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Have a Seafood Meal in Al Mahara

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Overview

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Al Mahara is one the best seafood restaurants in the Middle East. Moreover, it is one of the world’s 50 best restaurants. Also, it is one of the must-sees of the Burj Al Arab. In Dubai, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah locates this themed restaurant.  It is well known for ‘The Oyster Shell’ in Arabic, tantalizing your palate giving an experience that will stimulate all your senses. It is not only superb seafood cooking but also decorated in a great way (Aquarium) that fits seafood restaurants.

Interior Decoration

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It is inside Dubai’s iconic 7-star hotel. In simple words, it is underwater themed restaurant. Although not actually situated under the sea, it certainly feels as if it is. The place is a large, cylindrical floor-to-ceiling aquarium, teeming with exotic fish. This acrylic glass tank holds around 990,000 liters of seawater and stands as the restaurant’s centerpiece.

The Menu

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The guests can enjoy the most succulent selection of Chinese and Western cooking style seafood. Every dish, even the bread, is like a work of sculpted art. Dover sole is delicately wrapped and the sauces are applied to the plate with flair. There is great attention to every simple detail. Actually it is not cheap, but for a one-off special occasion it is worth it. They do not serve only special seafood meals but also delicious desserts such the salted caramel mousse.

Chef Nathan Outlaw

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Al Mahara reopened a few month ago with a new look under the culinary patronage of multi award winning chef Nathan Outlaw. The famous British chef brought his style of simple, yet superb seafood cooking to the luxurious property, combining it with complex flavor blends using local, seasonal and responsibly sourced ingredients. When he asked why he chose Dubai for his first restaurant outside the UK Nathan replied: “Working with Burj Al Arab speaks for itself. It’s the most luxurious hotel in the world, and a once in a lifetime opportunity.  This is my first venture out of the UK, and what an iconic property to partner with.”

 

STUFFED POBLANO PEPPERS WITH AVOCADO-CILANTRO SAUCE

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Ingredients
6 whole poblano peppers ( if peppers are very large, use 3, split in half length wise)
1 sweet potato- 2 Cups, small dice
1 corn on the cob, shucked, kernels cut
1 C finely diced onion
4 garlic cloves- rough chopped
1 C cooked black beans
¼ C -½ C crumbled queso fresco cheese, mozzarella, jack, goat cheese or feta (optional)
1 T Cumin
2 tsp coriander
½ tsp chile powder
½ tsp kosher salt
⅓ C chopped cilantro

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Avocado cilantro sauce
⅔ C Avocado
⅓ C cilantro
2/3 C water- plus more as needed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tsp coriander
⅛ C lime juice
2 garlic cloves
cracked pepper

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Instructions
Preheat oven to 400F. Scrub the sweet potatoes, rinse and dice into very small cubes. The smaller the dice, the shorter the roasting time. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil, place on a parchment lined baking sheet, along with the peppers and roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes, turning peppers over, midway.

Make the Avocado Cilantro sauce, placing all the ingredients in the blender, and blend until smooth, adding a bit more water if needed to get the blade going. Set aside.

Shuck the corn and cut the kernels off the cob.

Remove peppers and yams from the oven, when yams are tender and golden. Place foil over the peppers for a few minutes so they can steam, to make removing the skins easier. Hold the peppers under cool running water and gently remove skins. It’s OK, if all the skins don’t release, just peel off what wants to come off. Carefully, with a sharp knife, slice off the top of the peppers and rinse the seeds out with running water. Set aside.

In a skillet heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over med high heat, add onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Turn heat to down medium low, add garlic and continue stirring until fragrant and golden, about 3-4 more minutes. Add corn. Saute a couple minutes, then fold in cooked black beans, roasted sweet potatoes, spices, salt and pepper, sautéing until warmed through. Fold in cilantro.der and golden. Place foil over the peppers for a few minutes so they can steam, to make removing the skins easier. Hold the peppers under cool running water and gently remove skins. It’s OK, if all the skins don’t release, just peel off what wants to come off. Carefully, with a sharp knife, slice off the top of the peppers and rinse the seeds out with running water. Set aside.

If making both vegan version and cheesy version, divide filling, adding cheese to part as desired. Stuff the peppers. Place stuffed peppers in 350 F oven for 5-10 minutes —or longer to melt the cheese in the filling.

Serve the stuffed peppers over a generous bed of Avocado sauce. Top with cilantro sprigs, crumbled queso fresco ( optional). Enjoy!

Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield:4-6

Seri Muka

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Ingredients:

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For Bottom Layer:

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300 g glutinuos rice (soak for 30 minutes in water)
200 ml thin coconut milk (100ml coconut milk plus 100 ml water)
2 screwpine (pandan) leaves (optional)
1 teaspoon salt

 

For Top Layer:

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200 ml thick coconut milk or coconut cream
2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
170 g sugar
100 ml pandan/screwpine juice (from 8-10 pandan leaves)
5 tablespoon all-purpose flour + 2 Tablespoon cornstarch

Method:

Mixed all the ingredients for the bottom layer and steam on high heat for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the top layer. Mix the eggs, coconut milk, sugar, pandan juice and flour. Stir until smooth. Cook over boiling water (using double boil method) until the mixture thickens slightly but still runny enough to pour.

After 20 minutes, take out the glutinuous rice mixture, stir and flatten it with spoon or hands. Make sure it is compact. Use a sieve to pour the egg mixture on to the rice mixture.

