. We had a wonderful time together. It was a true vacation – there was a good balance of sight seeing, adventure, and relaxation. Highlights of the week included kayaking and snorkeling in the Persian Gulf, dune bashing near the Inland Sea, holiday fireworks at Katara Cultural Village, dinner and exploration at the old Souq, making the singing dunes “sing” with our bottoms, and (my personal favourite) playing Citadels at the MIA park.
Despite it being vacation, and our attempt to help Auntie and Uncle sample the various cuisines available here, we did eat in most of the time. The combination of me adjusting to cooking for 4.5 people instead of 2.5, and takeaway boxes (no one has heard of doggie bags here) from restaurants, somehow we seemed to amass a lot of leftovers. Uncle memorably named leftover dinner “Greatest Hits”. Doesn’t that sound so much nicer than ‘leftovers’? And these truly were our favourite meals of the week.
I present to you the top 10 culinary hits of Eid al Adha, 2012:
10. Brown rice and apple slices (Little Handsome’s pick. I thought we should include him in the list.)
9. Hot dogs (Big Handsome’s pick. Ugh. Seriously, hot dogs?!? Meant to be picnic-in-the-desert food, somehow these found their way into greatest hits meal. Clearly I have my work cut out for me.)
8. Papa John’s Pizza (Don’t worry – the list does get better. But we so rarely order pizza, this one is understandable.)
7. Spicy lentil soup
6. Chicken and veg stir-fry with brown rice
4. Roasted veggie and tofu kebabs
3. Citrus curry quinoa salad (my pick)
2. Leftover lamb tajine & salad wrap (Auntie’s pick)
1. Shades of Orange Stew (Uncle’s pick)
It was really nice to have someone here to get excited about trying new foods. While I appreciate Big Handsome’s willingness to sample new dishes, willingness and excitment are two very different things. It made cooking during the week much more of a pleasure than a task.
I leave you with the recipe for the number one hit of the week. It’s full of hearty vegetables and has a naturally sweet sauce. Substitute chickpeas for beef to make it vegan.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pkg. stewing beef
1 medium onion, diced
3 tomatoes, diced
1 Tbsp. oregano
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, chopped
5-6 dried apricots, cut into small pieces
3 cups vegetable or beef broth
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 tsp arrowroot powder, disolved in water
salt and pepper to taste
Instructions: Brown beef in olive oil. Add onions, tomatoes and oregano and cook 2-3 minutes. Add squash, carrots, apricots and enough broth/water to cover. Let simmer until vegetables are soft. Add corn kernels and arrowroot powder (or any thickener). Bring just to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!
Inspired by a recipe on allrecipes.com which is no longer available.