Amy Riolo is a nationally recognized culinary expert, food writer, cooking instructor and cookbook author in the Washington DC area. She is a member of the Baltimore – Luxor - Alexandria Sister City Committee, the Cornell Club of Washington, The International Association of Culinary Professionals, Culinary Historians of Washington, Welcome to Washington, and Slow Food DC. Since marrying into an Egyptian family 10 years ago, Amy has been discovering, creating, and teaching Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Cuisine to American audiences. Amy maintains a home in Egypt, and travels to the region as often as possible. Her first book, Arabian Delights has now been published.
Food Writer, Cooking Instructor,
Guest Speaker, Recipe Developer,
Rice with Lamb Filet,
Peas, and Nuts
Ouzi is prepared in hundreds of different ways across the
Arabian Peninsula. Lamb, rice, and various spices are the
common denominators in all of the recipes. This version is easy
to make and can be eaten alone or with a salad on any occasion.
(serves 4 to 6)
1) 3 tbs. Olive Oil - divided
2) 1/4 cup Pine Nuts
3) 1/2 cup Pistachios - skinned and chopped
4) 1 small 0nion - diced
5) 1 lb. Lamb Filet - cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6) 1 1/2 cups Basmati rice - rinsed, soaked in water for 20 minutes and drained
7) 2 1/2 cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock
8) 1 tsp. ground Cinnamon
9) Salt, to taste
10) Freshly ground Pepper - to taste
11) 1/2 cup frozen Peas - thawed
12) 1/4 cup Raisins
1) Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
2) Add nuts, stir, and fry until they begin to color and release their aroma.
3) Using a slotted spoon, remove nuts from the oil.
4) Add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add onion to the pan and sauté until it
is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
5) Add lamb meat and brown on all sides.
6) Add rice, stock, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and stir to incorporate well.
7) Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
8) Stir and reduce heat to the lowest setting possible.
9) Allow to cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.
10) Remove lid, take off flame, and carefully stir in nuts, peas, and raisins.
11) Place lid back on the pan to keep ouzi warm until serving.
12) If not serving immediately, wrap towels around the saucepan to prevent
heat from escaping.
13) If rice cools before it is time to serve, heat saucepan over a larger pan filled
with hot water to touch the bottom of the rice pan until rice becomes warm
again, or place the rice pan directly over a low flame to reheat.
Prawns in Tomato Sauce
(Jamberi bil Masala)
Once called “prawn masala” by the Indians who introduced
it to the Arabian Peninsula, Prawns in Tomato Sauce quickly
became a favorite of Bahrainis. Many variations of this
dish exist, and it is always served with rice.
1) 1 tbs. Corn Oil
2) 1 Green Chili Pepper - chopped
3) 2 cups chopped Tomatoes
4) 1 tsp. Salt
5) 3 tbs. tbs. Tomato Paste
6) 1 tsp. fresh Ginger - grated
7) 1 tsp. Chili Powder
8) 1 tsp. ground Coriander
9) 1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
10) 2 lbs. fresh Prawns - peeled and deveined
1) Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
2) Add green peppers, tomatoes, salt, tomato paste, ginger, chili powder, coriander,
and garam masala.
3) Stir in 3/4 cup water and bring to a boil, uncovered.
4) Add prawns to the sauce, stir, and reduce heat to low.
5) Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, covered, until shrimp are cooked through.
6) Serve warm.
Date, Orange, and Feta Ball
(Salata bil Tamr, Bortuan, wa Jebna)
This is a bright and festive salad that can add flair to any
meal. I like to eat a large portion with bread as a meal.
(serves 4 to 6)
1) 1 head Romaine Lettuce - chopped into 1-inch pieces
2) 4 medium Carrots - peeled and grated
3) One (11-ounce) can Mandarin Oranges - rinsed
4) 1/2 cup pitted Dates
5) Juice of 1 Orange
6) Juice of 1 Lemon
7) 1 tsp. Orange Blossom Water
8) Freshly ground Pepper - to taste
9) 1/2 cup Feta Cheese - drained
10) 1 large Egg
11) 1/4 cup Flour
12) Canola Oil - for frying
1) Arrange romaine lettuce on the bottom of a large serving dish.
2) Scatter carrots on top of lettuce.
3) Arrange mandarin oranges on top of carrots.
4) Arrange pitted dates around the top.
5) Make dressing by whisking orange juice, lemon juice, orange blossom water,
and freshly ground pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside.
6) Combine feta cheese, egg, and flour in a medium bowl.
7) Using a fork or whisk, mix until light and fluffy.
8) Heat 2 inches of canola oil in a medium frying pan.
9) Roll feta mixture into 1-inch balls or use a melon baller to make equal-size balls.
10) Carefully drop feta balls into the hot oil.
11) Fry for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden.
12) Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a platter lined with paper towels.
13) Arrange cheese on the top of the salad.
14) Drizzle dressing over the salad.
15) Serve immediately.
Pomegranate Berry Cooler from
Amy Riolo's cookbook Arabian Delights
In the Studio Kitchen with Amy Riolo
(left) and Lindsey Gustin (right)