Steam on medium heat for 30 minutes. Leave to cool before cutting into diamond-shaped or rectangle-shaped pieces.

A LONG WINTER’S NAP

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ounces Bourbon, Whiskey or Rye
  • 2 Tablespoons Infused maple (or plain maple syrup)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • garnish with star anise and lemon slice
  • ——
  • Infused Maple Syrup or simple syrup
  • ½ cup real maple syrup (or make simple syrup- ½ cup sugar +½ cup water)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup sliced ginger
  • 3 star anise pods
  • Optional additions – Douglas Fir, crushed cardamon pods, cinnamon, whole clove, peppercorns

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INSTRUCTIONS

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  1. Place maple syrup and water in a small pot. Add ginger and whole spices. Heat over medium heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes on low heat. Let stand 10 minutes. The longer you infuse, the more intense the flavor. You could let this sit overnight, or strain it right away.
  2. In a cocktial shaker, pour the bourbon, infused maple and lemon juice over ice. Shake and strain into a small glass or martini glass. Garnish with a star anise pod and lemon slice (or zest)

The Test Kitchen; an outstanding experience

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If you are reading this, and you are visiting, or live somewhere near South Africa – specifically in Cape Town – you HAVE to visit a restaurant named “The Test Kitchen” that is located in The Old Biscuit Mill; a small village in the heart of Woodstock.

About The Test Kitchen

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Chosen as the best restaurant in Africa 2016, this place combines Latin cuisine with the South African touch in a small place that has the exact following address: The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, South Africa. It closes on Sundays and Mondays and opens its doors all the other days from 12:30 until 1:30PM and from 7 until 9:30PM.

Owner

Surprisingly, the owner of the restaurant is also its chef. A guy called Luke Dale-Roberts. He was trained in Zurich, Switzerland. Luke was previously a sous chef at Soho House Media Club where he used to cook for famous and rich people. Because of this very talented chef, this restaurant became number 22 in the world’s top 50 restaurants.

Decoration

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Furthermore, the Test Kitchen is known for being a small restaurant that only fits 65 persons. It has brick gray walls, oak beams all along the ceiling, and pipes all over. its tables are rusty looking  in order to fit in with the surroundings. The best thing I find in this restaurant is the big wooden bar that embraces the open kitchen. This feature allows the guests to hear and see what the chef is doing and more likely, smell the food that is being prepared.

Signature Dish

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Speaking about food! The Test Kitchen has a very special dish. This dish is known as their signature dish.

“Light Curry Glazed” dish. This main course consists of a locally fished kind of fish that comes boiling between two concrete pots. Later on the waiter places it on a plate over cashew purée and a carrot. After that, the food is decorated by carrot beurre noisette.

BLACKENED CAJUN TOFU CAESAR SALAD (VEGAN)

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INGREDIENTS
  • 8 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 1-2 tablespoons Cajun Spice ( I like this one)
  • salt
  • oil for searing
  • Crisp Lettuce- romaine, butter, green leaf, little gems – enough for two, about 8 ounces.
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • fresh parsley, or nasturtiums
  • Vegan Caesar Dressing – Makes 1 cup, 4 servings ( Or use your favorite brand or recipe)
  • ½ package firm silken tofu ( 6 ounces) Like Mori- Nu Blue ( firm)
  • 3 cloves garlic- rough chopped
  • ¼ cup lemon juice ( fresh)
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon caper brine ( liquid form the jar)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce ( or for even better taste, use fish sauce)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ half sheet of nori seaweed, broken up ( the kind you use for sushi)- optional
  • ½ teaspoon nutritional yeast- optional
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INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Cut tofu into 1inch thick pieces. Place on paper towels, lightly pressing down while blotting dry and then air dry for a few minutes.
  2. Make dressing by placing all ingredients into a blender and blend until very smooth and creamy. Taste. Adjust salt, garlic and lemon, making sure you can taste all three, adding more if necessary. It may taste strong but it will mellow out when tossed with the greens. You want it to have a “bite”.
  3. Continue with tofu:
  4. Lightly sprinkle with salt, then generously dust with Cajun Seasoning.
  5. Heat a generous amount of oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, sear the tofu, letting it almost blacken, turning heat down to med. You want a nice dark crispy crust, so be patient and cook for a few minutes each side, adding more cajun spice if necessary.
  6. In a large bowl, toss greens and a little Italian parsley ( optional) with about ½ the dressing or just enough to coat the lettuce. Divide among two bowls. Divide tomatoes, avocado and seared Cajun tofu between the two bowls. Sprinkle with the rest of the fresh parsley. Enjoy immediately.

Honey BBQ Chicken Wings

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Ingredients:

2 lbs frozen party wings, thawed
Salt
Ground black pepper

Honey BBQ Sauce:

4 tablespoons bottled Barbeque sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 – 1 teaspoon Sriracha Sauce

Method:

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Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Rinse the chicken wings and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with some salt and black pepper. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and then place a baking rack on top. Arrange the wings in a single layer on the rack, as pictured below.

Bake, rotating pan half-way through, until fully cooked and crispy, about 45 to 50 minutes. Make sure you keep checking on them.

Mix all the ingredients for the Honey BBQ Sauce in big bowl.

When the chicken are done, transfer them out of the oven and add to the Honey BBQ Sauce. Toss a few times to coat well. Serve immediately.

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